A friend of mine is contemplating whether she should start looking for a different job. She wonders if now is the right time to move on? She is second guessing herself about whether her uneasiness is real, valid, or perhaps premature.
This is a tough decision, particularly if you have a family to support and a need for security. But here’s the thing:
1. We all have bad days and maybe even a day week. Perhaps a bad month. But when you are feeling uninspired and unengaged for a period of time, your mind and heart have already decided. It is just up to you to recognize this and act on it.
2. Acting on your need for a change might mean taking another job within your current company or seeking a position with another company. In my friend’s case, she has nowhere to go internally, so she will begin her search for a job with another company.
3. It is important to differentiate the need to move on from a false view that the grass is greener somewhere else.
Need to move on:
- You do not feel like you are growing.
- You do not see that this will change in the near future.
- You do not feel that you work is challenging.
- You have interests that cannot be explored with your current work.
- You want to make a career change.
Grass is greener:
- If you leave, you would seek the same job at a different company.
- Your complaints and frustrations are pretty common. You have felt the same way at other companies.
- You are drawn to an idealistic picture of a different company. If your desire to move is more about the company than the work, I would urge caution.
- You have been in your position less than two years.
My friend has been at her job several years, she is no longer learning or growing, and there are no major projects or initiatives that excite her coming down the pike. It is time for her to move on.
If you have a an OK (albeit unfulfilling) job and you have determined that it is time to move on, you owe it to yourself to be picky and completely honest. When we NEED a particular job we might fail to scrutinize the company and the position. We focus on getting an offer and are thrilled to accept it. But when you are proactively moving on, you need to ensure that you are looking out for your interests and needs.
- What are you really looking for? What kind of work flips your trigger? Do you want to manage programs or people or both?
- What kind of organization would you most enjoy? Do you like big and competitive companies or smaller and more laid back companies?
- What kind of boss best suits your style?
Ask yourself the questions that will help you narrow your search. Clarify in your mind why it is time for you to move on and be at peace with your decision.