Determining when it’s time to change jobs is a big decision. These considerations will help ease that professional burden.
8 Signs It Is Time to Change Jobs
Contentment and complacency are easy places to settle into, especially at work. A steady paycheck, benefits, and a few friendly colleagues are enough to keep you in the same position. But when you weigh those positives against your declining professional satisfaction, are they enough to continue a job that no longer excites you? Unfortunately, recognizing your current position doesn’t fit your lifestyle or career aspirations takes time.
Rather than struggle to get out of bed day after day and work in a job that makes you want to crawl back under the covers, consider these eight signs that it’s time to change jobs.
1. The Thrill Is Gone
If the thrill of working in your job every day has begun to wane, chances are you’re in the market for a new position. Many times, the excitement of the job evaporates due to a lack of challenges or boredom. When you have to perform the same mundane or familiar tasks day in and day out, your work can feel robotic.
But before you start looking for a new job, talk to your supervisor about taking on more responsibilities. Often, an employer will be open to the discussion. If not, consider making an evacuation plan.
2. There Is No Room for Growth
You’ve probably heard the commercials:
“Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Are you looking for a fast-track career?”
These advertisements may not appeal directly to you because you think about the positive aspects of your job. Yet, if you’ve already hit the ceiling and have nowhere else to go, what’s going to happen in the next few years? Do you have opportunities for upward mobility?
Positions in upper management don’t become available all that often. If they do, you could have to wait three, five, or 10 years for them to become available. So if you’re counting down the days until your boss’s retirement party, change is likely on the horizon in order for you to reach your full potential.
3. You Watch the Clock
Watching the clock is yet another telltale sign that your job isn’t the ideal fit. Sure, it’s natural to count down the last minutes of work on a Friday or if you’re looking forward to evening plans. But watching the clock from 9:00 a.m. until your lunch break, and again from 2:00 p.m. until the end of your shift, is problematic. The underlying causes for watching the clock can vary, but they underscore the reality that you’re no longer challenged or intrigued by your job. You’ve essentially already clocked-out.
4. You Are Simply Unhappy
Every job isn’t synonymous with passion, but this doesn’t mean your position should keep you from happiness or feeling like yourself. With other events going on in your life, you may naturally have days when you feel annoyed, depressed, or lost. However, the crux of the problem shouldn’t center on work.
The most difficult part is dealing with those issues. Denial is a powerful emotion that prevents you from seeing the entire picture and manifests itself as self-doubt. You can ignore your feelings, but if unhappiness persists because of your dissatisfaction with your work, it’s probably time to change jobs.
5. You Lack Confidence
When you landed your current job, you brimmed with confidence. You aced the interview, negotiated solid benefits and salary packages, and took charge as a leader in your department. But times have changed. Now, you contemplate if you’re the problem, and you search inwardly at the source of your unfulfillment.
You feel as though your skills haven’t kept up with the demand of the industry, or you’re spoon-fed every last detail and there’s no real sense of accomplishment. Either way, you’re losing confidence quickly—a personal quality that is challenging to regain once it’s lost.
The longer you wait to address a lack of confidence in your work, the more drastic the effects can be. Before you drain yourself of this vital component that made you a strong candidate in your industry, look outwardly. Sometimes, the lack of confidence is a product of your current position.
6. You Are No Longer Challenged
A strong company that you’re proud to work for offers challenges, training, and the chance to broaden your skillset. After all, you’re more than just an employee—you’re an investment. However, you might find that your development is squarely upon your shoulders. You have to ask to join new projects, fight for responsibility, or go on your own dime to conferences and seminars. If this describes your current position, your employer isn’t serious about investing in you or they’re oblivious to the fact. In this scenario, a new job beckons.
7. You Are Filling the Professional Void with Stuff
Another signal that you should consider a job change is when you start to fill the void in your life with stuff or overindulgence. You might go to the mall and find you’re putting the bill on your credit cards. Or you hit the bar after work almost every day and stay for longer than you should have. In short, you stop doing the things in your personal life that keep you healthy and maintain your hobbies and sanity. Binge-watching television or playing video games from the time you come home until you go to bed also fall under this category.
The question you need to ask yourself is whether your job is the culprit. When you’ve worn out your job, the arduous process of just being at the office can torpedo your personal life and development. Take a step back and ask yourself if this is really the person you want to be. If not, it’s time to make the switch to a new job.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Change Jobs
If you’re reading and discover that your current career path falls under any of these signs, you may feel anxious or discontent. Finding a new job can be a stressful process, and you don’t want to repeat the steps that led you to your current position. However, there’s still a chance that you may have just hit a rough patch at work. Before you quit your current job, ask yourself these questions.
Will I Face New Challenges?
You have the ideal mix of experience, expertise, and education for your current job, which qualifies you for similar positions at other companies. Nevertheless, you don’t want to make a lateral move where you face the same obstacles and unhappiness. Before you apple for the job, search the internet for the company’s job culture, work/life balance, and how much they invest in their employees. Follow this up with questions during your interview or when you receive an offer. By doing so, you eliminate the fear of insanity (doing the same thing and expecting different results.)
How Will This New Job Align with My Career Priorities?
You’ve probably been asked in a job interview. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? These are difficult questions to answer during the interview process. But have you ever asked this question to yourself? The answer is a window into your aspirations and whether a change is necessary. If you haven’t gained any new skills, built your resumé, or felt challenged, the likelihood of your current job falling outside your career priorities is vast. Just make certain that the new job aligns with your career ascent.
Will Switching Jobs Have an Impact on Business Relationships?
If the frustration with your job has boiled over, you may want to exit your current roll in a dramatic fashion. But burning bridges isn’t the right move in any occupation. Without a trusted reference from previous employers, you seemingly have a gap in your employment, putting a negative twist on finding a new position.
In addition, make sure to always submit our two-week notice instead of abruptly quitting. Failure to do either of these shows that your professionalism has taken a hit and displays your current state—not who you truly are as a person or employee.
It’s also crucial to be tactful when choosing the time to leave your position. Even if you’ve stagnated professionally, your bosses may harbor resentment if you leave for another company during an important campaign or project.
Can I Make Any Career Concessions?
Decide what’s most important in your current professional climate. Are you looking for a higher salary and better benefits? Or would you trade that for an up-and-coming startup or other company that makes you feel like you’re contributing? Even reputable companies or those with a great work culture may not always be the perfect fit. Don’t shove yourself into place or convince yourself otherwise. Otherwise, you may as well stay put.
Ask About Remote Work
Before you change jobs, don’t forget about your options for remote and flexible jobs. Telecommuting gives you the freedom to control your work-life balance, hours, and location without the constraints of a cubicle or 9-to-5 schedule. If you intend to leave your job if circumstances remain unaltered, there’s no harm in making a remote work pitch to your boss.
Even if your employer rejects your telecommuting pitch, and you remain intrigued by the idea of remote work, you still have plenty of options. Companies around the country have become more receptive to the idea of telecommuting, while job boards like Virtual Vocations provide a vetted index of remote employers for you to search. With the benefits of remote work, you may just find a new zest for life and your career.
Growing tired or bored of your job isn’t unique to your situation. As you age, your priorities, interests, and goals evolve. You only need a job to mirror those aspects of yourself. But don’t wait to change jobs until you’re at your wit’s end. Pore over these signs, contemplate your life, and make the appropriate decision. You may just love what you find.
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