Knowing when to leave a job is not the easiest decision for most people to realize. Quitting your job can be disruptive to you and your family and could negatively impact your career. We tend to get comfortable, so comfortable in fact, that we will stay far longer than we should because it is easier to stay than it is to go.
What happens when you stay somewhere when you aren’t happy? Your personal and professional life is both affected. You become moody or take out your frustrations on co-workers and friends/family alike. Perhaps you don’t work as hard as you once did. There are many side effects to staying in a job when it is time to leave. Most of these side effects are damaging to your health, relationships and even your career.
Last year the average tenure of an employee was 4.6 years according to the labor department. Gone are the days of staying at your company for 20-25 years. There is no longer a clear path to leadership within organizations. In many cases you end up reaching a ceiling because there simply is no where else to go. The best way to advance or make more money appears to be by leaving your job. According to some experts the raise you receive by leaving your organization is around 15-20 percent.
How long is too long to stay with a company? Many people feel the 5 year mark is the point where you should leave. It certainly should be if you have been in the same role for the whole time. Some companies look at 5 or more years as poison because your growth and exposure to the industry may have been limited. In some cases employers are cautious of long-timers, fearing they will constantly compare company x’s way to their company and won’t be able to adapt to the new environment easily.
Here are some signs that it could be time to quit your job.
You don’t want your boss’s or another senior executive’s job. If the thought of advancing into a more senior role or replacing your manager is unappealing then you really need to think about what will come next for you. It is also important to understand why you wouldn’t want that job.
Your values and the organizations culture are no longer aligned. When the culture of the organization has shifted so much that you are no longer able to perform as you once were or the culture is no longer healthy for you it is time to say good-bye.
You are no longer challenged. When you are no longer being challenged you are no longer growing. This can be most damaging to your future career opportunities.
Passion for your work is absent. If there is an absence of passion for what you are doing you won’t do it well. You are simply going through the motions with a minimum amount of effort. This could lead to lower performance and perhaps damaging your reputation.
The boss is behaving badly. The boss is always screaming, cursing or degrading you. There comes a point when this can no longer be tolerated. It is an abusive relationship and if there are no signs the organization is going to remove this type of person then you must remove yourself.
You are surrounded by egregious behavior. If you are the victim of bullying or sexual or other harassment it is definitely time to move on. You should not be uncomfortable at work.
Your voice is no longer heard. Your successes aren’t celebrated, you can’t seem to get meetings with the upper ranks or your ideas are dismissed without any real discussion. If you are being ignored it may be time to move on.
Sunday blues are every Sunday. You know that feeling that comes Sunday afternoon. The weekend was great you are relaxed and then you realize afternoon is turning to evening and in less than 12 hours you will arrive at work. If you aren’t excited and looking forward to going back to the office it is probably time to make a career change.
You’ve made a mistake that is beyond repair. There is nothing wrong with making a mistake as long as we learn from it. Sometimes you will make a mistake that the boss just won’t let go of. If that is the case, it is probably time to quit your job.
The company’s financial health is spiraling downward. Business is slowing down, there is no money for basic supplies or perhaps layoffs are occurring. When this happens you should start looking for a position with another company.
As a result of our recent economic crisis many employees have felt trapped at their job. If you are the boss you need to know that your staff is actively looking for new opportunities. According to a recent survey seventy-four percent of employees admitted to looking for a new job. As a boss you should look out for these signs within your staff and if you value them, try to help them through it by understanding why they feel this way, what their goals are and what more you can do to help them achieve them.
If these signs apply to you and you have that voice inside your head that just won’t stop urging you to leave here is how to get started.
- Make a check-list: Update resume, update social profiles, build your reference lists, start networking with a high level of intensity and so on.
- Sign-up for several of the job boards that are out there and there are many.
- Never search while at work. Remember all your activity is monitored and anything you do on a company computer is company property and subject to search at any time.
- Maintain the highest level of productivity as possible. If you start missing work, arriving late, leaving early you could subject yourself to disciplinary action which won’t help when it comes time for reference checks.
- Stay positive. While the job market is thawing and more and more companies are hiring it still may take time for you to find the next perfect opportunity.
Can you think of any other signs that it is time to leave your job or have suggestions on how to go about re-entering the job search market? Provide your comments below and add to the discussion.
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