The decision to leave a job is a pivotal moment in one's professional journey, yet the reluctance to start anew often leads individuals to endure unsatisfying, toxic and deflating roles. Teri Hockett, Chief Executive of the career site 'What’s For Work?', emphasises the weightiness of the decision to leave a job saying, “It’s the topic that keeps them up at night thinking, 'what should I do?' They consult with friends and family, seeking advice, to validate their reasoning. They know the answer, which always involves change, but the difficult part is making the change itself.” According to Forbes' experts, there are 14 signs that indicate it might be time to leave your current job and today we’re going to discuss a few of the most common ones.
It's worth mentioning that the aftermath of the global pandemic prompted a significant shift in the job market landscape. In 2021, following the pandemic, a Microsoft survey revealed that 41% of more than 30,000 workers worldwide were considering quitting or changing professions that same year. In the same year, in the UK and Ireland, research by HR software company Personio found that 38% of respondents were planning to quit within the next 6-12 months, marking a period dubbed "The Great Resignation". The pandemic led to a global change in ‘traditional’ office working and began a new employee desire for more flexible working arrangements and requiring hybrid or fully remote roles.
A key sign that it might be time to seek new opportunities is a strong dislike for the people you work with, or your immediate supervisor. While it's normal to encounter challenges in the workplace, sustained dissatisfaction with your colleagues or boss can negatively impact your overall job satisfaction. Spending a significant amount of time with colleagues makes it essential to work with people you can, if nothing else, tolerate being around. You can try to work out problems you’re having with colleagues, but note that these problems are not always fixable.
If your skills are not being recognised or utilised effectively, it might be a sign that it's time to move on. If you find that management are not acknowledging your potential or that you've been passed over for promotions, it can be disheartening. Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert, notes that being excluded from key assignments or meetings may signal that your contributions are not being valued, “No one has said anything, however, you are no longer getting the plum assignments, you are no longer asked to attend key meetings, or your proposals are met with silence or denial". Feeling repeated rejection or oversight may be enough to make you consider your options and look elsewhere.
Another telltale sign is when your job duties increase, but your compensation does not. When increased workload fails to translate into improved pay or benefits, it may be a signal to explore other opportunities. Your skills and contributions should be appropriately rewarded, particularly if you are often having to perform outside of your expected scope, and if they are not, it could be worth seeking a company that will value you more. Remember the role you were hired for, and if this has significantly changed it is always worth speaking to your superiors about reassessing your employee package.
Reflecting on your long-term job satisfaction is crucial. If you have consistently been unhappy for an extended period, it might be time to take action. Continuous postponing of this decision may lead to prolonged dissatisfaction and even result in a lack of confidence in securing a move. With this, we're not just talking about the 'Sunday Scaries', it's considering if your unhappiness within work is affecting your happiness outside of work and if so it may be necessary to move for your own mental wellbeing. It's also essential to consider the possibility of burnout and to discuss the situation with your manager or HR and contemplate whether a break might help you recharge and reassess your feelings.
Recognising the signs indicating it might be time to leave your job is a crucial step in managing your professional well-being. The decision to explore new opportunities can lead to personal and career growth. If any of the discussed factors resonate with your current situation, it may be worthwhile to assess your goals, company culture preferences, compensation expectations, and overall career trajectory. Consulting with experienced professionals, such as our consultants at EJ Legal, can provide valuable insights and ensure that your next move aligns with your aspirations and requirements.