Over the last several weeks, I’ve spoken to many friends and former colleagues who have been with the same company or in the same position for so many years. While they have not lost their jobs through the recession and are very grateful, many of them are unmotivated and unhappy. They are at a crossroads in their careers and trying to make a decision on whether to make a move or not. These conversations inspired me to write this blog.
If you can identify with any of the following, it may be time for you to consider a career move.
You’ve become complacent.
- If you go to work every day without a care in the world feeling that your job will always be there as long as your company remains in business, it may be time to go. Being overly comfortable in your role often times inhibits your motivation to remain current and sharp in your field and stifles your ability to develop new and innovative ideas.
You’ve lost excitement and passion for what you do.
If you are no longer inspired by the work you do, your environment and those around you, it may be time to go. Pursuing your work objectives with energy, enthusiasm and drive is key to high performance. When you’ve lost motivation for the things you once enjoyed, it is usually a sign that you need a fresh start.
You’ve lowered your standards and are accepting of mediocrity from both yourself and others.
If you’ve fallen into the same old routine each day and are no longer striving to achieve excellence, it may be time to go. When you have no desire to push yourself and others in new and challenging directions and are not continually looking for ways to improve upon what you’ve always done, a change may be needed to reenergize yourself.
You’ve been working for the same person for more than 5 years.
If you’ve been surrounded by the same people and worked for the same individual for a significant period of time, it may be time to go. I’m a huge advocate of continuous learning and believe that you can only learn so much from one individual. I think there is so much more to gain from different leaders. While working for the same individual can have its advantages, learn to recognize when it’s time to move on and find another leader.
You’ve just hit the 10-year mark at your current organization.
If you’ve just been recognized for 10 years of service with your company and are among a select few, it may be time to go. The longer you stay, the more comfortable you become and the more difficult it will be to leave. Years ago it was considered a major achievement when an individual worked for the same organization for 20+ years. Company loyalty was everything. Times have drastically changed and employers now want to see diversity in experience. They want to know that you can adapt to new situations and people, and operate in a variety of different environments.
You are no longer challenged.
If you are bored and haven’t learned anything new for as long as you can remember, it may be time to go. When learning stops, your growth ceases to exist. If you aren’t getting exposure to new and different things and can perform your job with your eyes closed, perhaps it’s time to make a move.
Bottom Line: Know when it’s time to go. As with any major decision, you need to weigh the risks and rewards to determine what’s right for you. However, stepping outside of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to explore your career options can never hurt. I think that by doing so, you will find that the rewards far outweigh the risks.