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Candidate Question: Is it too risky to change jobs in a recession?

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Q:

In the current economy in the United States, what are the risks with leaving a job and starting somewhere new? Is it a case of high-risk, high-return or can we still feel comfortable even as newbies?

A:

Change doesn′t come without risks. Leaving one job for another, even in this market, is a perfectly acceptable and normal transition. A common, flawed theory on employment during a recession is the "last one in is the first one to go."  The decision to eliminate a position is determined by many more factors than just seniority or tenure within the company. Companies are laying off employees who have spent decades with the firm meanwhile the recent junior hires stay gainfully employed. And you will certainly find cases where it is the other way around.

"Safe" companies or "guaranteed" jobs don't exist, it's only the degree of safety that varies. The circumstances are always changing.

Most firms that hiring right now are doing so because the position is a fundamental piece to the organization′s success. Of course, if you are considering a change, you should always do your due diligence. If you are employed, don′t just get up and quit without having something else lined up. But if you are interested in making a change or approached about an interesting opportunity, don′t let fear keep you from exploring it.

This is part of an on-going series of candidate questions submitted through this blog. If you have a question you would like featured, please submit it here. Confidentiality is guaranteed.

For other candidate questions, see the archive of questions

Photo credit: Anarchosyn (Flickr)
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