The decision of whether to leave a job or stay put is never easy and requires consideration from all angles. Will the grass really be greener on the other side? Will you find out you were happier where you were? Can you really leave your amazing team? No matter how long you have been with your company there will always be an opportunity cost. After carefully weighing your reasons, you will have enough information to decide whether it is time to take the next step along your career path.
In today's job seekers' market you have more opportunities than ever before, but finding a new role is always a daunting endeavor. Here are some of the key signs that may help you determine how you really feel about moving on.
Unhealthy Work-Life Balance
If the pandemic has taught us anything it's that healthy boundaries have a perfectly legitimate place in our lives.
If the hours you're working, whether in the office or at home, are long and arduous, it is time to reconsider whether this is the right place for you to be. Some people like starting work at 7:00 a.m. and some people enjoy working until 8:00 p.m., but if you're doing both and are struggling to keep up the pace of your company's expectations, it's time to re-evaluate. There are innumerable companies out there who not only allow work-life standards, but encourage them.
Underpaid and Undervalued
If you have been with your company for a while, have you received the promotions and raises you feel you deserve? Have you had an appropriate cost-of-living raise? Do you know what your job is really worth? There is no point in working hard in your role and delivering the best for your company if you do not receive fair market compensation. A small amount of research into what other companies are offering for your responsibilities and experience will help you determine whether your salary is low. If you're not being paid an appropriately competitive rate for your position, it is time to look elsewhere for a company that will offer you what you are worth.
Remember, a job title is not the only factor in determining a competitive salary. When researching, pay attention to the responsibilities of job descriptions to make sure that they match your responsibilities and experience.
No Room for Progression
When you first start a new job there is always a curve for learning and adapting to your new environment, communication style, resources, and responsibilities. After a while things start to come into sharper focus as you get into the swing of things. Over time as you perform your role the work can become unstimulating, creating a feeling of being "stuck" in your job with no room to grow and evolve. The biggest reason people leave their job is a lack of progression opportunities.
Staying stagnant in a job too long is de-moralizing and de-motivating. Often people will not be able to perform their best work in this environment, which is not helpful to your impression with the company. Your team and manager will start questioning your credibility, commitment, as well as your ability to take on new responsibilities.
How do you avoid this double-edged sword? If there is no advancement on the horizon for you or your team, start searching for new opportunities somewhere else where your talents will be appreciated.
Flexible Work Isn't an Option
Not everyone wants to work from home, and flexible working models have a place for everyone. In the last two years flexible or hybrid working have become common-place as well as embracement of fully-remote roles. Especially if your company requires full-time office presence resultant in a killer commute, you need to determine whether your company offers what fits into your real life. If it doesn't, you do not need to choose between your work environment and your best interests. Starting your day stressed simply because of an unideal working model is no way to live. There are other companies who value what their people need in work options.
The Culture Doesn't Hit Home
When interacting with your team, do you sometimes feel like you have nothing in common with these people? Does your company embrace diversity and inclusion for all? Now more than ever, employees are considering not only whether they are a good fit for their company, but whether their company is a fit for them. Companies have had to get more honest with themselves about the quality of their cultures to attract and retain the top talent they need to optimize their teams. If your company is coasting on the culture that worked for them years ago rather than adapting to the needs of its workforce, then it may be time to search for a company that matches you better.
They Don't Invest In You
The most ambitious professionals are consistently upskilling, certifying, and expanding their horizons. Companies that offer opportunities for learning and development outside of or in-tandem with their own responsibilities provide value to their people beyond the scope of their work. Their return value is having more advanced people on their teams representing the authority of their business as well as a more empowered workforce. This can be done through internal training, paid external training, time off allocated for training, or any combination of the three
If this doesn't sound like your company, but the ambitious professional sounds like you, it's time to find a company that invests in your career more directly.
"Competing for top talent in the post-Covid job market requires companies to show that they want top people on their teams." - Jenna Rochon, Senior Talent Acquisition at SThree.
The Love is Gone
People decide emotionally and justify rationally. When evaluating such a crucial decision, it is imperative to weigh all the pros and cons, do the research, discuss with your loved ones, and consider within yourself. There is no such thing as perfect timing, a ratio of positives to negatives that makes the call, or any other entirely data-driven factor that will drive the choice for you. When all is said and done, you will know whether you really want a new challenge or not.
Especially in the tech industry, professionals want to have control over the level of creativity in their work. For more about the life cycle of technical roles, read our article Top 4 Mobile Jobs of 2021.