Recent studies show that about 25% of the professionals in the IT sector change jobs at least once every year. It has also been found that on average, the time in which an IT professional stays in one job has dropped to less than 3 years.
These figures are nothing to be surprised about. You probably have also contemplated changing your IT career at one time or another. But just what is the right time to make that move? What indicators should you look for to know that your exit time has come? Here are some considerations to put your mind to:
Is the new job offering a better opportunity?
I have always believed that you should not act just because you have been forced to by an undesirable situation; your actions should be leading you to a better situation. If I were to rephrase that, I would say that you should not stay in a good situation if a better one exists.
Let’s relate that to a career change in IT. The point is that you should not make that move just because you are uncomfortable where you currently are. Your new IT career should be giving you a better position, title and of course pay. Also, if you are comfortable in your current job but there exists such a position that gives you a better opportunity elsewhere, move.
Have you completed your due diligence?
If you are a great performer at your current position, expect to get lots of proposals and invitations to other positions in competing companies or even in an industry different from IT. Now this new position could be offering a better opportunity in terms of title and pay but that does not mean it’s the right time to jump out from where you are.
You should take your time to do due diligence. Search the company thoroughly; even if it takes 2 or 3 in-depth interviews, go for them. Find out exactly what your new position will be placing you up against and take time to try and figure out what strategies you are able to bring forth to be successful in what you will be facing. You may just find out that the new employers had overestimated or underestimated your abilities.
Are you on top of absolutely all your responsibilities?
This is the 21 century, a time in which nothing is worse than having a retarded growth in your IT career path. If you ever find that you handle absolutely all the responsibilities of your current position without much ado, it could just be an indication that your growth is headed for retardation and it’s time for you to make a career change.
The new job may not really offer you any significant change in opportunity but considering the high dynamism of the IT industry, an organisation headed the right direction should provide you with new responsibilities and challenges. If you stick to one position just because it makes you comfortable, you risk being spit out by change after just a short while.