Would you like to change jobs soon?

Do you plan to change roles or companies in the nearer future? Or are you considering whether to accept a specific offer?

These 5 questions may help you to make your decision:

1. At what point in your career are you right now?

If you have started your professional career in the past five years , it makes sense to change roles every 2 to 3 years and gain different experiences in the process. In this way, you will create a broad foundation and have the opportunity to try out very different set-ups yourself: with changing tasks, different managers and colleagues. You will also understand how you react to difficult situations. Over time, you will recognize what you enjoy professionally and what stresses you out, and you will learn from the feedback you receive where your strengths and learning areas are seen. With more frequent moves, you will not only develop a professional profile, but also a professional identity.

If  you have already gained five to ten years of professional experience, it usually makes sense to look for one or two areas in which you can become an expert. Standing out from others and developing strengths is a good prerequisite for taking your first career steps.

Here, it is important to specifically look for positions that logically follow on from the previous ones and result in a coherent overall picture. At this stage, very broadly diversified or frequent changes might be seen as disadvantageous or critical by future employers , because at this stage of the career, they are usually looking for candidates with a clearly recognizable profile.

After ten to 15 years up to the zenith of working life, the paths often open up again. For some, a management career begins, others change industries or specializations once again, or perhaps jump on a completely different bandwagon because their job description has changed significantly or the previous one no longer fits their own wishes and inclinations.

2. How well do you bring your strengths, your interests and your motivating factors to your job?

Hand on heart: How comfortable do you feel in your job and in your current position? If you’re thinking about a change, you’re probably not 100% satisfied – unless it’s “just” the next step in your career.

Otherwise, ask yourself which of your professional interests you may have put on the back burner so far, and whether you can currently put your horsepower fully on the road, in line with your greatest strengths.

You can’t? Why? What are you missing? What can you change yourself, and where would it need a change of environment?

The next important question is about your motivation. Apart from the monthly paycheck, what motivates you in your current job? And what would you like to be motivated by, which does not come into play sufficiently in your current role?

These are typical questions in career coaching, which can be dealt with in great detail in a one-on-one conversation – sometimes with surprising results, especially if you have got caught in a “work rut” over the years, or if you haven’t asked yourself some of these questions for a long time.

3. How will the job market potentially develop for your profession or your specific profile?

In addition to the very personal considerations that we have made so far, the labour market situation is also playing an increasingly important role.

The good news is that demographic change has already created a shortage of skilled workers that is painfully noticeable on a broad scale, and this trend will continue to intensify over the next two decades – accordingly, there is theoretically enough demand for professionals.

The bad news is that this demand is not equally distributed among all industries and professions. However, in view of the rapid changes in technology and social conditions, it is difficult to predict in detail to what extent developments such as AI, digitization or transformation of products and industries will influence the market situation for one’s own profile in the future. Here you can only form hypotheses and try to substantiate them with specifically researched information from different sources.

Will your job description and your industry probably still exist in five, ten or twenty years, or are massive changes imminent? What can you do to prepare for significantly changed conditions?

4. Where would you like to develop professionally in the long term?

Once you have examined both sides – your profile of qualifications, experience, strengths and interests as well as the likely market development in your professional field – what development options are emerging for you? Think in different scenarios and imagine where you might be in five or ten years. Which scenarios do you like, which are more off-putting?

From this, you can develop an approximate scenario that suits you and provides you with an encouraging perspective.

5. Which next step makes the most sense?

With this image in mind, the initial question may now be answered a little easier. When you think about your specific options today, ask yourself which step will open which new doors for you, or which doors are more likely to close.

Is this job offer a suitable step that will bring you closer to your long-term vision? Or could it turn out to be more of a loop or a mistake if you think long-term as well as about your special profile of skills and interests?

If you don’t have a concrete offer yet, you can use the questions to specify what you are looking for or concretely want to start researching.