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Changing Jobs

How do you know when it's time to move on from a job?

In our book, Taking God to Work, Steve Reynolds and I suggest the following reasons to consider a job change.

1. You feel your potential is much greater than the demands of your job.

2. Your talents are going unused in your current role and are likely to be unused in future positions within the company or organization.

3. You sense a leading away from your current company due to their hostility toward Christians and Christianity.

4. Your employer expects you or pressures you to do things that are immoral, illegal, or unethical.

5. Your witness has been compromised due to major mistakes of the past.

6. A new opportunity offers desired career advancement.

7. The new job offers a challenge and personal growth.

8. You are offered the chance to work with outstanding people at a different company.

9. A different position offer much better quality of life for your family, such as a shorter commute or fewer hours per week.

What do You Want?

As Christians, all of us should want God's will for our lives. The reality is that God gives us a lot of discretion in picking a career. If we ask Him, diligently seek Him, He will show us which opportunities will fit well with our knowledge, skills and abilities. Prayer is an important first step when we are feeling dissatisfied. God may be allowing the dissatisfaction so we will seek something that better utilizes our gifts.

He might warn us about major problems ahead for us where we are currently working or at an employer we might be considering. But God won't quit walking with us if we choose Option A instead of Option B. He gives each of us desires of our hearts to take care of His world in one way or another. God is pleased when we work, take care of our families and serve our fellow man. He's behind you 100% as you try to maximize your potential, provided that you keep Him first place in your life. As long as we don't make work an idol, He will open doors and grant you favor in your job search. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Think about your expertise, projects you've enjoyed doing in the past, family obligations, your personality and the type of work environment. If you hate stress, you may want something without a lot of deadlines and pressure. If you get bored easy, you may want a fast-paced work environment. One person's stress is another person's motivation.

Process for Analyzing Opportunities

After you begin looking around at the job market, be careful to understand the environment at potential employers. Although opportunities sometimes pop up because things went wrong, ensure that you have a chance to succeed. Don't jump somewhere only to find out the company is going under or the deck is stacked against you.

Get a realistic job preview. Make sure you understand the job, the tasks, the reporting chain, the opportunities for further advancement, the type of work, the challenges and what success looks like to your potential boss. Understand the hours you will need to work and think about the commuting time involved. If possible, make the commute from the new location to your home during rush hour.

Once You Decide

Treat your employer well on the way out. "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law" (Romans 13:8, NKJV). There is a temptation, particularly with less experienced employees, to burn bridges when leaving one job for the next. Even if you are changing fields, it's always the best policy to leave with poise. Just in case things don't work out at your new job, it's great to have a place that likes you and might hire you back. Or your former employer may have a higher level job open in the future. If you get the right experience, they may hire you back at a more senior level and pay grade.

Solidify friendships from your current job before moving on. Let specific people know that you care about them personally, even if you won't be colleagues in the same company. It's a small world, and the more friendships you maintain out there the better. There may come a time when you need a reference or that underachieving friend of today might become the boss down the road.

When You Land

Starting a new job is a key time in your life. If your new supervisor is wise, they won't expect you to know everything on day one.However, they will expect you to enthusiastically throw yourself into the tasks at hand. Show yourself to be a friend and you make new friends quickly at your new position. Learn quickly, go the extra mile and double your efforts at proof-reading those first few written work products. Get off to a great start! Most of all, thank God for helping you find a new job. May God bless you in your career.

If you want to learn more about changing jobs, check out our book Taking God to Work: The Keys to Ultimate Success. You will be glad you did.

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