Work – time for a change?

  • Ruth
  • 9th of October 2018

Have you ever dreaded Monday morning?

Most of us have at some point. But have you ever dreaded it with every fibre of your being and even hated the thought of getting in the car on a Monday morning and heading to spend eight hours at a place you just didn’t want to be at? With people you could no longer stand the sight of?

Do you dream of quitting but know you can’t because you HAVE to go to work because you’ve got this mortgage to pay? For the next 20 years? Or are you just a bit over it because you have done the same job for years, you are bored by it, and it’s time for a change?

When we work at a job that’s just paying the bills we often think we can just tough it out until, well, all the bills are paid – but with a mortgage that thought can stretch out like a life sentence in front of you.

What about if you enjoy your job BUT the pay is too low for your needs? Many of us sit and ‘hope’ that our employer will notice our diligence and offer us a pay rise but the chances of that happening are low because our employers are busy running an entire business, they leave us to work hard at our own small piece of it. So, you need to put your hand up and ask for one but before you do this you need to do your research. Find out what pay rate your role receives in a comparable business, googling will help you with this but so will ASKING people who work in those roles. I know we are not meant to ask people what they earn, but I always have, as a way to gauge where my own pay should be at. Jump on Youtube and watch some clips on “how to ask for a pay rise” and you will learn some techniques to use yourself. Perhaps even apply for a new job as a way of practicing those techniques and gauging what other companies are paying? Then when you sit down with your own manager and talk through your job role and the pay increase you are asking for you have some concrete evidence that what you are asking for is industry standard and reasonable. Avoid just quitting your job because of low pay, give your employer the chance to ‘come to the party’ and when they say ‘yes’ you will feel a real boost of energy when you see your increased salary coming into your bank account each week. And an added bonus is that you learn that your employer does value the part you play in the business.

But if you are really feeling like a change of scene it is very possible to change jobs and still keep the income coming in and hopefully even earn a higher income after you change. The trick is to open up the door to the new job while gently closing the other behind you. Don’t slam it. Transition out of a job you don’t like into one that you do. And still make those mortgage payments.

I have three simple rules to use if you find yourself unhappy at work:

  1. Fix it
  2. Put up with it and stop complaining
  3. Leave

If you are just plain “over it” at work, but the income is great what can you do to sort out the problems you are having? Try fixing it by talking to your colleagues and manager about the issues you see and do your best to make a few changes that will keep you motivated and happy to come to work each day. Remember that employers in most cases don’t want you to leave. They employed you in the first place due to your skills and knowledge and finding a replacement takes time and money. And most of them are not mind readers either so if something is bugging you perhaps talk about it and you just might be able to resolve it.

If the “fix it” strategy fails, well, can you suck it up and put up with it instead? Or by doing so will you become that toxic person who constantly complains about their job? Employers large or small have developed ways of running their business and there are a number of things that they will allow you to tweek and change, but there are other non-negotiables that you can’t. So, can you continue to come to work each day and collect your pay, knowing that the status quo will remain and can you still be productive and happy?

If steps one and two fail then maybe it’s high time you did yourself and possibly your team a favour and moved on. I know of a woman who tried steps one and two but moved pretty quickly onto step three – but she did this in a hail of bullets. There were literally emails flying around the office – copied to ALL staff – with images of sinking ships, burning buildings, and flaming bridges! It was kinda funny to watch but I couldn’t help but think she would not be asking them for a reference on her way out the door! And I sincerely hoped she had an emergency fund set up to cover the missing wages.

So don’t quit your job suddenly and head home and announce to your family “I QUIT”!!! Instead, plan your exit and plan where you want to go next.

Keep your resume constantly updated and as you achieve things, attend courses etc, add them to it. If you feel able to speak to your current employer about wanting to move on then do so. If they valued your time with them they may well be able to network on your behalf and find people for you to go and speak with about work. Jump on job sites and start to get a feel for what is out there and what the latest pay rates are too.

It might just be me, but personally, I find getting work in New Zealand relatively easy and I’ve relied on word of mouth for many years now. If I’m looking for something I just start to put the word out there and via friends and business associates they give me suggestions that I then follow up on. It’s a much more organic way of looking for work and there is also less pressure, I’m just ringing up a business owner saying “hey Sarah mentioned you might be looking for…”

Having navigated the lengthy recruitment processes for many years where I completed extensive testing to get to the interview stage and then many interviews beyond that before finally securing a job I far prefer my ‘organic search’ strategy. It lets you ‘fail quickly’ because if you approach a business and there is no vacancy, you can move on and chances are THEY give you the next contact to approach. Try it, you might just surprise yourself.

If you are reading this blog post then it is probable that you have a mortgage with NZHL and you plan to kill it off as quickly as you can. But due to the size of mortgages in New Zealand, they take a long time to pay down, which means a long working life stretched out in front of you, therefore it is crucial that you work in a career that you get enjoyment out of. Otherwise, what is the point? Life is too short to go to work at a job you don’t enjoy, just to pay a mortgage. So, lift your expectations and earn more money doing what you are already doing or start to put the feelers out and transition to a new job, with better pay, doing something that you get a kick out of going to every single Monday morning.

 

Happy Saving!

Ruth

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of NZHL (New Zealand Home Loans).

 

 

Ruth - the happy saver Author
  • Ruth Author

Ruth is a guest blogger for NZHL. She lives in Central Otago with her husband and daughter. Her career has pivoted many times, with the one constant being adapting to change. She writes about her personal finance journey in NZ over at www.thehappysaver.com

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