We’ve come a long way from the days when workers would stay with the same company for decades until it was time to retire. Professional perspectives have vastly changed since then, emphasizing the value that different experiences bring to developing a diversified skill set.
In fact, evidence shows that successful people change jobs more often, and that to maximize your success, you should be changing jobs at least every three to five years.
The question is, how do you know when to change jobs? For some people, the telltale reasons may be staring them starkly in the face, and they can’t be ignored. But for others, the signs can be so subtle they go unnoticed, leaving one stuck, stagnating and stalled.
If something feels different or “off” about your job, but you can’t quite put a finger on what it is, let’s take a long, hard look at some of the reasons why it may be time to switch jobs.
1. You feel stressed and on the verge of burnout.
Some stress is a good thing; studies show the short-lived kind, like a challenging project, can improve alertness and performance, and even offer up a memory boost. Too much stress, on the other hand, can be detrimental to our physical and mental well-being. And it can take many forms.
- If you’re increasingly overworked, and it feels like your workload washes you over like a tidal wave, you might feel tense, agitated, always on edge or experiencing physical symptoms, like headaches or high blood pressure.
- Likewise, stress can also leave us sluggish, lacking energy or feeling depressed and can place a strain on our personal relationships. Have loved ones commented on your disposition, or that you’ve complained about your preoccupation with work? Work should fulfill us, not rob us of our happiness.
If you can relate to work stress consuming you, it may be time to look for a new job.
2. You’re uncharacteristically unproductive.
We’ve all heard about the trend of quiet quitting: doing the bare minimum at one’s job, never going above or beyond their job description, putting in the least time, effort and enthusiasm called for. Quiet quitting is generally perceived as a deliberate action. But if you’re feeling apathetic or detached, find yourself watching the clock, begin missing deadlines or start noticing you’re flying on autopilot, you might be quiet quitting without even knowing it. Don’t despair; it’s not your fault. Feeling disengaged or unenthusiastic about your work could be an indicator that your job doesn’t challenge you any longer, or that your employer isn’t prioritizing you or your success — signs it may be time to seek new opportunities that excite you, like your current job once did.
3. You’re no longer learning anything new.
A great deal of what explains our growth as professionals is our willingness to learn, but we need opportunities to learn in order to grow. Your workplace may once have been a place to quickly develop new skills and learn new internal processes, systems, software, ways of doing things and most importantly, the ins and outs of your particular industry. It may have been a high-energy environment on the cutting edge, offering you 21st century skills coveted by others. Your company may have stagnated on these fronts, remaining stuck in the past with their technology, rules and regulations. And if your job description may also remain unchanged for years beyond the same old same old, it’s understandable why you may be feeling a bit restless in your role. If you feel you can do your job in your sleep, it’s a sign you may have outgrown a job that no longer challenges you.
4. You feel undervalued — or not valued at all.
Your contributions, output and opinions were always held in such high regard, but lately, you may be feeling overlooked, even somewhat invisible. Less work may be coming your way. You may be overlooked for a promotion you thought you were in line for. You’re not “in the loop” as much as in the past, and relationships with coworkers seem more distant than what once was. Granted, some of this could be in your imagination, but trust your instincts. When we don’t feel appreciated as a professional and as a person, or what we bring to the table isn’t recognized or acknowledged, it can lead to a serious sense of unfulfillment that can’t be denied. If you’ve done your best to change these situations for the better to no avail, it might be an opportunity to address some of these concerns with your manager. If nothing changes, or your distress falls on deaf ears, it might be time to move on.
5. You fantasize about a new job.
You find yourself “checking out” while you’re on the clock, daydreaming about your ideal job and how different it would be from your current setup. It even comes to you in your dreams at night. You spend more time than usual browsing job postings online, and suddenly you feel very self conscious about what you do in your role. You might even feel slightly ashamed to talk about who you work for and what you do. You might also unknowingly talk to family and friends about moving onto greener pastures and finding a new job. While proactively keeping your eyes open for new opportunities is always a good idea, in this case the pervasive feelings are surefire signs you’re dissatisfied with your job.
Turn To T2P for Your Next Job Opportunity
We have good news: you don’t need to remain stuck in a job that no longer fulfills you — and your dream job doesn’t need to be a figment of your imagination. We have helped scores of professionals in accounting, finance and human resources land their ideal opportunities.
Ready to find a new job? Browse our job openings to get closer to taking the next step in your career.