Working close to home does have its perks; the commute is short, you may save in gas money, drive time may be cut in half and you may not have to deal with “rush hour” traffic. Depending on the location, these are a lot of maybes. But if you are staying in a job solely for the purpose of working close to home, you may be making more sacrifices than you know. WorkSource gives you some food for thought when it comes to looking for a new job.
Yearly Sick Days Run Out Fast
It’s time to be honest with yourself—how many sick days are you using up each year? If you notice a pattern of calling in sick every few months or are consistently using personal time to leave work early, now is the time to take a look at why. Are you waking up each morning dreading going into work? Do you feel a pit in your stomach as you climb into your car to drive the few short miles down the road to work? Are you coming home drained each night, willing to call in the next day? If you are using sick or personal time to avoid work—even if work is around the corner, then it is time to start looking for a new job. The savings in gas money is not worth risking your overall happiness in your career.
Finding a New Job Doesn’t Mean Leaving Your Company
Companies with multiple office locations offer varying benefits within each. You may be working in an office close to home, yet the atmosphere may be a toxic one. Or maybe the office you are currently in is outfitted for only a skeleton staff, meaning you work primarily alone yet you are a person who thrives in a team atmosphere. The best way to get to know if a different location may suit you better is to do some research. Ask colleagues that work in those locations what it’s like in their office. Join in on a company picnic day or team building day to get to know other personalities from around the area. Once you feel comfortable with a decision to move offices, then it’s time to start looking for a job within the company that will be a good fit for your expertise. Companies like to see that employees are willing to grow and want to advance. So you need to ask yourself, is it truly the company I am not happy with anymore or is just the culture in my current office location?
Your Potential Has Been Capped
You’ve taken a job that pays ok, saves you gas money, eliminates rush hour traffic, and allows you to go home on lunch and let your dog out. For the first four or five years, it’s great. Then you start to notice that your job has maintained but not grown. You aren’t going home on lunch as often, gas prices have risen so you are no longer saving as much, and with new developments going up around your office you find you are dealing with traffic congestion. All of the reasons you initially wanted to stay close to home no longer apply. If your job potential is capped and there is no room for growth, will you be happy just maintaining? In a recent study done by John’s Hopkins, most people say no. We are human beings; born to grow, mature, challenge ourselves, accomplish, and contribute to society. It is in our nature to want to advance both in personal growth and in career. In order to do that, you need a job or career that allows for that. If you’re in a company where you have reached your full potential, and your reasons for working close to home no longer exist, then that is your cue to start job hunting. The best time to look for a new job is while you have a job. Contact a recruitment firm for help, make a list of what’s important to you in a job, and take the time to drive to different areas so that you get familiar with distances. Once you zero in on how far you’re willing to travel then it’s time to start job hunting—but don’t do this on the company’s dime. While looking for a job when you have a job is ok, job hunting from your work computer while at your current office is not ok. Set time aside each evening, make up your “to do” lists or utilize your weekends.
The best way to advance your career is to do your homework, be honest with yourself, ask for help from a recruiting firm and be smart about how and when you job search.