According to a survey conducted by Aviva in early 2021, as many as three in five workers had hopes or plans to change their jobs after the pandemic.
Some 24 months on, however, and many professionals are still in roles where they don’t feel entirely fulfilled; mulling over the pros and cons of making a change while still trying to find the good in their current situation.
If that’s you, you might be wondering: how exactly do you know when it's time to move on from a job? In this post, we detail seven tell-tale signs to watch out for.
How do you know when a job is no longer right for you?
1. You’ve stopped learning from your colleagues
There’s a saying in sport that you only improve by playing people better than you. Something similar is true in the working world, where people learn best from those around them who have longer careers with more skills and experience to pass on. One of the first signs it’s time to change your job should come when you look around and see your immediate peers are all vastly less experienced than you and can offer precious little to your own personal development. Of course, that could be the case if you’re a manager – but in those instances, you’d expect to have other managers you could learn from, and a senior team above you who can offer advice and guidance. If you don’t, it could be time to start updating that CV.
2. You feel taken for granted
We look at good career decisions a little like driving a car. Your head may do the steering, but when it's time to move on from a job it’s your heart that presses the accelerator. In other words, your feelings matter. So if you feel unappreciated in your role, that should be a critical factor in your decision-making process.
A wise approach here is to go to define exactly what it is that’s making you feel that way and how the company could change it, then go to your line manager with your concerns. For instance, if it’s simply the pay, that could be addressed by renegotiating your salary – a common occurrence, as we’ve outlined previously on our blog. If the issues are deeper-rooted, however – for instance, you’re being denied opportunities you feel you’ve earned, or a change to the company culture has left a bad taste in your mouth – that’s a very strong sign it’s time to change your job.
3. You’re going through the motions – and can’t see it changing
If you’re considering when to move jobs it’s likely because a little lethargy has crept in to your day-to-day. This goes beyond routine – it’s more a feeling of having lost any forward momentum in your jobs and your overall career. Ask yourself: if your role now largely the same as it was a year ago? Is it likely to change in the next 12 months? And can you see yourself being happy with that status quo? If not, it could be time to go.
4. You’ve become distant from your co-workers
It takes all sorts to make a work environment gel. Some people are introverts. Some are staunch extroverts. But everyone to some level loves connecting with other people and enjoying a little social time – even if it’s just the occasional Friday night post-work pint or a chat over lunch once in a while. But if in recent months you’ve found yourself withdrawing from the social aspect of the workplace, it’s a sure sign you aren’t happy there and are – consciously or otherwise – preparing yourself to move on from it. If that’s you, that could be how you know when it's time to change jobs.
5. Your life outside work is suffering, too
Feeling happy and fulfilled in your job can give you a reason to get out of bed on a Monday morning. But feeling on edge and unhappy about going to work can keep you up with worry long after your bedtime on a Sunday night. If your job is impacting your wellness, leaving you drained, and even damaging your important relationships from the impact of the pressure and stress, that’s one of the most sure-fire signs it's time to change jobs.
6. You don’t feel like you’re making a difference
If the point directly above is a giant great whopping alarm bell, this one is more like a ringing in your ear. People crave a role where they feel they can make a real difference – even more so after the pandemic . It could be that you’re good at what you do, like your co-workers and have no real complaints, but there’s a general underlying feeling “is this really it?” when it comes to the wider impact you’re making on the world.
Of course, that might not mean you need to change professional jobs. It could be that volunteering, enrolling in a night course, or taking on a side hustle are good ways to go instead. But if you’ve decided you need that fulfilment from your main career role, that could be how you know when it's time to move on from your job.
7. You keep daydreaming about what comes next
When is it time to move on from a job? When you’ve already mentally checked out. That might not mean you’re doing the bare minimum – after all, you’ll have certain professional standards you operate by, and you’ll want to take those intact into the next challenge. But if you find you spend a lot of your working day wondering about how else you could spend your time, and you spend your coffee and lunch breaks looking at your phone for new roles elsewhere, you’re already far past wondering when to move jobs. By that point, it’s just a case of finding the right role, acing the interview(s), and writing your notice letter.
Ready to move on in your career? We can help
At Dynamite, we’re always in talks with employers about their open roles across a wide range of sectors. And because we’re a boutique agency , we spend more time with our candidates: asking you the questions that can really get you thinking about your career, and doing everything we can to get you prepared for an interview that might just change your life.
So if you’ve weighed up when it's time to move on from a job and decided that time is now… why wait any longer? Take a look at our open vacancies and see how we can support you via our candidate services page and the helpful blogs below. Alternatively, get in touch with us for a chat about how we can work for you.