When to know it is time to change jobs (even if you don’t want to)

Monique Neal
December 1, 2021

Change can be difficult, but job changes are necessary for both personal and professional growth. While change has risks to it, the long-term happiness you can achieve is often worth the risk.

Even in a job you like, you may feel something is missing. This could be an underutilisation of a certain skillset, or few opportunities to growth or take on new challenges. When you are not achieving something you value, an important question to ask yourself is “Can I find this here, or do I need to leave?”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to change your entire life plans. This could be as simple as saying ‘yes’ to a learning opportunity, taking a short course on the side, or having a conversation with your manager.

Here are 6 reflection points on making a change:

Do it when you don’t need to

My favourite piece of advice comes from Career expert, Christian Eilers. Eilers suggests that the best time to change jobs is when you don’t feel the need to. When someone feels pressured to find a new job, they are more likely to react instead of thinking things through.  They may accept offers that are lower than their requirements to get out of their current position. Spend some time to reflect on what your current job offers you and what else you want out of a job, and keep your options open.

The negatives outweigh the positives

Everyone has their ups and downs. Even with the best of jobs we can find ourselves complaining about a task, an event, a colleague, or a boss. However, there comes a time when stress, complaining, and feeling negative can lead to poor wellbeing that negatively affects our everyday life. Find a job that makes you happier and watch your physical and mental health improve.  

You’ve seriously considered leaving

This one is a no-brainer. What are your excuses for not leaving? Often this leads down to money, but more often, it is self-doubt. The self-doubt can come from confusion about what we actually want. Reflect on your purpose and what is important to you now.  Have a look at what is available and consider how your transferable skills may apply to a job where you can keep growing. Even if you don’t start applying today, it is good to know what options you may have.

You don’t feel valued

Work will never be as fulfilling when you don’t feel like your contributions are being recognised. Over time you may realise that you’ve stopped putting in the same effort and enthusiasm that you used to. You need to find a job that puts your time, talent, and skills to good use. A job that motivates you to seek opportunities to contribute further.  

You’re coasting  

It is easy to become comfortable in a job and start operating on auto-pilot. The longer you coast, the harder it is to get out of your comfort zone. Eventually, this comfort that you feel in your job could turn into boredom. To work in a flow state where we are fully present and involved in what we are doing, we need challenges at times.  These challenges give us opportunities to grow. If new opportunities in your current role don’t seem likely, then you could find it elsewhere.

You’re reading this

Unless you’re reading this for some other purpose, chances are you’re not happy in your current job. This is a sign for you to start rethinking your career.

What’s next?

Knowing what you want, why you want it, and how to get there can be harder than the decision itself.  

Skills Campus is running a Webinar on the 25th of February 2021 to help you discover exactly that.  

Skills Campus also offer Career Coaching to provide you everything you need to confidently take your next step in your career. Get in touch with us to find out more!  

Remember: it is always better if you have a new position lined up before you quit – the job process can take longer than you think!