Mike Steib, CEO of American media company XO Group, has a fair bit of experience of changing roles over his career.
His first job out of university was as a business analyst at McKinsey. Since then, he has been a digital business leader at NBC Universal, and a managing director of emerging platforms at Google.
He now runs XO Group, a company that helps people plan the biggest days of their lives, such as a wedding. It’s fair to say he’s had a diverse career journey.
Speaking to Business Insider, Steib set out three questions you should ask yourself when you’re thinking about changing jobs. Here they are:
1. Am I motivated?
The first thing you should think about, Steib said, is what’s important to you, and the impact you want to have.
“It’s really important that you’re in a job that is helping you to have an impact,” he said. “So if you work someplace, you’re not motivated by what you’re helping to build, or what you’re contributing to it, you should be working somewhere else.”
Through XO Group, Steib said he gets to help people plan the most important days of their life, and that’s really motivating.
“I really love it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he said. “Work on something that is important, that is aligned to your values, and important to you. If you’re not doing that make a change.”
2. Am I learning and developing?
The second question is all about leverage, and whether you are in the right place at the right time. There was a moment for Steib where he knew he wanted to work with the best minds in technology. That’s when he went to Google.
“There was no substitute in my personal career for becoming an expert in how technology companies are run,” he said. “You want to work in a place that will give you high leverage on the things you need to learn, and the experiences and skills you need to develop in your career.”
3. Do I have a good manager?
There’s a theory that says people leave managers, not companies — and Steib agrees. He’s told family and friends that if they don’t have a manager who is being a good coach, a good mentor, or a good supporter, it’s time to consider jumping ship.
“Whenever someone asks me how to fix a broken situation with a bad manager, my advice is always the same,” he said. “The only way to fix having a bad manager is to find a new manager.”
Bad managers, he says, are people who don’t care about their team. They also fail to take responsibility when things go wrong. On the other hand, good managers hire good people, and spend a lot of time coaching and developing them.
“Being a manager is a really hard job. It is a sacred responsibility, because you’re responsible for the success of other people,” Steib said. “You find me anyone who hates work, who says they had a bad week at work, the reason is always their manager. That’s a huge responsibility for someone who takes on management.”
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