Is it time to leave my job? It’s a good question. In these guides, we’ve focused on various aspects of how best to conduct yourself across the process of applying and interviewing for a new job. But how do you know when it’s time to set out on that journey? A lot of people face frustrations in their jobs, and no workplace is perfect, but what are the signs that you should start looking for a new position elsewhere?
Sometimes a situation is clearly not working. If you work with un-cooperative colleagues and managers who you don’t get on with, there’s really no other option than to get out of that toxic work environment and leave your job. One person can’t change an entire office’s culture, and if you notice you’re spending a lot of time outside of work venting to friends and family about your co-workers, it’s time to get new ones.
For many people, the key thing that incites them to want to leave their job is being repeatedly passed over for promotions or denied pay rises. Initially, this might seem like something that can be addressed within your current role – if you make a clear case to your manager about why you deserve the progression or the increase in pay, highlighting how long you’ve been in the role and what you’ve achieved, you may finally be able to get a step up from your starting level. But a management team that isn’t prioritising your career progression and doesn’t value your contributions isn’t going to suddenly change how they approach their staff, and you may find yourself once again stagnating for a long time without moving up the ladder. It’s worth thinking about looking for an organisation that invests more in its staff. You should also other forms of professional investment that aren’t purely monetary too – is your current job supporting you in getting new professional qualifications, attending industry events and expanding your knowledge and skills? Despite the big changes in Governance, Risk and Compliance over the last 20 years, there are still businesses that see it as a box-ticking exercise of no great value – and if you’re in an organisation that treats you that way, it might be time to move on.
Some things are not so obvious. If you’re in a job that you’re good at, it’s easy to end up coasting without realising it. When was the last time you faced a new type of problem at work? When did you last have to think creatively to tackle a task? If you’re struggling for an answer, then it might be time to think about getting into a role where you’ll be challenged more. Most of us are much happier in a role where we’re frequently expanding and pushing our skills, instead of being bored and operating on autopilot.
Many small issues in your job can be solved with open communication and making reasonable requests to the right people – but you also need to recognise when your workplace is no longer working for you. That’s when it’s time to leave – although we always recommend securing your next position before you hand in that notice.
If you’ve made the decision, read our Career Corner on how to resign the right way for some hints and tips on making the process as smooth as possible.
Are you considering leaving a permanent role to begin contracting? We took a look at the pros and cons you should consider in another Career Corner entry.