When you started your current job, you were in love with it. You were thrilled about the opportunity, loved the work, the company and got along well with your boss, supervisors 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?
I possess a brilliant educational background and experience in Human Resources Management, therefore, some of the input in this article is coming from my experience in the HR Department and what I witnessed and what I am still witnessing. 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.
i. You’re not advancing in any way
Have you been in the same position for a very long time 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? Or you’re a junior (few years in an organization compared to others) with some extraordinary ideas, talents and skills but feels bigger tasks, learning opportunities and promotions only come as a “reward” to those who have been in the organization for many years, regardless, of their education, talents and skills and they is a long list of people ahead of you (…well, it is a debate for another day). 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. You should stay aware of your value in the marketplace and the general employment situation in both your vocation and geography.
“It’s easy to get stuck in a job and, if you love what you’re doing, getting stuck can be comfortable,” Travis Bradberry writes on LinkedIn “However, it’s important to remember that every job should enhance your skills and add to your value as an employee.”
Bradberry warns if you’re not learning anything new and are simply doing the same thing every day, it’s time to look elsewhere.
ii. There’s no support to achieve your career goals
Perhaps you’ve tried discussing your career path with your supervisor 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.”
iii. You suffer from boredom and monotony
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. 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.
Many HR experts agree and cite boredom as the No. 1 sign that it’s time to throw in the towel. If you’re just going through the motions or are procrastinating more than usual at work, you may want to consider looking for a more fulfilling job.
iv. Your “bad week” has turned to “bad months”
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
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. Recognizing this fact, and being proactive about it, is a healthy reason to quit.
v. No Recognition from your boss and supervisors
I remember, whilst still in college doing my degree in Human Resources Management, my first Distinction was in Reward Management. Guess what? I was the only person who had passed with a distinction. I remember sitting down with the Faculty Dean in his office since he was my lecturer for that same course too. Years after, I still remember the encounter, the verbal appraisal and how he made me take over his lecture at one point.
In Human Resources Management we learn of two types of motivation. Intrinsic and extrinsic are the two types of motivation. I want to talk about Intrinsic rewards. Intrinsic rewards tend to give personal satisfaction to individuals. Recognition: Is recognizing an employee’s performance by verbal appreciation. This type of reward may take the presence of being formal for example meeting or informal such as a “pat on the back” to boost employees self-esteem and happiness which will result in additional contributing efforts.
I know many bosses and supervisors are very busy men and women but I don’t think merely saying, “Hey Peter or Rose you did a great job, keep it up…,” even takes up more than a minute and it is not like Peter or Rose will then ask for a pay rise, promotion or something. Be it in person or not but if busy, even, via email, phone or text that still counts, that employee will still appreciate.
Surprisingly, they find time, 30 minutes or more, for one-on-one encounters or meetings when something has gone wrong, then you ask yourself, why can’t they also find time when something good has happened? Everyone, could be your wife, husband, child, work mate,etc, all love getting a “pat on back” when they go an extra mile pleasing you. Same thing with employees. They are humans with feelings too. It boost employees self-esteem and happiness which will result in additional contributing efforts.
vi. Your company or industry is shrinking
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.”
vii. Your skills aren’t being tapped.
We all know that sometimes you have to take whatever you can get, stick it out for a while and, hopefully, prove to your boss that you’re capable of managing more responsibilities.
But if you’ve been doing this awhile, and you’re still stuck in a position that doesn’t allow you to utilize your skills, then it’s time to start considering other options.
When you know you have more to offer the world, don’t second-guess yourself — get ready for change.
viii. You just know
When it comes to knowing that things are amiss, your gut can be your greatest ally.
If you’ve been actively researching job listings, talking about quitting for some time, and you feel it’s the right thing to do — even if you’re scared of the unknown — it may be time to listen to that little voice and go for it.