The standard routine in the workforce has been to stick with the same company from start until retirement even if you hated your job, because that’s just what people did. Thankfully, times have changed — most millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. But it seems like the norm for millennials just starting their careers is even less than that (an informal survey of my social circle would suggest 1-2 years is more like the average).
So how do you know it’s time to go? You may be in a job you enjoy — or you might be at that point where you’re ready to leave. Recognizing the signs is the first step to knowing when it’s time to go.
Not Getting the Work You Deserve
One thing you should constantly be doing is challenging yourself and trying to advance your skills in your current role. However, if your assignments are the equivalent of getting coffee, your managers might not value your work.
Rather than simply sticking with the status quo and remaining in a job that doesn’t challenge you, find a job that will allow you to grow. Growth is essential at every point in your career, but especially in the beginning. If you feel you’re no longer learning in your current role, it’s time to move on.
Getting Passed Over — Over and Over Again
There’s an opening you think you’re perfect for — you put in extra hours, help out your team members and check every box in order to get that promotion. But then the announcement is made that upper management went with someone else who is barely qualified at best.
If you’re routinely getting passed over for promotions or assignments that you’re qualified for, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have the opportunity to grow in your current role. It’s time to find someone who sees your potential and believes in you.
Fundamental Disagreements with Your Boss
You’re not always going to agree with everyone, and you’re certainly going to have some disagreements with your boss. However, if you find you are disagreeing more than agreeing, you should get out as soon as possible. Working under someone who constantly disagrees with you or belittles you often leads to unhealthy relationships that can end with issues that are far worse than just getting fired. Be sure to watch out for these signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.
Being Left Out
Social events are a part of any healthy team, like going to the bar after work or having a get-together over the weekend. If you’re being left out from these gatherings, this is often a clear sign that the company isn’t right for you. For whatever reason, the culture isn’t a good fit for you, and you deserve to work in an environment where you do fit in.
Constantly Bringing Your Work Home
The number of hours you should be expected to work each week is always a touchy subject, especially for those in the beginning of their career.
If your career isn’t the most important part of your life, then look for a job that allows flexibility and doesn’t require excessive amounts of overtime. If you’re invested in fast-tracking your career, expect to work more than 40 hours each week. Just be wary that continuing this for too long can quickly lead to burnout.
More Bad Than Good
You’re not going to enjoy every aspect of your job. Take some time and think about the overall positives and negatives of your job. If the only benefit is the paycheck, it might be a good time to start sending out those resumes or exploring a different career path.
Your Heart Isn’t In It
As cheesy as it sounds, you should wake up looking forward to the day ahead of you — and that includes your job. If you’re just going through the motions each day and don’t get any happiness from what you do, your job performance will suffer and you’ll be miserable. You spend the vast majority of your day at work, don’t you owe it to yourself to be happy?
Leaving a job is never easy — you’re abandoning a source of financial and personal stability and doing something new. However, if you recognize many of these signs and see them in your daily life, figuring out what else you should do instead is always a good first step.
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