It’s easy to think that if you have a job, you should stay in it for as
long as possible – but that mindset isn’t always right. Too many people stay in
their jobs well beyond when they should, and that ends up holding them back in
their careers and breeding unhappiness.
Here are eight signs that it’s time to think about moving on from your
1. You’ve been unhappy for months.
Everyone goes through periods of discontent at work now and then, but if
you’ve dreaded going to work for months and get anxious just thinking about your
office, that’s a sign that you should be looking at alternatives.
2. You haven't had a raise in three years.
Not every company does annual raises anymore, and the economy has meant
that some companies have frozen pay across the board. But after years of no pay
increase, it’s worth looking around at what other companies might offer you.
(Make sure you’ve asked for a raise first though; if you haven’t made the case
for increased pay, leaving over the lack of it would be premature.)
3. Your boss hates you.
Even if you like your work, having a boss who dislikes you usually means
that you’d be better off moving on. Managers have an enormous amount of control
over your career – from what projects you get to what growth opportunities
you’re given. A boss who dislikes you can hold you back and have a long-term
impact on your career. You’re far better off working for someone who will
champion you than thwart you.
4. When you tell your family and friends about your workplace,
When you’ve been in a toxic anddysfunctional workplace for a long time, you
can lose sight of how bad it is and it can even start to feel normal. If this
has happened to you, it’s a sign to get out.
5. You can’t remember the last time you felt challenged in your
Sure, some people are happy to stay at a job that simply pays the bills.
But if you’re someone who wants to grow professionally and personally, then
staying in a job that hasn’t challenged you in a long time doesn’t align with
those plans. (This doesn’t mean that you should leave at the first sign of
boredom. Rather, this is about prolonged periods where you feel like you’re
stagnating and where you see no change in sight.)
6. You’re receiving a lot more critical feedback in
If you’re suddenly getting a slew of critical feedback in emails or memos,
it’s a sign your job could be in jeopardy. Many companies require
writtendocumentation of problems before an employee is let go, so a sudden
increase of written feedback (when you didn’t used to receive any) can be a sign
that your boss is creating a paper trail to build a case for firing you.
7. You’re on a formal performance improvement plan
PIPs are often the last thing that happens before you’re fired. In theory,
if you meet the terms of the plan, you’ll preserve your job and be able to move
forward. But in practice, by the time you’re on one, it’s often because things
aren’t working out and aren’t likely to. That doesn’t mean that PIPs never end
in success; sometimes they do. But since they so often don’t, it’s smart to be
8. Your boss tells you.
If your boss says things like, “I need to see significant improvement” or
“this could get you fired,” she’s not kidding. Too often, people hear feedback
like this but don’t believe they would really be let go – and then are shocked
when they’re suddenly out of a job. If your boss is telling you directly that
things are serious, believe it – and start job searching.