Job change? Make it a brighter future

Change Word on Wood Blocks

The last couple of years have been turbulent for the job market. Many workers have left jobs and many employers are looking for workers. That makes this an especially good time to consider the major reasons people leave their jobs, and how they can help make sure the next opportunity truly offers a brighter future.

Three of the reasons for a job change often rise to the top. Let’s make this personal. Are you:

  1. Looking for more pay or better benefits from a different job or career choice?
  2. Hoping to work in a different location that better meets your lifestyle goals?
  3. Seeking a job or workplace culture that provides greater meaning and purpose?

If you hope to make a job change for any of these reasons, it can help to do some research and gather information to test out your ideas. Let’s dive into some of the great tools on CareerOneStop that can help support your quest!

1.   You want to earn more pay or better benefits from a different job or career choice

  • Salary Finder: Use this tool to find salary information for more than 900 different occupations. To start, either search for an occupation or keyword, and enter a location. You will see the national and local salary information based on your entered location – ZIP code, city and state, or state.

    You can use this information to learn the typical salary range for your field, or other fields you are considering. This is helpful for choosing a career, targeting a specific location for your job search, and for salary negotiation.
  • Compare Salaries: Compare Salaries lets you compare how much you might earn in different careers.  You can choose up to five different occupations to compare average salaries in the same location. This tool also allows you to select up to five different locations so it may also be used to research new locations for “reasons to leave a job” #2 below.  

    You can use this information to see how different careers you’re considering measure up on pay. We use the median yearly salary figure (median means that half of the people working in that career earn less that this figure, and half earn more).
  • Highest Paying Careers: View the list of the highest-paying careers in any state. Data is the most recently available, authoritative data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can filter the list to show highest paying careers by level of education.

    You can use this list to consider different careers that may pay a higher salary than you currently earn. Select your current education level in the filter titled “typical education” and the list will narrow to show the occupations that require your same education level that pay the highest salary.

2.    You want to work in a different location that will better meet your lifestyle goals

  • Compare Cost of Living: This tool helps you understand how much more or less it might cost to live in a different location. When you enter your current location and salary (or hourly wage), the tool will show you the salary or wage amount that would pay for a similar lifestyle in any new location you enter.

    You can use this information to estimate the salary you may want to aim for if you relocate and help determine if you can afford a new location. For example: Let’s say you live in Wichita, KS and earn $40,000 per year. Given the difference in cost of living, to earn a comparable amount in Los Angeles would require a salary of $60,100. Or if you moved to Bozeman, MT, you’d need to earn about $43,100.
  • Largest Employers: Check out the companies that employ the highest number of people in any state. Just choose a state to search, and you’ll see the 150 largest employers in that state.

    You can use this information to target your job search to large employers in the state you are moving to. Links take you to a business detail page that lists business website, phone number and address, key contact person and more.
  • Compare Employment Trends by Occupation: Learn how many people in your field are employed in every state. Also find whether your occupation is expected to grow or shrink in every state, and by how much.

    You can use this information to see how robust the job market may look for your occupation in any state you consider moving to.

3.   You’d like to find a job or workplace culture that provides greater meaning and purpose

  • Work Values Matcher: The Work Values Matcher is a quick card-sort exercise that asks you to rank statements to define your ideal job. Your choices indicate your top work values, such as career advancement, or working independently.

    Knowing your work values can help you choose a career that matches your values and identify employers that offer a workplace culture with similar values to your own.

    Use this tool to learn how to recognize a workplace culture or employer that reflects your own values. You’ll find sample questions to ask in informational interviews or job interviews to get at what the company culture and values are all about.
  • Research employers: Research is a critical part of the job search process. This page has tips and questions to guide you in employer research, including where to find information.

    You can use these tips and questions to identify companies that may be hiring in your field; learn about potential growth of businesses and industries; understand how you can apply your skills in a new field; learn about their workplace culture; and prepare you for a job interview. They will also help you focus your job search on employers that share your values.

Ready to start looking for jobs? Search for job openings on the Job Finder.

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