How many times have you changed jobs? Think back to your most recent job change. How did you feel after it? What went well? What was hard about changing jobs?
Interestingly, changing jobs can have a long-lasting impact on well-being. Today, we breakdown new research on this impact of voluntary job changes on wellness.
Changing jobs and companies can be really exciting. It often comes with some sort of pay increase, a better-seeming work environment, or a new role that feels like a better fit or step up. However, changing jobs is actually quite stressful. You can imagine that new hires don’t have context or resources in their new role. They aren’t sure who to talk to about challenges or know the why behind certain things. This can make the early months – even years – pretty difficult for newbies! In particular, job satisfaction, vitality, and work-life balance really take a hit.
Job satisfaction is a key marker of workplace wellness. As we’ve talked about before, being happy at work makes you happier in life and more productive. However, when you first start a job, your job satisfaction actually declines. It makes sense, right? You can’t really be happy in a job you don’t yet know! Research shows it takes over a year to start feeling satisfied with your job.
Vitality is the experience of feeling energetic and lively. When you are experiencing vitality at work, you feel enthusiastic and excited on the job. This is also an important measure of well-being. Unfortunately, your vitality also declines when you start a new job. It takes more energy to learn a new way of working, processes, and people. Shockingly, it takes over 4 years on the job to recover your vitality! It takes a lot longer than we previously thought to get back to that high energy place.
Finally, work-life balance takes a hit when you change jobs. At a new job in a new company, you have to figure out how to balance your work and life all over again. What are the norms at the new place? How do people create boundaries? What level of flexibility is allowed? This can obviously create more stress on your personal life. Research shows it actually can hurt work-life balance for almost 3.5 years!
Considerations When Changing Jobs
While there are many good reasons to leave a job, it is important to consider the challenges you may face. You may not feel as good about it as you expect once you are there. It isn’t easy to change jobs. It can be exciting and fun, of course, but it can also be stressful and tiring. This shouldn’t deter you from changing jobs but just help you make the right decision for you and what you need in your life today! It’s a realistic job preview! You may have some huge positives with a job change – just remember that you won’t always feel great about it and that’s normal. Take care of yourself and you’ll make it out the other end just fine!