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When should you start looking for a new job? 

The thought of looking for a new job is a big decision, one that can be daunting. So much that it is common for us to avoid doing so, even when it may very much be time to make a move. However, because we are creatures of habit, our human tendency is to remain as we are. This is because change can be scary – even when it is the right thing to do. For this reason, so many people experience burnout and find that their careers leave them feeling dissatisfied. There may have been times that you, too, have experienced such feelings. Perhaps you are feeling this way right now. So what can and should you do about it? When is the right time to consider a career change?

Before hitting the panic button, keep in mind that everyone deals with work fatigue from time to time. Even those who are working their “dream job” can still fall into ruts. It is important however, to distinguish a few bumps in the road from the true signs that indicate it’s time to make a career change and initiate the job search process. Thoughtful consideration is very important here. The last thing you want to do is think you are in a bad situation and leave your job… only to realize that the grass is in fact, NOT greener on the other side. Before you start planning your exit strategy, you may wonder at what point is it actually the right time to start looking for a new job?

Although people leave their jobs for a multitude of valid reasons, there are a few telling signs. While some of these signs can be deceiving, let us take a look at a few indicators that might tell you it’s time for a career change:

1. You’ve simply outgrown your company

Regardless of how wonderful your company might be, it may be possible that it no longer offers any upward growth. In other words, you’ve reached your limit within the company and are stuck in your current position. Naturally, we want to feel progress and growth in our careers and sometimes upward progression is not an option. If you are at a point in your career where you plan on working 10+ years and feel stifled in your current position, it could be time to explore your options.

2. Your skills are underutilized and undervalued

With every career, you are bound to find certain aspects of your job unfavorable or tedious. However, it is important that those aspects are not overpowering your skill set. We want to feel fulfilled in our careers, and the way we do that is by utilizing our strengths for the greater good of the company. So if you find yourself spending far greater time on the tedious things rather than applying your strengths and the skill set for which you were hired, this might indicate that you should consider initiating the job search process.

3. Managerial and/or colleague issues

We are all unique as human beings. It goes without saying that conflict and disagreement is an inevitable part of life. In most cases, we tend to have the ability of putting those differences aside to find common ground. However, this is not always the case. Occasionally, personality clashes can be extremely overbearing – especially when this occurs at work. Ultimately, we are forced to be with these people for as much time as we spend with our own families. So, if you have found that the team you are a part of drastically differs in values and principles, you may want to consider finding a new group to work with.

4. You can’t stand the thought of Monday morning

It is normal to feel a case of the Sunday blues as you set that alarm clock for 6 am after a rest filled weekend. However, keep in mind that it is very important to differentiate not wanting the weekend to end and dreading the workweek to start. If you have found yourself overly anxious each time Monday morning rolls around, then you may want to think back to when this started. If this has been the case only since you started with your current company and not prior to, then you may want to consider why. When you do, if you are finding that each reason revolves around things at work that are out of your control and unlikely to change, it could be time to start looking for a new job elsewhere.

5. You don’t believe in your company’s mission

Off all signs, this may be the most important to consider. If you feel as though you’re in a situation where you can’t necessarily stand behind and support your company’s mission, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to perform at your fullest, best self. Keep in mind, not everyone has the luxury of having a career they are extremely passionate about. However, finding a company to work for with a mission you can back is imperative to your success.

While none of these signs are particularly fun to experience, they can be very insightful. Have you experienced any or all of these thoughts/feelings consistently over an extended period of time? If so, perhaps it is time to consider a change and begin looking for a new job. Ultimately, it might be time to do a little self reflection. Think about specific instances you have felt any of these signs. Consider how often and for how long these feelings reoccur. Put together a list of pros and cons. This is an easy and extremely valuable way to analyze and weigh out the good, bad, and ugly that comes with your career. You may find that there are only a few things you truly dislike and vice versa. Finally, listen to your gut. Ultimately, you and you only will be the deciding factor.  

If you would like to connect with a recruiter to discuss a career change or are in the process of looking for a new job and need assistance, send us a message!

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