Why are you looking for a new job?

The Psychology of the Job Search and understanding our own basic needs

“That’s it, I am looking for a new job” or “I’ve had enough of this”, “They don’t appreciate me”

Have you ever embarked on a job search based solely on an emotive reaction to something that has happened at work? You’ll not be the first, but if this happens to you, resist the temptation to submit your CV to every job you find on jobsites and take the opportunity to perform a full career analysis:

Everyone needs a job to satisfy basic needs financially, however we also desire a role to fulfil our natural desires of self-improvement, stability and creating a stress free, positive environment.

The main reasons to look for other work include:

Internal Conflict:

90% of the time an internal conflict be it with peers or a manager, cause an individual to look for another role, these are usually feelings of being undervalued or our position compromised in some way.  If this is the only reason to look for another job, evaluate whether this is a long term issue or the result of a bad day, if it is the latter, look at how communication can be improved in the work place, do you need support in delegation, discussing conflict or creating a better work/life balance.

Opportunities to improve:

If you feel that you have no room to either progress or improve or if your company provide no opportunities to learn and develop, you might find that you are looking to find somewhere that can offer you a tailored path of improvement and goals to achieve. Take a look at opportunities internally, speak to your line manager or HR about forthcoming vacancies and if you are certain that you have gone as far as you can in your present company, then perhaps now is a good time to look for other opportunities.

Stability/Survival Syndrome:

Redundancies in any environment create nerves and pressure for all involved about the stability of the company and jobs, even if you have ‘survived’ recent rounds of redundancy, you are still likely to feel vulnerable and at risk. If this has happened to you, talk to your employer about long term strategy and opportunities and make a measured decision about whether this is the right time to leave the business or will you jump into a new role out of panic and fear. Moving under these circumstances can lead to making bad decisions and taking the wrong role, which in turn is not good for anyone involved. Be sure to analyse if this is the only reason to leave and if you can solve short term worries internally before you take the plunge.


Work or life related stress can cause us to try and ‘fix’ something more deep routed by changing jobs, if you are looking to mask an alternative issue by leaving companies, think very carefully whether this will solve your problem. Work pressure could be resolved by discussing options or alternatively look at support outside your work that may be able to help


If a job isn’t reaching your basic financial needs and you are aware of your realistic market value, then now may well be a good time to look for alternative employment, but do be honest with yourself and realistic in your options moving forward

Be sure to understand whether this is the right time for you to look at the job market and re-work your CV with a tailored career action plan.

September 5, 2017

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