Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A new calendar year provides the opportunity to rethink your personal goals and professional aspirations. If you find yourself feeling uninspired, restless, or overly stressed about work, it may be time to begin looking elsewhere for a new opportunity. If you really dislike your work or co-workers, it may be easy to know when to go. But, if your job isn’t that bad, how do you know when it is time to move on? Reflect on the following five signs to see if you should stay or go.

FIVE SIGNS THAT IT MAY BE TIME TO GO

  1. Becoming Complacent

If your goal is to advance your career and you have been in the same position at the same organization for more than three years, it is probably time to consider external opportunities. It is normal to feel content with a job that has become routine and provides a good salary and pleasant co-workers, but it is important that the feeling of contentment does not become one of complacency. Complacency can cause you to put off doing tasks needed for moving forward. And if too much time passes, complacency can lead to fear – fear of change or fear of the unknown. This fear can be paralyzing and hold you back.

  1. No Longer Learning

If you feel that your work is no longer challenging and that you are operating on autopilot, then you may need to find another opportunity where you can grow. It is not necessary to learn something new every week on the job, but you should be able to improve upon fundamental skills and develop new ones. Don’t expect your boss to offer these growth opportunities. You may have to pursue them by asking to join a new project, attend a conference, or take a class. However, if these opportunities aren’t available, your current organization may not care about your career development.

  1. Observing Re-organizations

If your organization experiences repeated re-organizations and shifts in management, this can signal problems in leadership and strategic operations. Your career development needs are more likely to get overlooked, and your work progress will be affected. Additionally, if it seems like a lot of the good employees are leaving for other opportunities, this might mean there are better places to work. It is up to you to heed the warning signs of a troubled organization, and you need to be proactive in finding other options should you need them.

  1. Dreading Monday Mornings

If you live for Friday afternoons, but Sunday evenings feel ominous, you probably also dread Monday mornings as they signify the beginning of your workweek. While you don’t need to wake up feeling excited about your job every day, you need to be aware of persistent negative or unhappy feelings that are generated by the thought of going to work. These thoughts and feelings can cause your work performance to suffer, which creates even more stress. Additionally, chronic job stress can create mental anxiety and physical ailments, and these reactions can cause major health problems over time.

  1. Feeling Disconnected

If your ideas are not taken seriously, or you don’t get acknowledgement for great work, you may be in the wrong environment. Additionally, generic or non-existent feedback from your boss can make it hard to know how to grow as a professional or advance within your organization. Differences in the values and ethics of the organization’s operations can also create an uncomfortable work environment. These leadership oversights and work conflicts can lead to feeling disconnected from your work and cause you to mentally check-out.

NEXT STEPS

Even you feel satisfied in your current work situation, it is important to regularly evaluate how your career goals align. Reviewing your accomplishments and updating your resume at least once a year will enable you to be prepared to make a move when needed. Testing the job market and assessing the pros and cons of staying in your current job will help you decide when it is time to leave. You may find satisfaction in staying, but if you find yourself identifying with one of the five signs, then you will be able to move forward with more confidence in finding a better opportunity.

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2 thoughts on “Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. I agree completely with the “Five Reasons” outlined in this discussion. These feel good issues are a good basis for leaving or job movement in your career. However, I think you are better served if you include position/job migration as part of your career plan or career goals. You can not expect that you will have any transparency to the board room or complete insight to the direction of your organization – so don’t stay to long, allow the golden handcuffs to be to tight and don’t be unprepared to abandon ship! This is a voice of experience; looking back as I am quickly approaching my “sell by date”, I made a career mistake staying to long in a job I loved with a great company. My observation is others who changed the company which they were employed every five years, have had more lucrative careers and were best prepared when the time came to move on.

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    1. Thank you for your sharing your observation. Each situation can be very different, so people need to assess what is best for them to do at that particular time.

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