Deciding when it is time to look for another job can be a critical career decision. It requires some serious reflection and thoughtful assessment of yourself and your current situation.
- If you are terminated, your division is being shut down or sold, if the handwriting is on the wall that the company is failing, you need to engage is a serious job search as soon as possible.
- If you are being harassed or ask to something illegal or unethical, it is definitely time to find another job.
For most employees, the decision comes more gradually and requires more careful reflection.
Passed Over for a Promotion
- Were you the most qualified candidate? Use it as a learning opportunity, ask the hiring manager what you need to do to be prepared for that role or a similar one in the future. There may be skills you need to develop or issues to address. Identify what you need to do and build a plan to be prepared for more opportunities going forward.
- This is not necessarily a reason to move. Honestly assess your fit with the company and the possible opportunities in the future as you develop more skills.
Work/Life Balance Issues
- If you honestly don’t have a life outside of work, it could be time for a change. Be careful not to jump from the frying pan into the fire. Don’t move for the sake of moving without clearly understanding if the balance issues will be better.
- Assess if it is a short term issue or a long term issue. Is this the position that you must survive to advance to the next step? Is there a major project underway that is demanding more hours or is it standard operating procedure?
Trust Your Gut/Heart
It could well be time to change jobs if:
- You don’t want to get out of bed in the morning
- you dread going to work
- you get depressed on Sunday night knowing you have to go back to work in the morning
- you are constantly thinking that this isn’t what you want to do when you grow up
- the thought of doing this for the rest of your working career depresses you
- you are frustrated that you are not using certain talents and abilities or not pursuing key interests or passions
- you have that nagging feeling in your gut that just won’t go away
Honestly assess whether this is a real issue or a passing phase?
- Do some self-assessment exercises to clarify your interests and abilities
- Get input from colleagues and friends about your strengths and your possible fit in your desired role
- Critical to do informational interviews with people who are doing the job you think you want, find out what it is really like
- Is there any opportunity to test what you think you want to do by doing it part time or in a volunteer situation while you keep your day job?
- Identify what education or certification may be required and determine what you need to do to meet those criteria
- If you aren’t qualified to take your dream job now, identify what you need to do to quality, what job now would lead to the job you desire?
- What companies offer the type of job you desire? Who do you know at those companies for networking?
Follow your heart. We all spend too much time working to be miserable doing it.