Work somewhere for a few years, and you’ll likely have learned all the tricks it can throw at you. Maybe you’re well and truly settled into your position enough that you can see the path you’ll take if you stay put. This is often the point when you’ve decided whether to stay with an organization – even if you haven’t realized it yet.
That’s right: Even if the thought of leaving hasn’t consciously crossed your mind, your body language and demeanor can tip you off. Below, you’ll learn about some signs it’s time to change jobs.
13 signs it’s time to change jobs
You might think it’d be pretty easy for someone to tell when they want to leave a job. Often, though, a fear of change can make people blind to their desire for it. Plus, changing jobs requires a lot of work, and sometimes, it’s easier to stay within your comfort zone. That can feel true even when, as the signs below show, you’re not all that comfortable. But if the below sounds like you, it might be time for a change.
- You often feel stressed and tired
- You don’t believe in the organization like you used to
- You don’t feel recognized
- Your feelings are becoming more negative
- You’re watching the clock
- You’re dealing with a toxic work environment
- You’re rarely satisfied
- You find yourself stagnating
- Your health is getting worse
- Your skills don’t match up to your personal interests
- Your job is affecting your personal life.
- You’ve grown out of your current role
- You daydream about a new career
1You often feel stressed and tired
Work stress and drowsiness aren’t exactly rare beasts within the typical organization, but if you experience them every day, something’s wrong. Your job should be rewarding, not just stressful (even the best jobs can be stressful). If you’re only getting the negative parts, then it’s time to look for greener pastures.
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2You don’t believe in the organization like you used to
Job seekers often look for organizations that match their own personal values. Typically, if the organization keeps those values over time but there’s a growing disconnect between you and the organization, not much can bring it back.
3You don’t feel recognized
If your team and manager don’t value your contributions to the organization’s goals, you might start feeling like just another cog in a machine. And that’s never a pleasant feeling.
4Your feelings are becoming more negative
It’s definitely time to move on from your job if you experience negative feelings about things that didn’t bother you before. That can be a sign of burnout, which a job shift can often solve.
5You’re watching the clock
If you’re usually counting the seconds until you can clock out, then switching jobs to make leaving permanent is the next logical step. Surely, something else out there won’t have you wanting to run away every day.
6You’re dealing with a toxic work environment
Bad bosses and unfriendly peers aren’t going to do anything for your mental health or work ethic. Sometimes, switching jobs is the only thing you can do to protect your overall well-being.
7You’re rarely satisfied
A sense of satisfaction after a job well done can often keep you wanting to stay put in your role. If you’ve lost that spark, then, presumably, only your pay motivates you to keep working at your organization, and that’s only a temporary fix. A new job can be a permanent solution.
8You find yourself stagnating
It’s one thing if you choose to stay in your role because you’re comfortable there. But when you’re stuck for years with no chance of upward mobility, your future success might start seeming out of reach. You might find yourself feeling unmotivated and in need of something new.
9Your health is getting worse
Spend too long in a stressful work environment, and you’ll likely find your mental and physical health taking a turn for the worse. You should consider moving to a less anxiety-inducing organization.
10Your skills don’t match up to your personal interests
Let’s say the skills you learn and use at your job don’t translate well to your personal career goals. You’ll likely end up going in a different direction than you intended. A job change can get you back on track.
11Your job is affecting your personal life.
An off-kilter work-life balance can be a big source of stress. You wouldn’t want home-related issues interfering with your work, so your work shouldn’t creep into your home life either. A new job can restore your balance.
12You’ve grown out of your current role
Simply put, you’re ready for bigger and better things. Your current position has given you all the experience it could, so it’s time to find new career opportunities and advance even further.
13You daydream about a new career
If your mind can’t focus on anything without drifting to thoughts of a new career, it might be time to turn fantasy into reality.
What to consider before changing jobs
Most of us have that one job in our work history that we were chomping at the bit to leave. While it’s fun to think about bursting out the doors and never looking back, there are a few things to consider before leaving a job.
- Personal career goals
- Professional development opportunities at work
- Upward mobility at work
- Work-life balance
- Work environment
- Employee turnover
- Job satisfaction
1Personal career goals
You don’t want to come into a new role and be surprised that it’ll lead your career in a whole different direction than expected. Sometimes, that kind of change is good, but make sure you know it’s par for the course in the first place.
2Professional development opportunities at work
Do you want to enter a job and then have roughly the same work years down the line? Even if you plan on staying with an organization long-term, professional development opportunities can keep you at the top of your game.
3Upward mobility at work
Don’t step onto a new path without knowing whether it leads to a dead end. Every organization has a hierarchy, so do some research to see whether you can climb that ladder down the line.
Few things are more valuable in a career than an organization that respects your free time. Just like a lightbulb, you can’t be “on” all the time, or else you run the risk of burning yourself out.
Even with good benefits and a solid salary, a hostile work environment can sour the entire experience. Seek out testimonies from people who have worked at organizations you’re applying to so you know working there won’t damage your mental health.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. A high turnover means no one wants to work there, so why would you?
Money plays a big part in job satisfaction, but the joy of a great salary can diminish over time. If an organization’s team-wide job satisfaction stays high in the long run, it’s a stronger indicator of a great job than money ever could be.
How to make a career change
You’ve seen the signs and researched some new organizations that seem like a good fit. How do you actually pull the trigger on the transition? A large part of it is understanding what you want from a job in the first place. Here’s how to figure that out.
- Pinpoint what’s not working
- Figure out what you like about your current job
- Jot down your core values
- Learn your strengths and weaknesses
- Find the most popular jobs for career changes
- Get going on your plan
1Pinpoint what’s not working
Don’t let a vague feeling of dissatisfaction drive your career choices. Instead, sit down and identify what’s not working so you can avoid it in the future.
2Figure out what you like about your current job
Finding good things about your job might be tough while you’re actively looking for another one. But knowing the handful of things you like about your current role can help you find similar traits in other career opportunities.
3Jot down your core values
Most organizations have core values they build their operations around. If an organization’s mission and vision statements don’t align with your beliefs, you might not enjoy working there.
4Learn your strengths and weaknesses
What you know and don’t know will help guide you to the right potential jobs. That said, don’t worry if a few hiring managers are seeking skills you don’t yet bring to the table. Many organizations offer some level of training to get you up to speed.
5Find the most popular jobs for career changes
Some industries are more open to career changers than others. You might not currently have the skills for the most popular options, but that shouldn’t stop you. These jobs can be in such high demand that you can likely find plenty of resources to help you learn.
6Get going on your plan
After a thorough self-assessment to narrow down your choices, you’ll likely be well-equipped to find an organization that fits your needs. It might not happen overnight, but don’t let a few false leads get you down. With patience and perseverance, you can find your dream job.
A change of scenery to find success
Recognizing the signs that it’s time to change jobs usually means spotting the signs of workplace anxiety and stress. Changing jobs is one way to find more satisfaction in your work, but holding a meeting with your boss can work wonders too. With Fellow’s professional meeting tools, you can plan, set up, and run that meeting more smoothly than ever before. Through real-time peer feedback and meeting action items, you can find a solution to your workplace problems, stay put, and feel happier than before.