There are a number of misconceptions about changing jobs. Let’s examine a few of them:

If you’ve had a strong, clean record in a company, you can expect that your good record will continue in a new job. That probably will happen, but don’t count on it.
If you’ve been unsuccessful in one company, you’re better off taking a job with another company. Not necessarily. Often similar problems at the first company reappear in the second company.
You’re an exception, and you’ll end up with a better job. There’s no guarantee.
You feel underpaid, and you’re likely to earn more at another job. Actually, the chances are probably against it. You’ll also find your benefits aren’t as good since some benefits like vacation are based on length of service.
You’re unhappy in your current job, and you’ll likely be happier in a new job. Maybe, but in a year or two, you may well find that your situation hasn’t improved that much.
You feel underutilized. That may be so, but maybe you feel you’re in that position now because you aren’t stretching yourself to be useful enough to be singled out for better assignments.

Some spot surveys made of attendees at job hunting workshops for Harvard Business School alumni revealed that roughly half of the attendees currently had jobs. When surveyed at the end of the workshop, most said they were less inclined to make a change than they were at the start of the workshop. Rather than starting a job search
prematurely, work with a counselor (often an HR friend who’ll moonlight) who can help you sort out your options and try to make your current job into what you’re looking for. Several frank conversations with trusted friends could also be useful. You have little to lose working to improve your current situation and talking with trusted friends.

Perhaps you’ve just run out of gas on your current job and have let your performance fall off. Perhaps your unhappiness on your current job results from some other problem in your life.

If your job situation is going downhill, do something about it before you get into real trouble.

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