If your shoes or clothes no longer fit, you would get a new pair or a new outfit; correct? If a friendship or relationship no longer fits, you would let them go and form new friendships or relationships, correct? When things no longer fit, we normally move on to better fitting shoes, clothes, friendships, or relationships. It should be the same for our jobs as well. When a job no longer fits, shouldn’t we get a new one? That doesn’t happen as easily or as quickly though; we stay and excuse away the very reasons why we should prepare for and begin a search for a better fitting job. I’ve outlined 10 reasons that it’s time to move on from a tight- and ill-fitting job to one that gives you more room to breathe…to grow…to GLOW!
You feel undervalued and underappreciated. You have an unwavering work ethic, show up daily, and fully contribute to the department / company goals. You have a positive attitude, and your output has made a positive difference; yet you do not feel that your work and contributions are appreciated or valued. You are passed over for special projects, promotions, and recognition and you know that the more you do, the more is expected all without a kind word of thanks or appreciation.
You see no room for growth or no career development path. In addition to all that you do and all that you bring to the table, there’s not a clear career path to the next step or next position. You contribute ideas to the goals and growth of the company (department), but these ideas land flat…not resulting in an opportunity to promote or grow. You have even talked with your manager about your wanting to move up within the company and she/he empathizes with you and understands your desire to move up—but it stops right there, and you hear nothing back.
No coaching or mentorship opportunities. Everyone deserves or should have a mentor at work; a person that they can look to for career guidance and advice. This mentor or advocate has been where you, recognizes your talent and positive contributions in the workplace and can recommend you for projects and provide opportunities for visibility by upper management or human resources.
You do not feel challenged at work. If you are the type of person who gets satisfaction from solving problems or working on complex projects or If you are bored at work, it may be time to move on. The job that you do should give you the opportunity to utilize your strategic thinking skills and provide you enough of a challenge that you feel fulfilled in what you do daily.
The company mission no longer fits your beliefs/purpose. Normally companies have a mission and vision statement that serves as a guide for how they operate and for the culture of the company. Have you reviewed the mission and vision statement lately? Does the company operate with those values in mind? Do these values fit who you are? What is the culture of the company like? Asking yourself these questions is important as you want to make sure that where you work aligns with your values and goals.
No teamwork; personality conflicts. There is nothing worse than working with a team of bitter and selfish people. Remember team assignments where you felt you were the only one doing all the work, but the entire team got credit? Is your team currently operating like this? Do you feel you are carrying the weight of the work for the entire team? If you feel like this, it may be time to rethink if this environment is still a good for you.
Poor management. Does your manager manage? Is your manager engaged in the day-to-day responsibilities and understand the tasks at hand? Can speak with your manager [without fear or judgement] about things that concern you, ideas, or career progression? Do you have regular one on one meetings with your manager to discuss performance and get guidance on how to improve? Do you feel supported by your manager?
Stressed out and dread going to work. Is work causing you stress? Do you dread going in or find yourself calling off sick? Stress shows us many different ways; tiredness, irritability, and even illness. Pay attention to what your body tells you and follow up with your physician, if needed. Pay attention to how you feel at work.
Your vision and career purpose has changed. You have come to the point where you have a clear vision for where you want to steer your career. You have career clarity and the tools (education and experience) to make your next career move. It’s great that you have been strategic and have taken the steps necessary to continue to move forward in your career. Now is the time to conduct a thorough job search that now fits your current career vision.
No recognition or praise. Recognition is important to most people and even if it isn’t, everyone deserves a thank you or “pat on the back” for a job well done. When is the last time that someone thanked you or gave you kudos for your contributions – think of what type of recognition is important to you as well – monetary, certificates, mentions, etc.
If any of these 10 signs resonates with you it is time to take inventory of your work and work environment and compare that against your current needs as an employee and your career goals. When you understand the type of work that you want to do, your purpose, and your strengths you will find that you have more control over your career; these are tools that will put you in the driver’s seat.
As a career coach, I advise clients to take inventory of what’s important to them at work and compare that to their current career / job needs. If they match, that’s wonderful. Think of what’s most important to you out of the 10 signs above and then then think of what’s most important to you should and that should determine what career move you should make (if any at all).