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Should I stay or leave my job?

Advice on leaving jobs

Karen Young, Director at Hays Accountancy & Finance, discusses how you can decide whether to stay or when to move on to a new job.


If you are starting to get itchy feet or feeling a little less motivated when Monday mornings come around it can be difficult to decide whether it’s time to act on those feelings and see if the grass could be greener elsewhere. How do you know whether you would be happier if you changed jobs or whether you are better staying where you are?

Here are five things to consider:


If you look back over the last couple of years and you are still in the same routine producing the same work, it is probably time to consider your options. You may like the routine and consistency of a job, but when that can turn to boredom, your enthusiasm for your role is likely to wane and this can ultimately affect your performance too.

Finding opportunities to develop your skills and expertise in your current role or taking on more responsibility elsewhere in your organisation will ensure that you are challenged. Start to consider an external career move if these opportunities are not available to you where you are.


Sometimes a poor performance review, or feeling downbeat on your own accomplishments, can spur you to look to move jobs.

If you are in this situation, you should try to remove the emotion from the situation and consider whether you can improve your performance in your current role.

Of course, this may not always be possible, so if you do decide to move look for an environment where you feel you will be able to thrive.


Is there scope to progress in your current organisation? You told us in the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2016 report that career development is most important to you (36%) when considering a new role so this is something you should think about carefully as you move along in your career.

You also told us (99%) that you feel you have the skills to fulfill your current role, but that nearly half of you (46%) don’t feel that there is scope for progression in your current job.

"Nearly half of you (46%) don't feel that there is scope feel that there is scope for progression in your current job."

This is where your career plan comes into place. Think about where you want to be in the long term or even just where you want your next but one job to be, and if there is a way that you can take a step towards that in your current organisation. If you can’t see a way to move upwards, then it might be time to move elsewhere.


Sometimes a change in team, or team dynamic, can influence your decision to stay or go. A new boss, new colleagues or restructure can change the dynamic of the team and environment that you had known. In this instance, consider if this will settle down or if permanent changes are underway.

Staying in a job where there are extreme conflicts can be stressful and demoralising. Don’t let things get this bad before you decide to make a move – it will impact your confidence and your ability to secure another role.


If you are enjoying your role but feel you are underpaid, over half of Part Qualified Accountants (55%) told us they weren’t satisfied with their salary, arm yourself with knowledge of the market. Benchmark your salary with the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2016 report. The online tool lets you compare your salary to your peers and prepare for a conversation with your boss about your next step.

Always try and address this first before deciding to look at the external job market as you will then know for sure where you stand.

Remain professional and put a business case together if necessary and your boss will respect your professionalism for bringing this to their attention even if they can’t offer you immediate results. Don’t discount other benefits they might be able to consider such as a performance related bonus, flexible or home working or further support for training and development that could improve your current role as well as future prospects.

If you are unsuccessful in your requests for increased pay, benefits and cannot see room to develop, it may be time to look elsewhere to continue your career journey.

About Hays UK Salary and Recruiting Trends 2016

Data compiled using data gathered during 2015 from Hays offices across the UK, based on job listings, job offers and candidate registrations. Survey responses from over 20,000 employers and employees from organisations of all sizes throughout the UK.

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About this author

Director of Finance

Karen Young, Director at Senior Finance, Hays UK & Ireland.

Karen is responsible for the finance recruitment business at Hays, leading a team of over 400 finance recruiters across the UK.

With nearly 20 years of recruitment experience, Karen has a personal track record of recruiting top finance talent for business. She works closely with industry bodies including: CICM, CIMA, ICAEW, ACCA, IIA, AAT, ACT, ICAS, ICAEW, and the newly formed Accounts Payable Association, the APA.

Her knowledge covers finance appointments across a wide range of industry sectors, with personal expertise in senior appointments. Karen is extremely passionate about helping people to find the right jobs and has established a dedicated leadership forum to support the career development of senior finance, professional seminars to support the career progression of newly qualified accountants and another programme called the Future of Finance, which is aimed at university undergraduates and graduates.

Karen is a trusted industry voice and is regularly quoted in finance publications, including Accountancy, PQ, Treasury Today and Economia.

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This article was first published in PQ Magazine, March 2016