Getting a job is only half the battle these days…keeping one is a hassle in itself. But what if you start to feel stuck? Yes, longevity looks good on anyone’s résumé, especially if you get promoted. But if your job feels more like a jail cell – a situation with no escape – then it’s probably time to move on. This doesn’t just apply to corporate gigs. Everyone should seek upward mobility, from fry cooks to financiers.
In “Lean In,” Sheryl Sandberg compared her career path to a jungle gym rather than a ladder, as she wasn’t afraid to explore different options. Though it’s a scary prospect, leaving can be considered an option – a good one. Don’t be afraid to step down and bow out gracefully if your goals aren’t being met. Approach your job search and your desired industry with a perspective of abundance. There’s something out there for everyone. Trust the process!
If you dread going in to work
Everyone hates Mondays and unceremoniously early mornings. But if you approach your Tuesdays through Fridays with the same enthusiasm as you would for a root canal, then it’s time to rethink. If you love your job, then you’re motivated to get up and get your day going.
If you’re not challenged
Don’t stick around if you’ve accomplished all there is to accomplish. If the work’s too easy, that’s a surefire sign to move on. Workplace challenges may be daunting, but they’re the best way to learn – and to impress the higher-ups. Sure, you’ll succeed at anything deemed “easy”…but where’s the fun in that?
If you’re not growing
An old editor of mine once told me the story of one of his former interns. She’d been at this particular magazine for two years. TWO YEARS as an underpaid intern! She kept hoping that she’d be promoted, so she stuck around. And it never happened. Yes, you want to learn as much as possible in a position…but don’t get too comfortable. There’s no way to explore the jungle gym if you’re sitting pretty in one part of it.
If you’re not getting a raise or a bonus
U.S. News suggests waiting a year before asking for a raise. If you’ve put in the work and if the company is doing well, then go for it. Someone with a strong track record has as good of a chance as anyone else for a raise. If denied, reassess…and keep an eye out for another company that’d value your strengths.
If you’re unreasonably scared of your boss
The employee-supervisor relationship should be one that’s open, strong and beneficial for both parties. Yes, your boss might not be the nicest person in the world…but you should still feel comfortable about presenting ideas and pitches to them. When the feedback you receive on said ideas and pitches doesn’t improve your work, it might be time to bounce. Your boss should be the expert and have an eye for what works and what doesn’t. They’re supposed to be there to better you, not keep you complacent.