How to Tell When It’s Time to Start Looking

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At one time or another, you probably have said to yourself, “I think it’s time that I start looking for a new job.” What were your reasons? Were they valid or were you simply acting out? Realizing that your job is not fulfilling your personal and professional goals is the first step. Now you need to identify those aspects of the job that are not satisfying in order to make your next move the right one.

We’ve identified a number of factors that hinder professional growth and job satisfaction. If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to re-assess your current situation and investigate alternative job opportunities.

No Motivation to go to Work

We all hate Monday mornings. However, if you’ve considered slashing your own tires to avoid going into work, this may be cause for concern. There are many people who are successful and well respected in their jobs, but lack the enthusiasm for the work. Don’t feel like a failure, you’ve just chosen a job that may not be the best fit for you. Identify those aspects of your work that you enjoy and start hunting for an opportunity that allows you to fully develop these skills.

Stagnant Growth Pattern

Many times during in an interview, candidates neglect to inquire about growth possibilities within the company. Once aboard, the realization hits that there is no set promotional track. This is a cause for concern. Study the company’s organizational chart to see what career path is available to you. If opportunities for promotion and new challenges are lacking, perhaps it’s time to move on.

Lack of Increased Responsibility/New Challenges

Have you been working on the same project or set of tasks for the past year? If your manager hasn’t given you the opportunity to take on new challenges, there are two possible explanations: either (s)he doesn’t think you can handle it, or (s)he has nothing to give you. Either way, this is not a promising situation. Discuss your concerns with your manager and ask to be assigned more challenging projects.

Unsatisfied Professional Development

There are many professional development opportunities available — from continuing education classes to one-day workshops to in-house mentoring programs. Not all companies offer these services to employees, but employers should always encourage their employees to develop their professional skills. If your employer is not receptive to your request for support, claiming budgetary or timing reasons, offer a compromise (i.e., one class per quarter). If your manager’s answer is still “no”, then perhaps it’s time for you to move on.

Department/Position is not Valued Company-wide

Unfortunately, this is one of those things you can’t spot in an interview, although it doesn’t take long to recognize once inside. If senior management doesn’t support your department or your particular position means you should probably be looking for a new job.

Constant Hiring from Outside the Company

All companies find benefits in hiring from outside the company to bring in a fresh perspective. You should be concerned if you see yourself and your co-workers continually being passed over for promotions by outside hires. You should ask your boss to work with you in developing a goals checklist that will ensure you’re next up for a promotion. If you’ve achieved your goals, but aren’t seeing any action, it’s time to start looking elsewhere.