When Is It Time to Change Jobs

It’s summer, you have a little time off, and you’re re-evaluating your life.  And the question that keeps popping up is a pretty important one:

Should I look for another job?

Here are some signs that you should start the search:

  1. Leadership doesn’t want you around anymore: It’s rare for me to work with a client who doesn’t have someone they wish (with all their hearts) would quit.  But the severance is too expensive, or the collateral damage is perceived to be too high.  If you’re that someone, you should move on.  You’re not going to contribute at your highest level in such an environment.  Plus, it’s not likely you’re happy under those conditions either
  2. You’ve gotten stale: Has your 20 years of experience turned into 5 years repeated 4 times?  If you’re bored, if you’ve taken advantage of every opportunity offered to you by your organization, if you’ve spoken to leadership and told them that you need more challenge and it isn’t in the cards, you should consider a move
  3. You’re not very good at what you currently do: We all have strengths and weaknesses.  Instead of climbing higher on a comfortable ladder that you’re not very well suited to, consider starting at the bottom of the right ladder for you.  It’s no fun comparing your weakness to everyone else’s strength
  4. You work with (or for) goofballs: Brilliant jerks, toxic idiots, unethical losers, abusive tyrants; they come in many forms.  If you’re stuck with these people and it isn’t going to change, make a move; life’s too short

And, some quick lightning round reasons NOT to look for a new job:

  • You’re offered more money elsewhere: before jumping, consider CULTURE, consider CAREER DEVELOPMENT, consider how life will look for you in 5 YEARS AT THE NEW PLACE. The best people don’t leave only over money.  In fact the best people often move to work for less money and better culture
  • Your company is going through a hard time: This is when the best dig in and fight, not run away from the battle
  • You are in an awful (but temporary) predicament: A customer conflict, a dispute with a co-worker, an impossible project.  Tough it out.  Perseverance is the hallmark of the truly great
  • You fantasize about how great a different place will be: in most cases, it will be a version of where you are now.  They’re just people, and you’re the same you.  Every successful organization has a few people inside that are slowly going crazy.  Pick your poison, there are no perfect work environments

So, don’t ask yourself how you can get ahead.  Instead ask how you can do your very best at what’s currently on your plate, and learn and grow in your present role.  If you do that, they will seek you out!

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