When burnout sets in, how do you tell whether you can salvage your love-affair with your current employer? Take it from someone who’s never stayed more than three years at any job: there’s nothing like the excitement of a new (career) flame to renew your sense of passion and enthusiasm for your profession. Moving on […]
When burnout sets in, how do you tell whether you can salvage your love-affair with your current employer? Take it from someone who’s never stayed more than three years at any job: there’s nothing like the excitement of a new (career) flame to renew your sense of passion and enthusiasm for your profession. Moving on can be the best thing for you, and no, it doesn’t look bad on your resume as long as you can articulate why you’re doing it.
If you’re like me, you compare your career to your love-life on a daily basis. So it’s nothing new that you want your job to keep you satisfied. But just like a romantic partner, it’s a two-way street, and there’s a give and take. You have to be willing to try your best, add value to the relationship, and sometimes “soldier through” the tough times to find the most fulfilling rewards. Getting out when the going gets tough is not always the right answer.
So how do you tell the difference between a “rough patch” and a complete burnout, and decide when it’s time to move on?
1. The only way to move up is through a concrete ceiling.
If you find yourself in the same role for what seems like an eternity, think about whether there’s another role in the company that interests you. Do you want a promotion? A lateral move? If you’ve tried this path and have been turned down more than once, your talents may be undervalued by your employer and you should consider find one that does value your skills. If you’re only move is to replace your boss, and they aren’t going anywhere, you should also think about your next move.
2. Opportunities for growth and success are constrained.
If your in a company that strives for mediocrity, you might find it hard to break new ground and really develop the skills you need to continue your career growth. There’s nothing more frustrating than hearing from a boss “That’s good enough,” rather than constructive feedback that helps you learn. If you’ve ceased to find people if your company that can mentor you and help you get to the next level in your career, it may be a sign that you’ve outgrown your role.
3. You can’t remember the last time you were excited about a new project.
If you’ve for your job, your first reaction to every new project is “Do I have to?” When you find yourself cringing at the thought of , and you’ve tried everything else to regain your stride, a change may be just what you need.
Another signal you’ve reached this stage in job-ennui is spending more time looking at job boards and pining after that dream job than completing your daily tasks. If you’ve actively started applying on the weekends, you’ve definitely tipped over the edge. Get out now before your boss catches you filling out job applications at the office and you end up burning your bridges!
4. The ROI has Vanished.
By “return on investment” I’m not talking strictly about financial compensation for your work — I’m talking about other forms of gratification that can come from your job, like the knowledge you’re doing something helpful by working for a charity, or learning a difficult skill that will improve your job flexibility in the future. If you’re not seeing any benefits to your own growth and life goals by staying with your current employer, then it may be time to pack up.
Ready to jump ship? Do it gracefully.
Let me be clear: I don’t think any of these conditions are reasons alone to leave a job. But if you find yourself nodding at more than one paragraph, I’d take a hard look at what’s keeping you at your current company. The job market is definitely on the rebound, and if you’ve got what it takes, you might be able to find a more fulfilling adventure. The bottom line is that if you don’t enjoy the work anymore and there’s nothing else you can do to negotiate a different project or opportunity internally, move on!
But, learn a lesson from someone who’s messed up the exit once or twice. Leave gracefully. Do your best to maintain positive relationships with as many colleagues as possible on your way out. Finish projects that are outstanding and ” You really never know when you might need to call on a former colleague for a favor.
Do you have your own experiences to share regarding the best time to move on from your job? Do you think there’s a “minimum amount of time” you need to stay in a position before leaving? We’d love to hear from you! Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.
is Brazen Careerist’s vice president of user experience/design. She specializes in helping nonprofits, small businesses, individuals and start-up organizations achieve greater recognition for their causes and products in the digital world. Follow her on .