When you started your current job, you were in love with it. You were thrilled about the opportunity, loved the work, and got along well with your boss and teammates.
But at some point, something changed. There may not be anything seriously wrong in your day-to-day work life, or any big incident that made you angry. And yet, you still have a nagging feeling that something is off. The question now becomes: Do you take the risk and try to find something new, or stick it out at a “comfortable” (but unexciting) job because it’s what you’re used to?
If you’re on the fence about finding a new job, the following telltale signs may indicate that it’s time to take the leap.
Have you been in the same position for several years with no talk of significant raises, promotions or learning opportunities? Do you feel like you’re no longer challenged and that you’ve gotten all you can out of the position? If so, you may want to look elsewhere for your next career move.
“If you don’t see potential in your current company for a raise or promotion in the next couple of years, then you should think about leaving,” said Fred Goff, CEO of job search platform Jobcase. “You should stay aware of your value in the marketplace and the general employment situation in both your vocation and geography.”
Perhaps you’ve tried discussing your career path with your boss and he or she just shrugs it off, or says you can discuss it “in the future.” If the conversation never seems to happen, it might be worth asking why.
“If this is the case, you can and should talk to your supervisor about what your options are,” Lily Zhang, a career development specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a writer for The Muse, wrote in an article. “Could you at least take on some new responsibilities? Or, if there isn’t an opportunity for you in your current department, maybe there is in another.”
If you’ve been passed over for a promotion more than once, Zhang noted that there might be something or someone preventing you from moving up.
“Perhaps … you’re unwittingly self-sabotaging, [and] if that’s the case, you have something to work on,” she wrote. “But if no one’s giving you a clear reason on why you got passed over, it’s likely that not much is going to change in the future.”
You may not be as excited about your job as you were when you first started, but sometimes routine can be comforting. However, be wary when “routine” turns to boredom.
“There can be many signs that your career has grown stagnant,” said Caren Merrick, CEO of Pocket Mentor. “Perhaps you dread going into work, or you used to be thrilled, but the honeymoon is over. You may feel tired and not energized, and you’re watching the clock and racing out. You’re not motivated, you’re not learning or growing.”
Everyone has off days at work, but if you get the impression that each new day on the job is a little worse than the one before it, you may not want to stick around much longer.
“I would say it is time to quit once the factors determining your job satisfaction are changing permanently for the worse, with no hope of improvement,” said Elizabeth Jackson, a Utah-based web development professional.
If your company makes a big change — hiring new employees, changing its management structure, shifting your job duties, etc. — you might find that you no longer like working there, Jackson said. Recognizing this fact, and being proactive about it, is a healthy reason to quit, she said.
If budget cuts, layoffs and employee turnover are becoming the norm at your company, it’s not a good sign of things to come. Zhang said even less drastic signs like slow growth or dwindling job openings could be a warning to get out while you still can.
It may not even just be your company: Take a step back and look at other players in your industry. Are the same things happening across the board?
“The realization that the industry you’ve built your career in is slowly disappearing is not one that goes over well for many people,” Zhang wrote. “But the earlier you catch on to it, the better off you’ll be.”
Think about what you want. Zhang said the best thing you can do to start taking your career in a new direction is to think about what else you want to do in life. She suggested asking yourself questions like these: What do you love about your job now? What are some things you’ve always been interested in? What are some interesting jobs you’ve seen friends and colleagues have?
“Take those answers and see what other fields utilize those skills and talents,” she wrote.
Learn how to make the transition out of your draining & unfulfilling work in to something that brings you more freedom, fulfillment & fun.
This Would Be A Perfect For You If…
• You are currently working for someone else or have a business of your own and have had thoughts about doing something different
• You are extra busy & stressed at work and it’s affecting your relationships with family & friends. You dread Mondays & look forward to the weekend
• You’d like to do work that you actually enjoy – the work that charges your batteries & brings you more freedom & fulfillment
• You agree that time is one of your most valuable assets & it’s best used doing more of what you love
• You feel that you were made for so much more, but are a little lost + confused right now & could use a little help