Is it time to leave your job? Do you know when that time is?

If you look back in time, maybe around 40+ years ago, employees found a job within a company and were expected to stay with that same company for their entire career in exchange for a pension and a gold watch or pen. Now times have changed dramatically, most people have 5-8 career changes in their lifetime.

So now employees are faced with a new decision, how to determine when to leave their current job. This may sound easy but past the obvious reasons such as, bad working environments, being underpaid, or having inadequate resources to get through your day, how do you know when it’s time to take the next step in your career? There are some signs that can give an indication, that it’s time to make that change.


You know your job inside out and you’re too comfortable 

Think back to the days when your job was brand new and used to excite you, remember that? The days when it felt like a challenge to do your job. If you can come into work and do your job with both eyes shut whilst making tea, maybe it’s time to consider a new job or another role within your current company.

It’s important to stay challenged and to stimulate our brains, to give us a satisfaction at the end of the day. We all need to be pushed mentally and physically to allow ourselves to grow and develop new skills.


You have lost your motivation and drive.

In the past you were a ball of energy and activity at work feeling challenged by your role but now you are tired and frustrated. Going to work becomes tedious and you feel like your banging your head against a brick wall, these all point to a lack in motivation and drive. This could be because the challenges have stopped and you are not progressing like you were or you have stopped learning, these are signs that could point you towards a job search for that next step in your career.


Learning and progression have stopped.

Throughout your career, whatever industry you are in, there is one universal factor and that is that your job needs to nurture you to learn & grow. Your job needs to promote the ability to learn, adapt and embrace change. If it doesn’t satisfy this then you may need to move on.  Not keeping up with the trends in your industry will only hurt your career over time, so you need a job that will encourage you to keep learning.


Make sure you know when the time is right for you.

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Comment by Charlie Allenson on November 16, 2011 at 11:17am

Being a freelancer/consultant I "left" my corporate job a number of years ago to go out on my own. I found that getting up in the morning to go to the office was becoming more painful. The sense of politics in the office was becoming more important than doing the work. While I see myself as a loyal, committed person, I couldn't say I got the same feeling in return.  In fact quite the opposite. I felt like a piece of meat being fed into a sausage machine. Basically, in work as in life, we're each responsible for our own happiness. If your job isn't making you happy, perhaps that's a sign to move on, if you can.

Comment by Andrew Hally on November 16, 2011 at 11:54am

Just like it's hard to recognize a financial bubble (Internet stocks, real estate) when we're in it, it's hard to recognize the time to move on right when it comes. Only in retrospect, after things are painful, is it obvious! So great idea to have a set of questions to ask yourself periodically in the hopes of identifying the moment as it happens. But don't quit before you've got the next role lined up! We blogged about 5 reasons to stay put until you do.

Comment by Lipton Fleming on November 17, 2011 at 4:15am

Yes, @Charlie we totally agree that it is another sign of needing to move. Happiness is key!


@Andrew the flip side of this argument needs to be realised as the grass is not always greener on the other side!! And that is something that many people get confused about when evaluating reasons to leave!!! And yes, the wise man does not leave before he has another job to move into.

Comment by Suresh on November 17, 2011 at 9:50am

Good topic..
I made the decision within a few years of working for a large company. The reason was a combination of many things.
- Lack of vision by senior management on how the world was changing. Mind you these were very smart people.
- Multiple chimneys made people want to fight for their own dept, not the company as a whole
- Multiple projects started and stopped, nothing much to show for
- Most importantly I realized no matter what your role in the company was, your accomplishments are pretty much internal and had trouble working on someone else's brand
(brand that I did not believe in or trust)


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