Changing Jobs: When It’s Time to Go and When It’s Time to Stay

changing jobsThe working world isn’t the same as it used to be. Case in point: Millennials are now changing jobs four times in their first decade out of college, according to a recent study by LinkedIn. So the days of grabbing the gold watch are over.

Yes, many bemoan the frivolous nature of the millennial generation for constantly changing jobs. But it’s not the resume and career faux pas it once was. In fact, the availability of information and a constantly changing jobs market have contributed to increased acceptability.

But how do you know when it’s time to make a move? And how do you know when you should stay put?

Here are four reasons you should consider leaving, and two reasons you may be better off

When It’s Been a Bad Month, Not Just a Bad Day

Everyone has rough days at work. Even surf instructors working off the coast of the Philippines probably struggle through the 3 o’clock slump sometimes, wishing they were anywhere else. But just because you’re occasionally willing the weekend on doesn’t mean it’s time to leave.

This is why it’s key not to make a snap decision on your move, and make sure that a short run of bad days hasn’t been exaggerated in your head. Make sure you weigh up the bad days with the good before changing jobs. Even if there’s been a big restructure which has left you miserable, wait it out and be sure there’s not a silver lining you haven’t seen yet.

On the flip side, if you sit back and realize you’ve been feeling this way for months without a shred of positive light, you need to seriously think about the effect of the job on your quality of life. Life’s far too short to be miserable for months on end, and if you are, the chances are that the grass really is greener on the other side.

When You’ve Stopped Learning

It doesn’t matter whether you’re 20 or 60, it’s always key to make sure you’re still learning. With the volatile, digital-focused world we now live in, there will be a lot of change over the next few decades across all sorts of sectors. As such, it’s more important than ever to keep learning new skills, gain new understanding and develop new ways of working.

If you find yourself stuck in a job where you’re just going through the motions every day with no opportunity to learn, then it might be best to look at moving on. Particularly early on in your career, by the time you realize you’ve been left behind, it might be too late.

When Your Work Problems Become Your Home Problems

Yes, people have varying degrees of success when it comes to taking work problems home with them. As a result, you have to take into account your personal ability to switch off before you blame your job for a poor work-life balance.

Having said that, the rate at which problems creep into your life outside of the office can often be an indication of how stressful your work life really is. There’s nothing wrong per say with a high intensity or high-stress job, but if that stress carries into your personal life, you’re getting no respite. Consequently, you could be sending yourself down the road toward serious burnout and harming your health along the way.

Learn whether the personal stress is the fault of your job or your own inability to turn off. Either way, you should be doing everything you can to resolve it. Even if that means changing jobs.

When You Get No Praise, No Recognition, and a Lot of Criticism

Working for a boss who never tells you that you’ve done a good job? Down plays your role in a successful project? Is constantly berating you for minor problems or things that aren’t your fault? Yes, it’s time to go.

This is easier said than done, especially when many people are still of the ‘break them down to build them up mentality,’ but it’s rarely worth this kind of challenge to your confidence, no matter how lucrative the role is. Not only is it bad for your mental welfare in the present, but unless you have unbelievably thick skin, it won’t be good for your self-esteem long-term.

The issue with not being rewarded or recognized for your hard work is that it can have the damaging effect of keeping you in a job simply because you’ve been made to feel like you wouldn’t be good enough to work anywhere else. If you can see yourself starting to spiral into this way of thinking, it’s time to think about changing jobs before you’re trapped.

Don’t be fooled, however; there are times when it may seem like it’s time to go, but it may not be. When should you consider staying?

When You’re Leaving for More Money

It’s easy to think that a salary increase will miraculously send your happiness through the roof. Even if you’re pretty sure the career or company aren’t right for you, this is true. But it’s rarely that important.

Make sure that salary is only a part of the decision. Ask yourself: is it coming before quality of life? Learning and career advancement? Other important factors? Then you might not be as happy as you think. It’s attractive, and certainly very flattering when you’re offered more money. But make sure that money isn’t just going to be spent on expensive lunches and taxis home. That stuff doesn’t help get over the fact that you’re working all hours and miserable.

When Changing Jobs Because You’re Uncomfortable

If you’re being made to feel uncomfortable because of inappropriate or abusive behavior, it’s absolutely time to get out of there. But if you’re being asked to take on new tasks or given new responsibilities or struggling with a new structure or management style, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Being asked to do things out of your comfort zone can be a crucial way of learning. More important, it is not a great reason to consider changing jobs.

Not being put under unrealistic targets and objectives? Then being uncomfortable can be a great way to stop your career from stagnating. Talk to successful people. They’ll tell you that they achieved some of their biggest achievements by pushing themselves well outside of their comfort zone.

Making a difficult call? Leading a presentation Utilizing some new media you’re not familiar with yet? Bite the bullet and step into your un-comfort zone. You’ll learn that something that felt like an insurmountable climb yesterday is nothing more than a small bump in the road today.

Changing jobs does not carry with it the stigma that it once did. If it’s time to go, it’s time go. Think carefully. Weigh your options. And make sure that your job is the right job for you.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Come Recommended.


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