At some point in our careers, and even at multiple points, we’ve all thought about moving on from our current role and whether the grass really is greener on the other side.
This mentality is very normal. After all, most of us spend at least 5 days out of the week working, and not every day is going to be smooth sailing. However, a key question that gets asked is, how do I know whether it’s time to change jobs?
Changing jobs can be a scary prospect. Self-doubt is a big contributor to making us stay put and not look at what else might be out there. We may say to ourselves, “maybe I’m just having a bad week” or “maybe I’m being ungrateful, at least I have a job”. Although this self-talk might be correct for some, other times, feeling like you need to move on can be a sign that you really should be calling it quits.
Here are 3 key signs that it’s time to look for employment elsewhere:
Your job is impacting your mental state
Most of us might complain about our jobs and sometimes on a daily basis. However, it’s not just what you are complaining about, but how this complaining is impacting your mental state and those around you.
It’s OK to come home after work and complain about how your manager didn’t understand or how a colleague isn’t pulling their weight. After all, we are all human and we all approach work in different ways. Office politics and relationships are a part of life, and it’s up to us to figure out how to cope with these different situations.
However, if you are feeling like you are in a constant state of anxiety, depression or stress, this isn’t ideal for your health, relationships outside of work and quality of life. A lot of the time, this sort of mental state also manifests into physical problems, such as tension headaches, back problems and shortness of breath.
No matter what, no job is worth your health. Although it’s important to not just quit without a safety net, such as having some savings or another job lined up, it’s time to start planning your escape plan when you health is impacted. Every day you spend in such a toxic environment is one day too many.
When you are making plans to move on, this allows you to be proactive about the situation, which can make you feel more in control and in turn may help reduce your mental anguish.
If you’re in this situation, update your CV, apply for jobs on the weekend and meet with recruitment agencies. If you can, it might also help to speak with HR or another trusted manager. They may be able to help you better cope with the situation in the meantime.
Your work isn’t doing anything for your career prospects
Sometimes your job starts out great. You’re in the role that you want and gaining new skills along the way. However, managers and business structures can change, which can result in your job no longer being the job you accepted in the first place.
For example, you may have secured a job in a junior marketing position. Your aim is to up skill and grow your marketing skill set, with the prospect of moving up the ranks to a marketing coordinator and then to a brand and marketing manager. However, due to a change in management, you see that 85% of your role now takes on sales and business development tasks.
Although it’s great to learn new skills, taking on too many responsibilities that aren’t in your direct job description can see your career plans being hijacked.
If you find yourself in this situation, speak with your manager and explain this. If it’s something that can’t be changed, then it’s time to move on. The longer you leave it, the harder it might be to get back onto your intended career path.
You don’t get on with your direct managers
Sometimes it’s not the job or company itself that’s the issue, it’s your direct manager. Managers that you don’t get on well with can impact every aspect of your job. Some common reasons why people don’t get on with their managers is because they feel belittled, micromanaged, not supported or discriminated against.
If you are being discriminated against or bullied in your job, this is against the law and there are avenues you can go down to report this. However, remember, this can sometimes be a difficult road and a lot of the time you need to have evidence to support your case. Whilst the issue is getting sorted, you may have to still work with your manager or see them regularly, which may add more stress to an already overwhelming situation.
If you manager isn’t intending to leave any time soon, it might be time that you put in place your exit strategy. Although we will always come across people we don’t like, having a bad manager is something that can be very difficult to resolve.
At the end of the day, if your health, career prospects and your rights are impacted, then it’s time to move on. Jobs are important, but they are also a place we spend a lot of time in.If we are truly unhappy, then it’s time to look at your options. Your mind and body will thank you in the long run.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.