Like so much of life, most jobs have expiration dates. Unlike that can of soup that lets your nose know when it's time to toss it, the signs that it's time to leave your job for a new are more nuanced. Over time, though, these subtle signs can feel like one big (flashing) ad with bold copy reading: "Move On!" or "I quit"!
Before you reach that fork in the road, the little signs along the way can help you avoid being held back or stuck saying goodbye to your job with no new one in sight.
If you're feeling any of the following, it could be time to leave your job for a new one:
It's not like work is supposed to be super fun all the time but it shouldn't be so boring that you feel like you're watching the paint peeling - you know? What begets boredom is often lack of challenge and in a typical role this comes from your skills being underutilized (or unrecognized) by your employer. If you're not using your skillset, then you're not learning and growing - not good.
Burnout is a tricky topic because the reason for each individual's burnout is very personal. Some experience burnout at work because of a combination of what they are tackling in their workload, work environment, or company culture, while others experience it because those things are combined with personal challenges. This said, if you have personal challenges but can't discuss anything with your employer, that might be a sign that it's not a culture you want to be a part of anyway. Your life is your life, and you only have one, do not waste it feeling less-than or shining less-than.
In truth, what you are worth and what you are paid won't always feel balanced but it should feel, at least, close. And, while this isn't likely what you've heard the fact is that it takes time to build up your resume and your salary to get it where you want it to be - it takes experience. However, and that's a BIG 'however', if your compensation is not empowering you to live happily, with financial security, and there is no room for negotiation or clear path toward increased compensation...say bye bye!
The tight-rope walk of work-life balance is rarely streamlined or steady but it is possible. So much of making work-life balance achievable is up to the values, ethics, and corporate culture of the company you're working for but what you choose to accept is up to you. If you are answering emails, phone calls, and feeling pressure to work outside of your scheduled work hours consistently then you won't have balance - it's either your work or living your life to its fullest - don't sacrifice your personal time for a job that is making you miss out on what's truly important.
This is a BIG one. How you feel about yourself when you rest your head on your pillow at the end of the day is arguably the most important, life-shaping considerations in life. If you are working in an environment, a workplace culture, a role, or an industry that doesn't align with your values-system, beliefs or ethics then you are not in the right place and it is absolutely time to look for an employer who will not make you feel this way.
If you feel unhappy going to work, talking about your work, or with your colleagues then it's time to have a conversation with your employer. If you want to make it work, this gives you an opportunity to constructively and proactively seek resolutions to your hurdles hindering happiness but if you feel there are too many non-negotiables, signs all point to finding a new job so you can leave your current one.
This one is two-fold.
- You should have opportunities in your current role to progress and advance. If you do not have a clear pathway for career progression then it is time to either speak with your employer or start looking for an employer who understands your value.
- You may be presented with opportunities from recruiters at other companies, or working for other companies, who offer exciting roles with competitive compensation packages - if this is the case, and you are sure that you are no longer content where you are working, then it could be time to trailblaze a new path right 'outta' your office and into a new one!
Sometimes, unfortunately, you have to choose between quitting a job or quitting yourself and we feel, wholeheartedly, that you should never stop believing in your capabilities.