There was a time, not so long ago, when it was commonplace for a school leaver to choose a career and stick with it, often within the same organisation for the next half century. Go back even further and your life’s work was set from birth, enshrined in your surname. If you were a Tailor, Miller, Cooper or Smith, that’s what you did, because that’s what your family had always done.
How times have changed! The modern worker now has more flexibility and autonomy than ever before. You can choose your education, your occupation and your employer to optimise your professional journey. Furthermore, if a particular situation isn’t to your liking, then you’re free to find an alternate.
But when is it appropriate to make the switch?
There are many signs that it might be time for you to move on from your current job.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the most common:
Who wants to spend 40+ hours of their week doing something that doesn’t excite or challenge them? They say love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life. If your work is stimulating and challenging, you are more likely to achieve fulfillment, particularly when this adversity is overcome. Alternatively, If you don’t experience these feelings in your current role then perhaps this is a sign you should seek this fulfillment elsewhere.
Fulfillment can also be dependent on a sense of purpose in your work. Everyone wants to feel like a critical cog in the machine, or that their efforts are generally doing good for their company or in the broader community. If you don’t feel like you’re making an impact, or feel as though you aren’t contributing to something meaningful, perhaps you can find more purpose by shaking things up.
Feedback is a core component of professional development. How can you improve if nobody tells you your strengths and weaknesses? A lack of feedback can lead to feelings of listlessness; of treading water and hoping you won’t drown. If your performance isn’t being reviewed by your managers, or if soliciting feedback is increasingly difficult, this may be a sign your leaders aren’t invested in your growth and better support would be provided somewhere else.
No matter your age, experience or position, it is intrinsically human to seek reward or acknowledgement for doing good work. If you pour your heart and soul into your work without receiving even an appreciative nod in return, perhaps your current company is taking your talents for granted. If this is the case, perhaps another employer would acknowledge your efforts more appropriately.
What’s even better than an appreciative nod? Reward. Salary and compensation remains a key motivator for many professionals in the workplace. If you’re doing objectively outstanding work, you deserve to be adequately compensated for it. One thing’s for sure, good companies are willing to pay for good talent, particularly in candidate-tight industries. If you believe you’re not being reimbursed adequately for your good work, perhaps another organisation is willing to open the cheque book.
Do you ever feel like a hamster on a wheel, working hard but going nowhere? Many of us dread this feeling of career stagnation and are focused on moving forward.The best workplaces offer opportunities for career advancement through training and development, clear paths to promotion or ideally a balanced mix of both. If your current position offers neither, rending you stuck in the ‘hamster wheel’, maybe it’s time to leave the cage altogether and move to greener pastures.
You’ll probably notice subtle signs when your company is struggling to stay afloat. Are your leaders stressed? Is your company cutting costs? Are colleagues leaving in droves? If the ship is sinking it’s often best to get out before it’s too late. While loyalty to a company may appear noble, unfortunately, when a company collapses, employees who remain aboard are often caught up in the financial and reputational crosshairs which can sit with them throughout their career journey.
The workplace can have a material impact on the mental health and wellbeing of individuals. For example, banks and legal firms are facing an exodus on junior talent due to their highly stressful work environments. If you feel constantly stressed or anxious in your role, this is typically an indicator from your brain that this job isn’t a great fit for you. While stress is prevalent in all roles, too much can have serious consequences. If you find yourself feeling this way, a new job may be the medicine you need to improve your mental health.
Did you know that many workers spend more time with their colleagues than their family? IIn any environment, it is preferable to spend time with people you click with as opposed to colleagues you dislike and hold contempt for. In an organisational context, social unrest is not good for anyone. If you don’t like your colleagues, or feel isolated and not a part of the team, perhaps it’s time to remove yourself from the situation and find a more supportive team in a new job.
Employee demand for work life balance is rapidly increasing, Alongside salary, it has become one of the biggest motivators for individuals to change roles. However, many ‘old school’ employers are yet to adjust to these preferences and continue to measure commitment of their staff by the hours of unpaid overtime they put in. If this mentality sounds familiar, perhaps it’s time to find a workplace more accommodating to your needs where leaders put an onus on productivity over presence.
As an employee, ask yourself how many of these 10 signs resonate with you? If it’s one or more, it might be worth exploring other job opportunities. Life’s too short to be unhappy in your career, particularly when there are a plethora of alternative options.
If these signs resonate with you and you’re ready to look for a new job, the Ignite team can help.