Is it time to move on?
03/02/2017 Recruitment advice
There's a small percentage of people who decide to leave their jobs with a 'bang'.
But, for most people, the process of looking for a new job is a longer process that will be accompanied by at least some degree of apprehension.
We curated some of the most common reasons the people we work with talk about that made them realise it was time to move on. It might be just one, or a combination of this list that resonates, but if you find yourself nodding in agreement, it might be time to consider pastures new.
You’re not learning
Occasionally a little mental downtime can be nice, but boredom over a prolonged period of time is concerning. Technologists are a curious breed and are always looking for problems to solve. It's a bit of a cliche, but if you're not learning, you're not growing. Your skills are effectively atrophying, and becoming less useful in a competitive and fast-moving market.
While you would be lucky to be a job where you consider every single piece of work you do to be ‘enjoyable’, having a sense of pride is vital to feeling fulfilled. If are finding yourself bored by the work you’re doing, it can be worth discussing the possibility of moving onto other projects or undertaking some further learning through courses or conferences, but if it doesn't alleviate your concerns, it may be time to seek out a new challenge.
You’ve got nothing nice to say
If someone asks you about your job you change the topic as quickly as you can. Perhaps most of your conversations with your colleagues revolve around complaining about your work.
While you might not want to wax lyrical about work all the time, if you find that your occasional moan has grown into a daily diatribe, you should consider the effects - negative conversations can have a real impact on your wider mood and outlook, and ultimately consider whether it’s time for you to make a change.
The rewards aren’t cutting it
Whether you would describe yourself as money motivated or not, your pay and benefits package is a measure of how much your employer values your work. While It’s completely fine to be content in a position that perhaps has a lower salary but with great progression and development opportunities (actually this is often a better long-term game plan that fixating on the starting salary!), but if you aren’t clear about what opportunities you have in lieu of a strong salary, it can be a sign that you’re not being valued for your work, and it may be time to discuss this with your manager, or failing that, look at other opportunities.
The first step in this process is some market research to help you benchmark your skills and experience. Take a look at our guidance for this, or get in touch and we'll be happy to give you some no-strings advice.
You're out of (work-life) balance
If something has changed in your life - perhaps you’ve welcomed a new addition to the family, or you're part of a startup that needs some attention, you might need to consider a role that adjusts for this. There are a lot of organisations that offer flexible and remote solutions - if your current company isn't one of them then perhaps it's time to move on.
But work-life balance isn’t only something to think about when something changes in your life. If you’re missing out on seeing friends and family because you’re travelling, or your health is suffering because you’re run down - your work-life balance isn't right. Even if you’re enjoying the work you’re doing, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your life.
You don’t like the look of up
There are two core questions you should think about here. Do you respect your manager? Would you want their job?
Respecting your manager is about appreciating what they do and how they do it - even if you disagree with them. However, if you find yourself frustrated by your manager's lack of vision, their indecisiveness, their bad temper - or any issue that you don’t see as easily solved, it may be time to reconsider your options.
This idea of respect also extends to whether you'd want to do your manager's job. If you don't, perhaps you need to have a think about whether that’s an issue with progressing at this company - in which case it may be time to consider other organisations, or if the issue is in fact that your career path as it stands isn’t the route you want to be on and that you need to change course.
The big picture doesn't look great
You have doubts about the organisation or what they’re doing. Are you proud of what you're a part of?
Alternately, your concerns might be more practical. Perhaps you’re seeing a flow of people leaving, or hearing regular announcements about a restructure or shuffling of management, which may indicate leadership issues or a shaky strategic direction. While sometimes a restructure can be a good thing, more often than not they signal turbulence, and you should consider whether you believe the organisation has the leadership in place to turn things around - and whether you actually want to be part of that.
Deciding to move on is a deeply personal decision, but it’s always wise to be subjective and regularly assess your current situation, and keep one ear to the ground so to speak, by being aware of your market.