Turn Setbacks into Setups

Stay the Course or Change Direction? How to Know When it’s Time for a Job Change

January 30, 2019

Sometimes, it’s obvious when you need to quit your job and move on. Maybe you’re in a toxic workplace, for example, or it’s clear that there’s a much better opportunity elsewhere.


But sometimes, we struggle with the decision. After all, even in the most fulfilling jobs, there will always be times when we don’t feel like heading to work, or when we argue with a coworker. That’s when knowing when and how to change your life for the better becomes so important—because whether it’s your career or personal life, understanding when it’s time to make a change vs. knowing when to stay the course is half the battle.


If you still need a little more clarity about your next step, we’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind when considering making a change in your work life.


Negative Observations


If you’re having any or all of these feelings, it may be time for a change.


You no longer enjoy your job.


From time to time, we’re all a little reluctant to head into our workplace. But you shouldn’t dread Mondays, or spend the entire workweek living for the weekend. Maybe you simply aren’t passionate about the work you’re responsible for, or maybe you don’t get along with your coworkers. Maybe you feel bored, or maybe you feel overworked. Whatever the case, when you constantly have negative feelings about the place you’re spending 5/7ths of your week, it’s probably time to change your course.


You aren’t getting the support you need.


It’s easy to blame ourselves when things go wrong on the job. But sometimes, we’re simply in over our heads. If you’re drowning in responsibilities without getting the support you need, you should take a hard look at your workplace. This lack of support can come in other forms as well, like an upper management that doesn’t support your personal growth and development.


You’re no longer learning or growing.


You love what you do—in theory. But as passionate as you are about your work, you feel like you don’t have further opportunities to grow and develop at your current job. There’s no challenge. Maybe you’re simply stuck in a rut, or maybe you’ve just outgrown the environment, company culture, and coworkers.


Positive Observations


If you’re having any of these observations about your work life, then good for you! Remember, these can often exist side by side with negative feelings. In that case, it’s time for a cost vs. benefits analysis of your work life.


Your thoughts are often on your job.


Most of the time, you’re excited to think and plan your next steps at work, and you take interest in the job, company, or your skillset. You sometimes find yourself thinking ahead, even beyond the task at hand, to plan future projects. You find yourself asking the “bigger picture” questions and not getting the satisfying answers you want.


You want more out of your work.


In the back of your mind, you know you’re better, smarter, and more fit for the job than your boss or superiors—and you’re beginning to think you could do a better job than they do! Your confidence is growing, and you feel inspired and energized by the thought of taking on more. ‘


Attracted to the idea of leading people


The idea of leading people attracts you, and you’re hoping to get more future satisfaction out of what you do at your company. If you think you’d be good at heading a team at work, but don’t have any leadership experience, consider your personal and social relationships. Do you find yourself making the plans or parties in the group? From choosing restaurants to coordinating schedules and delegating planning tasks, all requires an aspect of leadership.


If you’d like to test the waters of leading and gain some experience, consider joining a volunteer group, use that opportunity to seek out a leadership role and learn leadership skills to take back to the workplace.


After weighing the negatives and the positives of your situation, you’ll hopefully find a little more clarity about changing your life for the better.


If it becomes obvious that you’ve graduated from your current position, look around to figure out what’s next. But if your work still energizes you, start moving forward! Having negative feeling surrounding your work doesn’t always mean its time for a change. It could just be time for a change within your workplace. Make sure you prove yourself repeatedly over time, over the course of several years…and when the opportunity to move forward presents itself, take it!

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