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Are You Ready?

10 thoughts on changing your job or career
Are You Ready

Job turnover is common in the high-stress produce industry, as employees look to advance their careers or escape from a less-than-perfect job match. The key to a successful job or career change is to thoughtfully think through your objectives and consider what steps can be taken to achieve them. Here are ten topics, divided into two sections, to think about before making a move.

#1 – Examining Motivation
Beth Manfre-Gross, managing member at the Grow Search Group in Scottsdale, AZ, a recruiting firm that specializes in the produce and fresh-cut processing industries, believes today’s marketplace is more open to jobseekers hoping to strengthen their careers by making a change.

Manfre-Gross recommends clearly defining the reasons for any job dissatisfaction. Is it due to a lack of upward mobility? Boredom? Lackluster company sales or a tense financial environment? Events such as mergers and downsizing can certainly influence employees, spurring some into action. When an organization is going through upheaval or instability, she notes, fear can become the motivating factor in thinking about a career change or looking for a new job.

Doug Stoiber, a recruiting consultant at Ag1Source in Hesston, KS, agrees, finding employees may have a “heightened sensitivity to the lack of permanence in their position,” which he likens to a ‘ticking time bomb.’ Other jobseekers, he explains, are motivated by feeling “they’re undervalued, and want to explore their value on the open market.”

Quality-of-life issues, such as not wanting to be away from family so much, unusual hours (particularly apt for produce businesses), or wanting to experience a new locale can also be motivators. If an employee’s work-life balance is “out of whack,” Stoiber says, it can be a temporary problem that will clear up, or a symptom of something more serious that will need to be addressed.

Job satisfaction, Stoiber points out, may be more about current circumstances than fundamental career goals. Clearly identifying motives for wanting to make a change can help identify what you’re really looking for in a career, and whether those objectives may be met by your current employer—if not today, then at some point in the foreseeable future 

#2 – Problem Resolution
In dealing with problems at work, the first step is simple: “Be honest,” Manfre-Gross counsels. “What isn’t working, and do you need a new job to resolve it? If the changes really can’t be accomplished where you are, make sure you’re solving the problem with the new position.”

Stoiber says frustrated employees should ask, “Have I done everything in my power to fix whatever it is?” Further, he notes, if it’s about compensation or bonuses, take the leap and ask for a raise. “If you don’t do it, you leave yourself open for a hasty decision. It’s the old grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side [syndrome].” Any new position, however, may come with its own challenges and won’t necessarily be better just because it’s different.