Bored, Trapped in Your Job?
5 Signs It's Time to Move On
When you landed that new job, the world looked great. Now it's been a while, and one of your worst fears has come true -- you're unhappy in your job. When you're spending at least five days a week at work, it makes sense that you'd want to like what you're doing. But there are times when you're in a position or company that doesn't work for you.
If you're unhappy with your job -- and everybody around you probably already knows it -- it might be time for a career transition. Results from an Experience.com survey provide some insight into making the change. According to the survey, the top signal that it's time to transition to a new job is not the boss yelling at you. In fact, the number-one warning sign is:
* Your job has become boring. Most people are not in it just for the money. On the contrary, they're looking for something that gives them the chance to make a difference. If, in fact, you're finding a lack of intellectual stimulation and challenge, you have lots of company -- nearly 30 percent of respondents cited this as their biggest indicator it's time to leave a job.
* Another warning signal to workers that it may be time to make a transition is the lack of growth opportunities. If you're in a dead end job, with no place to move (unless a lot of people grow old and retire), you're in trouble. Twenty-two percent of respondents felt trapped in a position with little room for career progression.
* Others felt they were receiving inadequate pay or benefits. It may not all be about money, but some of it certainly is. Do you feel underpaid? Do you have lousy (or no) benefits? Seventeen percent of employees feel the economic pinch, and when that happens, may have to decide whether their job is really worth it.
* Work friends are very important. If your relationships with co-workers have gone bad, that's a definite sign that it's time to move on. Seventeen percent of those surveyed agreed -- if you're not getting along, you're going to feel like you're suffocating.
* Lack of investment in the company's goals/mission. This is more than just a self-esteem thing, but was mentioned by 13% of the respondents as a key factor indicating a career change. You need to be part of the big picture, or you're not in the picture at all.
Once you encounter the warning signs that it might be time to make a career transition, how long do you wait before you leave?
Most people (52%) said they would wait at least a year to see if it improved. Others were not as patient and hopeful. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they would quit as soon as they found another job, while 16% reported they would stay no longer than six months.
"When you clearly communicate you are under-challenged, wait a few months to see if your superior responds, and if not, it's time to take your knowledge and expertise to a company that will let you grow," one respondent said.
Copyright 2008, Experience, Inc.