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How Do You Know It’s Time to Move On?

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How do you know when it’s time to move on from your current role or job for greener pastures?


It seems like everyone has a different answer to this question. And to clarify, this isn’t regarding obvious scenarios like abusive boss/coworker/environments, physical endangerment, etc. What happens when you’ve been in a role for a solid amount of time but are beginning to feel restless? Should you look elsewhere? Should you ignore the feeling or just grin and bear it? It’s a common situation many of us can relate to. Work life may not be terrible, but you certainly believe it could be better. Maybe you’re not sure how or even if it’s possible but something is definitely missing.


Some signs are clear indicators such as the ones described below from the infographic offered on The Balance Careers website.


I’d argue however that lots of reasons stem from a singular cause. One that impacts many other symptoms. But let’s look at the most common considerations first. If you find yourself dwelling on any of the following, it may be time to move on to new opportunities.

  1. No skill development or exercise
  2. Tasks feel contrary or meaningless
  3. No room or direction for advancement
  4. Nothing you do feels like enough
  5. You believe you’re destined for more
  6. Toxic work environment
  7. You can’t speak your mind
  8. You’ve burned bridges
  9. Company and personal goals are misaligned
  10. Skills and job requirements are misaligned
  11. No personal investment by your company or boss
  12. You’re overwhelmed by everything
  13. Your company is going under
  14. You’re always emotionally exhausted
  15. You aren’t growing
  16. You’re not happy
  17. Consistent employee turnover
  18. Recruiters are stalking you
  19. You’re being paid under market value
  20. You have no work/life balance

   21. You’re no longer learning


move career

In any situation you should assess how much you are learning. Surprisingly if you are still learning you have a better reason to be engaged, to contribute, to provide value, all of which plays a significant part in your happiness at work.

If you can do the job in your sleep, what have you done to learn in other ways? Have you thought about ways to

  • Improve the team or the role itself, and/or its functionality?
  • Provide additional value (maybe even in experimental ways) to other reps, teams, depts. etc.?
  • Tackle your boss’s problems?

If you’re not learning and have exhausted the ways to improve on it, its time to move on. But remember, its important to have this kind of brainstorm/discussion with your manager as well. If he/she knows your getting restless, they should find new areas in which to challenge you. If you’re simply unhappy in your current situation, beware of greener grass. Drill into what it is exactly that’s making you unhappy. Identify the things that do/would make you happy and try to align those goals with your team’s/dept.’s/company’s. And when you’re feeling undervalued or stagnant, its a great opportunity to challenge yourself on all of the tactics above.


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