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4 Signs You're Applying to a Job for the Wrong Reasons

By Maurie Backman – Apr 15, 2019 at 7:16AM

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Before you jump ship, make sure that doing so will actually improve your work situation.

Staying at the same job for years on end isn't a common practice like it was decades ago. Nowadays, employees are practically expected to jump ship every few years, and if you're seeking a substantial earnings bump, moving on to a new job is often the quickest way to get it. That said, if you're going to apply to a new job, you should do so for the right reasons. The following drivers on their own, however, don't fall into that category.

1. You're looking to escape your current job

If you're unhappy with the job you have, there's no reason to force yourself to stick it out when there's a world of opportunity out there. At the same time, applying for any old job just to escape your current one is a move that might end up hurting you -- namely, because you run the risk of winding up equally unhappy at that new gig. Rather than apply for a new job solely for the purpose of escaping a bad situation, take the time to find a new role that actually excites you. It also pays to think about the aspects of your job you're unhappy with at present, and make sure the next job you apply to fixes or addresses at least some of them.

Man typing on laptop with job application up on screen


2. You're tired of doing boring administrative tasks

Administrative tasks like paperwork can be a drag. But if you think the same set of tasks won't exist at another job, you're probably mistaken. Most roles come with their share of grunt work, even as you climb the ranks. Therefore, don't apply somewhere else thinking you'll never have to do a single boring task during your stint, because chances are, you will. Daily.

3. You're only thinking about salary

Earning a decent living is important, as it allows you to manage your bills without stress and save money for important things like emergencies and retirement. But money shouldn't be your sole motivating factor in seeking out a new job. If you focus too much on compensation without considering whether you'll actually be happy with the role at hand, you could end up making your job situation worse rather than better. Instead, figure out what sort of job you want, and then pursue those opportunities where the salary meets your expectations.

4. You're hoping to get promoted quickly elsewhere

If you've been stuck at the same level at your current job for as long as you can remember, then you may be inclined to move to another company in the hopes that you'll get promoted there more quickly. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that such a thing will happen, so unless the new job in question is a clear step up, moving on might not make sense. In fact, if you make a lateral move elsewhere, it might take longer to get promoted because you'll come in having to prove yourself.

There's nothing wrong with seeking out a new job for the right reasons. Just make sure you're actually doing so before leaving your current job behind.

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