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When to Change Jobs

In any relationship, it pays to step back periodically and see where you are going. Is it going well or is it time to break up? Such an assessment also applies to your job. When does it make sense to look for a situation offering more opportunity? When should you stay where you are and avoid the trauma and hassle of a job change?

Here are some of the ways you can tell when it is time to move:

Your employer is not top-rate
  • If the organization you work for is not one of the best in its field, maybe its time to stop apologizing for it and leave the ship.
  • It's hard to compete with other firms or agencies that have better leadership, better products or services.
You don't seem to be appreciated
  • Somehow you're never picked to make key reports or to attend important meetings; you just can't seem to get the opportunity to demonstrate what you can do.
  • Perhaps you are not destined to do well in the environment or can't seem to communicate your true abilities. In either case, a fresh new opportunity may help.
Promotion lines are clogged or non-existent
  • There seems to be no clear career path ahead of you.
  • Newly hired people with higher degrees or relatives seem to have the upper hand.
  • Perhaps there simply aren't that many good jobs where you work anyway.
  • Unless you see where you might move ahead, maybe no one else can either.
Talks with your bosses don't help
  • Make a point to talk with supervisors about your progress and prospects. Judge their reaction: Do their eyeballs roll up to the sky? Or do they seem genuinely interested in your future with the organization? These are the clues that should guide your actions.
Your best skills aren't being utilized
  • We are all a combination of strengths and weaknesses. We do best in situations that make full use of our abilities and in which our weaknesses are not too critical.
  • If you can't use your top talent in your current job, consider searching for a situation that would.
Your network within the organization is weak
  • Colleagues who are friendly, who support your work (and you theirs) are important to both your personal happiness and job success.
  • If you do not seem to “fit,” that's another reason for considering a change.
From Macalester College