How Do You Know It’s Time to Leave Your Job? Follow the Signs

Once upon a time, employees were expected to stay with the same company for their entire career in exchange for a pension and a gold watch. We all know that, for better or for worse, those days are over. Today’s employees will have 5, 6, 7 or possibly more positions on their resume by the time they reach retirement age.

The question then becomes: how do you know when it’s time to leave a job?

Beyond the obvious reasons, such as bad working environments, being grossly underpaid, or having inadequate resources to get through your day, how do you know when it’s time to take the next step in your career?

You Know Your Job Too Well

Remember those days when your job was brand new and exciting? Remember when everything you did felt like a challenge? If you can come into work and do your job with one eye closed and one hand tied behind your back, it might be time to look for a new job or another position within your company.

We all need challenges and puzzles to stimulate our brains and give us a satisfaction at the end of the day. If you’re not getting that mental boost because you know your job inside and out, it’s time to push yourself into a new position where you can grow.

You’re Not Learning Anything New

Over the lifetime of your career, whatever industry you choose is going to grow and change. Your job needs to give you the resources to learn and adapt to those changes. If it doesn’t, it might be time to move on.

If, for example, you’ve tried attending industry conferences, implementing new software, or enrolling in classes and your boss is resisting, he or she might not be ready to make the changes you are. That’s a choice your company can choose to make, but you can’t let it hold you back. Not keeping up with the trends in your industry will only hurt your career over time, so you need a job that will encourage you to keep learning.

You’ve Lost Your Drive

Maybe you used to love your job, but now even the simplest projects are a complete bore. Maybe you used to jump out of bed in the morning, but now getting into the office on time is like pulling teeth. If you’ve lost the drive and excitement you used to have for your job, it might be time to start your job search.

You could have lost your drive for one of the reasons listed above – you know it too well or because you’ve stopped learning – or it could be something completely unrelated, such as your job responsibilities have changed since were hired. Regardless, it’s important to pinpoint exactly when you lost your drive and why. Then you can start searching for a job that will help you get back the excitement you once had for your career.


About the Author: Noël Rozny is Web Editor & Content Manager at myFootpath, a career and education resource for students of all ages. Noël writes and edits the career and education blog, myPathfinder and is passionate about using these technologies to help students and job seekers alike find the degree program or career that is right for them.

Visit to find the bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD program that’s right for you.

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