Figuring out whether or not to change jobs is an incredibly challenging decision. After all, you wouldn’t have picked your current job if it didn’t check most of your boxes at the time. But when those feelings of restlessness creep in, it’s time to assess whether or not it’s still a good fit. Should you make moves within your industry or have you just hit a temporary rocky patch? Here are some common reasons you should consider making a switch and how to ensure your next job is a better fit:
Signs it’s time to go
You could answer yes to all of these questions (hopefully not), a few, or maybe just one. Either way, take time to reflect on what your answers are telling you:
- Are you experiencing a lack of growth? The best way to answer this question is with another one: are you learning and adding value? If not, maybe you’ve grown out of your role. You might be feeling stuck and unchallenged. Your company might not have the resources to advance you. Either way, it could be time to jump ship.
- Do you have a poor relationship with your boss? The saying “people leave bosses, not companies” exists for a reason. Your boss can either be a champion for your growth or an obstacle to overcome. If it’s the latter, it’s worth thinking about leaving.
- Is the culture a bad fit? What you want out of a company culture changes. The culture that fit your work hard, play hard mentality of your 20s might not fit a family-oriented life in your 30s. If you’re feeling like the culture is at odds with your priorities, it could be time to find a better fit.
- Are you unhappy? Your job affects your life outside of the confines of 9-5. Listen to what your body and mind are telling you. While stress, feeling tired, and complaining about work is normal on occasion, it shouldn’t be your everyday normal. If you’re dragging your feet in the mornings because you never want to go to work, it’s worth considering a move.
How to prepare for what’s next
You now have a sense whether or not it’s time for a new job. But how do you ensure the next role will be a better fit? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Find a good boss: When hunting for your next opportunity, make who you’re working for just as important as where you’re working. When you’re interviewing, pay attention to things like how your potential boss is communicating, how interested they seem in your development, if they ask good questions, and if they inspire you. Once you’re being seriously considered, ask to chat with a coworker on the team to get a better sense of the boss/employee dynamics.
- Assess company culture: Knowing what you don’t like in a culture is just as important as knowing what you like. Try to create a profile of what your ideal organizational culture looks like. Keep in mind things like mentorship, collaboration, development, fun, and innovation. Snoop on companies about pages, social media, and review sites to get a sense of how potential companies stack up.
- Consider additional education: Going back to school is a great way to get a leg up when switching jobs. An MBA can help advance your leadership, technical, and interpersonal skills. This can not only help clarify exactly what you want, but ensure you’re entering your new job at a higher level.
Rest assured that you’re not alone in trying to decide whether or not you should switch jobs. It’s estimated that the average person will hold more than 10 different jobs before the age of 50. And this number is only expected to rise! Instead of feeling pressure to find a forever job, focus on finding one that fits what you need now to continue moving forward in your career path.