New Year, New Job?

When you work in HR/Recruiting, January is a big month. Symbolically, this is the time of year when people set goals and see the next 12 months as a clean slate. With this fresh perspective, many will choose to leave their jobs in pursuit of more satisfying and challenging roles. In an effort to be transparent: this usually works well for me. While companies are calling in their orders to beef up staff in 2018, the phone is ringing off the hook with candidates who are ready to make the leap.

But, how do you know if the grass is really greener? You really won’t until you get there, but these steps can help you decide whether or not to make the leap.

1. Compare all benefits, not just salary.

So, you’re one of many that feel like you’re underpaid. You may have even done your research and know that technically your salary is below average. Don’t jump ship quite yet. Do you have company-paid benefits? An unusually high 401K match? The right to keep hotel and travel points? As I’ve said before, it’s the whole package not just one number. Another essential factor is cost of living. Yes, Apple may be able to give you a 100% raise to move to Silicon Valley but you may end up poorer than you started. That being said, different companies have different budgets. You may be surprised at what competitors can offer.

2. Evaluate if your dissatisfaction at work is fleeting or constant.

Listen, if all your friends have sexy new jobs in cool cities starting January 2016, it’s easy to think you’re being left behind. Take an objective view of the past six months and consider whether you’re authentically unhappy more days than not or if the allure of something different is persuading you instead. The fact is every company has its pros and cons and essentially you’re trading one set for another. So, which is better: the devil you know or the devil you don’t?

3. Give your company the chance to make it right.

Before you make any rash decisions, give your employer the opportunity to make it right. A company is always interested in keeping turnover low and retaining good employees. If you are concerned that you’re compensated below market-value, ask for a raise commensurate with experience. If you feel you’re ready for a new challenge but you’re being skipped over for new responsibilities, ask for them directly. You may not get exactly what you requested, but how your employer responds to your well-thought-out and professional request will typically be a great litmus test for staying or going. If your company dismisses your concerns or fails to make any tangible changes, there’s your sign.

All of that aside, there are some things that will never change. For example:

  • A flat organizational structure will never miraculously have opportunities for promotion
  • Your commute will never get shorter unless you move
  • The supervisor you despise with the 20 year tenure isn’t going anywhere
  • An apathetic/micro-managing/manipulative/[insert adjective]culture that starts at the top


If you’re considering changing jobs this year, a recruiter can be a great resource to you. With knowledge of the local market, your specific career niche, and what companies are currently recruiting, we provide insight that you won’t find anywhere else. Message me directly for information on working with Godshall during your career search.

Hannah Barfield Spellmeyer on Linkedin
Hannah Barfield Spellmeyer
Hannah Barfield Spellmeyer is an Executive Recruiter for Stott and May, an international technology-focused recruiting firm. Hannah serves on the Board of Directors for The Family Effect and The Upcountry History Museum as well as edits the Junior League of Greenville's biannual magazine, VISIONS. She's is a proud member of Leadership Greenville, Class 43 and was named one of Greenville’s Best and Brightest Under 35 in 2015. For more blogs and information, visit

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