Ophthalmologists island-wide have recently seen an increase in number of patients. Most have complained of acute pupil spasms that lasts for days - a result of too much eye-rolling whenever the “Train is coming (x3); love your ride!” jingle is heard on the MRT.
Okay, I’m just kidding. That’s not true, of course. The spasms were in fact a result of “Give up (x3) your seat; to those in need!” – that’s when the rate of involuntary whirling picks up, as we all know the jingle’s missing a few words. “Give up (x3)- waiting for a seat!” should have been the correct version.
If I haven’t yet lost you at this point and have made you start to wonder what all these has got to do with a career switch, allow me to say “fret not, press on”!
For the spiel has got everything to do with a job change.
You see, eye-rolling is an innate and instinctive action exhibited by human beings who experience a sense of fatigue and jadedness. Research (disclaimer: unknown sources) has shown that there seems to be a correlation between this act and the number of years served in a company.
So, if you find yourself rolling your eyes more often than before at work (getting assigned to Project A for the nth time; listening to your boss’s same excuse for not promoting you; closing one eye to complete an annual report which only involves changing of dates – heck, you might as well close both and get a shut-eye while at it), it’s about time you contemplate moving.
In this day and age, notions of the iron rice bowl and pledging your unflinching loyalty to a setup don’t quite apply anymore. With an increasingly mobile global workforce, extended opportunities and expansive portfolios, switches are almost unavoidable if one aspires to move up and quickly.
While Gen Y/Z folks stereotypically seem to take a liking to job hopping (with some stints lasting a mere few days/weeks), one should - technically speaking – aim to move only after a couple of years at a job.
There are some factors at work here; consider them if you’re planning to jump ship:
You should preferably move while you’re still relatively young, competitive, and has more/lots to offer to avoid inertia (ie, skepticism) and capitalise on your agility. (On a related note, there are also cases of people who (are still able to) move even after a long stint. For example, exceptions may apply if you’re good enough to take on a managerial position or willing to take a pay cut when switching to a totally different profession.)
You should look to make a switch when you’ve acquired substantial experience or when your learning curve has peaked to reach a plateau.
You should start looking around for new offerings when you find yourself doing the same things over and over again, with no added duties, expectations and solid career development plans and prospects in sight.
You should bid your farewells when there’re obviously many seniors or if there’s a Mr Won’t-seem-to-go-any-time-soon directly above you (hence hindering your promotions) in the hierarchy. (This isn’t the MRT queue, quit dreaming about cutting it.)
But what about the kids’ music and enrichment classes, car loan and mortgage, you ask? Well, uprooting is never easy and it’s true that we can get bogged down by financial commitments. But really, there can never be a best time to make a decision.
Life’s too short to be doing the same things all over, so if you find that you have to drag yourself out of bed every day with nary a smile and when all these seems to loop like a dreadful, recurring nightmare, then give the topic some serious thought. (Better late than never!)
Whatever your choice, the aforementioned principles apply. When in doubt, just heed the Dim Sum Dollies’ advice: Love your ride; ding dong!