Heather Foley reveals why it might be time to move on to your next challenge.
1. Every aspect of your job feels routine and boring
When you first start a job, you may feel excited because everything is new. Gradually, however, you become more comfortable and competent at what you do, until one day you realise that you’re very good at your job.
It’s a great feeling. People probably come to you for your help and advice and you may sort out any problems that arise.
After a while, though, it becomes a routine. It always feels the same: the same problems, the same solutions, the same ideas and the same people.
Your job changes from new and exciting to, frankly, boring. If you’ve reached this stage, you definitely need a new challenge.
2. Everyone else in the business has progressed except you
Not everyone is equally talented or moves at the same pace. However, if your contemporaries have all moved forward significantly, it’s time to look at your company and your prospects objectively.
Try hard to identify whether it’s you or your company that’s stopping your further progression. Not everyone is destined to be a CEO so there’s no shame in aligning your career with your ability, aspirations and ambition levels.
Also remember that some of your peers may be happy to sell their souls for promotions. If you’re not that person, don’t compare yourself to them.
However, if you and your peers are similar and they are progressing more quickly, then it’s likely that your employer is not giving you the support and opportunities you need.
3. The company is going nowhere
Regardless of what you and your colleagues do, you may find that your company is treading water. It shows no ambition of growing, there are no new products on the horizon and there’s no plan to tackle new markets. You may conclude that there’s likely to be little opportunity for you there.
However, if people are leaving in droves, it may be worth sticking around for a while to enjoy some quick and easy promotions with great exposure to new experiences.
But be aware that this provides a finite level of opportunity. So, unless you’re the person who’s going to turn the company around and get it back on the path to growth, it’s probably time to line up the next opportunity.
4. You have a burning ambition to do something else
You may enjoy what you do and be reasonably happy, but still hold a secret desire to do something else. Whatever your dream is, make plans to do it.
It may not work out well, or it may give you the happiest career you could ever have dreamt of. Either way, you don’t want to look back in thirty or forty years with regret.
Whatever you do, it’s always a judgement call. There is no right or wrong. If your dream plan doesn’t work, apply yourself to something else. There’s always a place for bright and driven people.
But… Don’t just move for the sake of it!
You should never just move for the sake of it, as sometimes staying where you are is the right call. But if you recognise any of the above, it may be time for you to move on.
Heather Foley is a consultant at etsplc.com, a bespoke HR technology provider.
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