Every professional is faced with this same question sometime, but when is it truly time to move on? Answer the questions below to know whether you should:
- Do you have a bad manager?
- Has your learning stopped?
- Did you miss a promotion?
- Do you feel you are not contributing enough?
- Do you have a long commute to office?
- Are Monday mornings getting hard on you?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the even numbered questions, it might be time to look for new opportunities.
Unfortunately the wrong drivers like a bad manager, one missed promotion, temptations of a short-term hike in pay, long commute etc. are often used for making this crucial decision. Let’s see if we can be more logical about this decision that should pay big dividends in the long run.
I have a simple 3-test rule for deciding when it is time to move on.
1. My learning has stopped: One of the core reasons we continue to spend a large part of our days at our workplace is to realize our potential as human beings. Of course, there are the material needs that a steady income satisfies, but once that hygiene is taken care, our more intellectual needs take over.
Learning in any job tends to peter out over a period of time, but alternate role assignments within the same organization can provide new challenges. As long as I have variety in my own responsibilities, or can learn through observing others around me, my learning needs are taken care of. I don’t judge my learning on a daily basis but each time I sit back to think how my day/week/month/quarter went, I should be able to notice elements of learning that I have been able to acquire that has made me a better professional/human being today than I was yesterday.
2. I am not contributing enough: While I continue to burn the hours and manage the clock, I don’t seem to be increasing my level of contribution back to my organization. I am getting better at my job but don’t feel good about my contribution as compared to the last year/quarter. I either need to do more volume or more variety of things so I can contribute more.
Before I give up on an employer, I would beg/cry/yell to get some more work or different work and provide enough time for them to react back. Some of us work for large organizations where rules, processes and procedures may take a while… so hang in there till you can’t anymore…
3. Monday mornings are getting hard: While everything else is good, I just can’t make myself get out of home on a Monday morning to get to work. Forget being excited, I am considering calling in sick every Monday. While the job is good, I like my team, my own role but there is something wrong that I cannot put my finger on that bothers me every Monday morning.
Not sure if this is true for all of us, but the intangible aspect to our jobs in organization called ‘culture’ plays a large role in my feeling to get to work every Monday morning. I have observed this Monday morning syndrome start to develop after a few years of being with the same organization as the culture of the organization starts to shift. In my experience, this probably happens with organizations that are in the growth phase where priorities shift from the customer, employees to investors and hence all corresponding behaviors get dictated by that.
As you decide to leave, make sure the next one you pick meets all the three criteria else you will be out again in the market looking for yet another place…. How you can do that from the outside is an entirely different story for another time….