Article by Lexie
As a person who finished their postgraduate less than two years ago, I have changed jobs three times and each time I have entered a new field and familiarized myself with something totally strange to me. People around me have different opinions on it – some disapproving of my behavior, some praising me for my courage and some who were curious about my choices. I respect all different perspectives, and I’d like to share my experience and a few questions I have asked myself before changing. I hope what I write here can be helpful if you are stuck in a working dilemma.
Let’s begin with who I am. I graduated from Hong Kong Baptist University with a Master of Arts in 2020, and before that, I finished my undergraduate study in Shandong University, majoring in English and International Politics. As many of my classmates who majored in English, I entered into education industry after graduation, working in a third-party education consultant organization based in Shenzhen for almost one year. After that, I came back to my hometown Xi’an and found a job in an Intellectual Property firm, doing translation and issues related to patents application in foreign countries. Recently, I have applied for a position in Micron and will start this new job later in April. I know it sounds like I change jobs at whim, but in reality, each time I decide to have a change, I’ve thought through it over and over. Besides some practical issues, there are three questions I always ask myself.
- What are your real advantages?
I force myself to look into this question from time to time, not only before looking for a job, but as a way to check in with myself. Sometimes it really pains you to find your capabilities are limited and the choices you have are not as many as you’d like. But this kind of pain helps you to forget all the beautiful words in your resume and makes you understand your strengths and weaknesses, which are crucial when you pursue a new opportunity. What I often find myself doing is listing my advantages and disadvantages, writing them down in paper and thinking in what kind of jobs they could be applied, or in reverse, what skills I should practice and gain to meet the requirements of the jobs I desire. I know this method is kind of cliché, but it really works for me, so why not have a try if you do not have a better way?
- Why do you want to leave your present position?
The second question that I think applies to everyone is to make it clear, “Why do you want to leave your present position?” It’s not hard to answer it when a person is considering a change, but the answers should be specific and reasonable because this is the only way you can avoid being stuck in the same problems in a new place. For instance, the main reason for me leaving my present job is that it cannot give me a big enough platform to learn more things, which I think will limit my personal development in the future. So I have set my sights on larger entities in order to look for a new opportunity. For the same reason, if you are tired of working overtime, then focus on the companies with a more relaxed culture and lower some other requirements modestly. You may find the available choices are relatively fewer by doing this, but, believe me, the odds for you to find a better job will be much higher.
- Are you prepared to face new challenges and problems in your new job?
The last, but not the least, question I advise you to think clearly about is “Are you prepared to face new challenges and problems in your new job?” If the answer is ‘no’, I advise you to think twice about changing jobs, because maybe the new job will not be as good as you expect. As I said before, you may make a little sacrifices in other respects to pursue a new job, which naturally makes you feel that you should be compensated in some way, such as being paid a higher salary or enjoying a more friendly office atmosphere. Do not have such a mentality because it does not work that way in reality! Each job has its own problems, and the only thing you can do is prepare yourself for a good but not perfect job and focus on what you can get from it.
What I share here are personal thoughts based on my own experience. Working is an important part of life, and comes with both joy and sorrow, and some problems may not be solved by simply escaping your current situation. For those who are struggling in a working problem or the past or future, you may just as well have a try the methods mentioned in this article: know yourself and prepare for everything coming in the way.
Lexie YAN is an English major with a diversified education background. She used to work in the education and intellectual property industries, and now she sets her foot into the semi – conductor industry as a communication specialist.