Top 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Changing Jobs

Thinking of changing jobs this year?

Maybe you’re ready to grow your career with additional responsibilities? Perhaps looking for a bigger paycheck or simply unhappy where you are?

There are many valid reasons to make a move.

But changing jobs without being very clear on what you are really looking for can lead to unhappy results.

The last thing you need is to make a change only to find out that the new opportunity wasn’t really what you had in mind.

Not only would you have to start the search process all over again but also frequent job changes can raise questions at an interview.

It takes only a few minutes and a willingness to be completely honest with yourself to make sure you head in the right direction with your new job.

There are two key areas to examine and it is very helpful if you can think of them separately.

  • One is your actual job; this is the work you are doing - the tasks and responsibilities you carry out on a day-to-day basis.
  • The other is your place of employment - this includes the people, culture, location, hours of work etc.

Don’t make the leap to a new job without being really certain what is important to you.

Here are a few questions and thoughts to help:

  1. What are you missing at your current job that makes it more attractive to leave than to stay?
  1. What do you like and dislike about your current job based on the actual work you do.
  1. What do you like and dislike about your current place of employment. (Not the job itself but rather location, hours of work, company culture etc.)
  1. Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to fix what you don’t like? (Be honest.)
  1. If the answer to the above question is yes, ask yourself if you could fix the issue, would you stay? Are you willing to try this before looking for something new?
  1. What is the skill level or responsibility/experience you are hoping to acquire in a new job? (If more than one, order in priority so you are clear on what is most important to you.)
  1. What work you have done that has prepared you to take on the next level of responsibility. (This will also help you prepare your resume with a focus on the right skill sets and accomplishments.)
  1. Identify the target salary range you want. Ask yourself how flexible you are regarding anything less. If your search is based mostly on a bigger salary, what is the minimum increase that would motivate you to change jobs?
  1. Identify and make a list of your non-negotiables. This is the time to be really honest. These are the things that are most important to you. What concessions are you willing to make (if any)? If you found your absolute perfect job but it came with a long commute or less vacation or a few responsibilities that you didn’t care for would you still want it?
  1. Are you really prepared for a change? Starting a new job can be stressful as you learn new work and integrate with a new team. It’s good to think about this ahead of time and be comfortable this is the right time for you.


When you decide to change jobs it can be easy to get caught up in the moment the minute you see something new. It’s also easy to convince yourself that the few little things you don’t like about it won’t matter.

But if you’ve thought a job change through ahead of time you can refer to your notes to double check that you aren’t ignoring something important.

Few jobs are perfect. And there will always be a chance that you start something new only to find out it isn’t a fit.

But a little honest prep work before you begin your job search (or happen across a great opportunity) may save you from a misstep.

You owe it to yourself.

Happy hunting!


Post by Margaret Johnston,

As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.


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