It happens every year – the holiday season and upcoming New Year are often a time of self-evaluation. The end of the year is the time to determine what has gone right in your life over the past year, as well what you would like to change. New Year’s resolutions usually consist of improving yourself in some manner: eating healthier, exercising more, managing time with family. From a professional perspective, it is no surprise that finding a new job would find itself at the top of your “to do” list.
But how do you know it might be time to look?
Here are some unquestionable signs to look for when evaluating whether or not a career change is in your future!
10 Signs it is Time to Look for a New Job
1. Your Life Has Changed
We all go through seasons in our lives, and this often means re-evaluating your career situation. The changes can be as diverse as we are as individuals: you may be getting married, getting divorced, looking to build a new house, or even downsizing your home.
New parents often evaluate whether one of them should stay home with the new baby, or choose day care. Regardless of your circumstances, deciding whether your current job satisfies your needs is a major consideration when looking for another job. Do not discount it, as it can be a major source of personal happiness as well.
2. Your Commute
This goes hand in hand with changes in your life. Many individuals commute long distances to work every day. Some enjoy it, and utilize the time to prepare for the day or debrief at the end of the day.
For others, it may become a major issue when taking work/life balance into consideration. If your daily commute is a source of grief for you, consider negotiating flexibility options. If you work in a field where physical presence is a necessity and it is causing trouble in your life, you may want to consider looking for other available options closer to home.
3. Your Professional Growth Has Come to a Standstill
In order to grow professionally, it is important to continually learn and overcome challenges. Regardless of your role, adding to your current responsibilities and/or trying new things is important to keep your skills fresh. If you have come to a point in your current position where the learning has stopped, and growth has stagnated, talk to your boss. If the opportunity for growth simply does not exist, you need to decide if you are content with what you do, or need to look for that next step.
4. Room for Advancement Does Not Exist
To add to the previous point, you may be in a situation where room for professional advancement simply does not exist at your company. You like your job, but your current boss may be content in his or her current position, or may have just been promoted to his or her role. Are you going to be happy with your current job for the next several years? If not, perhaps it is time to look for that next step elsewhere. Many jobs are being created today specifically with succession planning in mind. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, it may not hurt to see what else is out there.
5. Your Company is in Trouble and/or Was Just Acquired
Depending on your role within the company, you could be safe. But that doesn’t mean you should sit and wait for your job to be eliminated when the two companies merge. Do some investigating (if possible) to determine the long-term plan for your position. You may find that your department is going to stay put for a while. If not, it is time to be proactive and get your resume together!
6. Turnover is Way Up
High turnover is always a red flag in the business world. It may be due to a [negative] change in management (we’ll talk more about that later), financial distress, or an upcoming sale. With added turnover, responsibilities may be loaded upon current employees, leading to dissatisfaction at work. Regardless of the reason for the turnover, take note and pay attention. There is usually a reason for sharp changes in the turnover rate, and that reason is rarely positive!
7. Toxic Boss or Coworkers
Let’s talk a little more about your boss and coworkers. Do you feel appreciated? Do you have positive professional relationships with the people you work with? A person typically spends more time at work than he or she does at home, so positive relationships with supervisors and colleagues are critical. You do not have to be the best of friends with coworkers, or socialize with them outside of the office, but abusive treatment on a regular basis is NOT healthy. Don’t get me wrong, there are bound to be conflicts or disagreements from time to time, but when the behavior becomes continuous, it is time to take the high road and move on.
8. Emotional Stress or Physical Illness
Stress is a powerful force on both our physical and emotional well-being, and the results of negative stress should not be ignored. Long term emotional stress can result in physical illnesses that escalate beyond that nagging cold you can’t seem to get rid of. Don’t ignore it. If your job is affecting your energy levels, your emotions, and your physical health, start looking today. Your health is worth far more than a paycheck!
9. Your Find Yourself Constantly Complaining
This could be a result of any of the previous items, or a combination of all of them. You complain to family, to friends – even to colleagues. When you find yourself having conversations about how much you hate your job that consume time that you should be talking about any other topic, you have already emotionally checked out. And when you are checked out, chances are, so is your performance. Get another job before it is too late.
10. You Are Getting the Feeling That You Could be Getting Fired
If your gut is telling you that you could be fired, chances are that the writing has already been on the wall for a while. If you are on a performance improvement plan (or PIP), and you are not showing positive results/improvements, start looking. It is easier to land a job when you have a job, so take a proactive approach to your job search. Get your references lined up, and get ready to leave.
For some additional tips, see: [5 Telltale Signs That You May Be Getting Fired]
Have you recently left a job? What were the signs that prompted YOU to start looking? I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to email me at: email@example.com.
by Natalie Lemons
Natalie Lemons is the Founder and President of Resilience Group, LLC, and The Resilient Recruiter and Co-Founder of Need a New Gig. She specializes in the area of Executive Search and services a diverse group of national and international companies, focusing on mid to upper-level management searches in a variety of industries. For more articles like this, follow her blog. Resilient Recruiter is an Amazon Associate.
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