- You hate it: I will get deeper than this but sometimes it’s good to start with the obvious. Do you hate your job? Are the hours awful? Is it negatively impacting your personal/family life? Don’t make a rash decision but if there’s no end in sight and management doesn’t seem to care, it’s time to move on. We’re lumping all of those reasons into #1.
- You’ve accomplished what you set out to do. You should have clear goals when you start a new position or shortly after. Your list of responsibilities will resemble the job description. You should have another list of things you want to actually accomplish. These are resume builders. Improve a specific process, automate something, save the company money. Think about it from a resume perspective. The more experienced you get, the more important it is to have tangible accomplishments. People you will compete against for future jobs can do the “responsibilities”. That’s a given. But can they add value by automating a manual process or upgrading an ERP system? Take a few minutes to think about what your resume would look like if you update it with your current position. That will help you determine if it’s time to move on or if you have work left to do.
- You’re no longer learning or getting better. When this happens, you are no longer increasing your marketability. You’re plateauing. This will happen in most roles or come close. It’s important to recognize when you’re maxing out so you can react accordingly. You always hear that job hopping is bad. Staying somewhere too long is also bad. Sometimes worse. Your marketability will decrease if you stay somewhere too long.
- You’ve hit a ceiling in your company: If #2 and/or #3 have happened to you, I suggest you first think about what else might be available internally. Can your role be expanded? Are there other positions you could move into? If yes, do those options keep you on the path to achieve your goals? Do they interest you? Will they come with a pay raise? If you’re unsure, it often times makes sense to test the market externally to compare to options that exist internally. In a market the size of Indianapolis there are very few companies big enough to offer enough job movement opportunities internally for someone to stay for 10 years +. There is also plenty of research that suggests staying with one company for too long limits your income potential over the life of your career. Here’s one of those articles: Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less
- Opportunity Calls! You have nothing to lose by learning more about an opportunity. You aren’t being disloyal to your employer by simply learning more about an opportunity you were approached about. Timing’s not right? Timing is rarely perfect. I’ve seen countless people rule out a great opportunity with no information. All this being said, do not pursue an external opportunity to the point of an offer and use that to get more money internally. If by chance you get more money to stay, you’ve lost the trust of management and there’s a good chance they’ll be looking for your replacement. It’s not worth it. I’m sure I’ll write about that in a future post.
It’s easy to get comfortable. That’s actually when it’s time to assess your situation. Career management needs to be an intentional process.
Do you have more to accomplish in your role or is it time for a new challenge? Hopefully this has been helpful with that decision. Interested in discussing your situation? Let’s grab coffee or a beer and chat about it.
As always, thanks for reading.