by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
There comes a point in almost every person’s working life when he or she realizes that the initial love and enthusiasm for the job is just no longer there — if it was really there in the first place. And the fact that you are reading this article may, in itself, be the one true sign that deep in your heart you know it’s time to get back into job-hunting mode and find a new and better job.
For some of us, there is an “ah-ha” moment when we realize that we have been in the job too long or that we are undervalued, but for the rest of us, this article is designed to provide some insights and points to ponder — signs that signal it’s time to move on from your old job and find a new job.
Signs You Need to Start Looking for a New Job
You’re bored or disenchanted. If you have been at your job so long that you could practically perform your tasks in your sleep — and perhaps some days it feels almost dreamlike — then it’s time to consider a new job. Having a job that’s easy to do is comforting, but most of us need to be mentally stimulated and engaged at work.
You feel underappreciated and underpaid. Our egos play a major role in job satisfaction, and if we feel our work is not valued, we tend to be demotivated, which may result in lower productivity and lower-quality work output. If others around you ARE appreciated and receiving raises and bonuses while you are not, then it’s a pretty strong sign it is time to look for a new job with a new employer.
You have been passed over for promotions. If you have seen some of your co-workers — especially co-workers who had less experience than you — get promoted while you have kept toiling at your job, it may be time to consider looking for a new job… or at least a new employer. Before you decide to start looking, you may want to sit down with your boss and ask him or her why you have not been promoted.
There is no room for advancement. In today’s ever-flattening organizations, there are many jobs for which there is nowhere to go — no ladders leading to the next level. If you are in such a workplace, and you have ambitions for a better job, then the only real step is looking for a new job.
Your boss and/or co-workers do not respect you or your work. For most of us, having the respect of our co-workers and boss plays a major role in how we feel about our job — and our workplace. If you or your work is not respected, you will never see a promotion — and you might even be on the first-to-be-fired list… thus, it makes sense to find a new job with an employer who will respect you.
You no longer respect your boss and/or employer. For whatever reasons, if you have decided your boss or employer has veered in the wrong direction and one or both no longer share your values, it’s probably time to start looking for a new job.
You start being a bit too critical at work. Almost all of us grumble about our job or employer from time-to-time, but if you find yourself increasingly voicing your complaints to co-workers and/or spending too much time at the office watercooler gossiping and sharing rumors, it’s probably time to find a job with a new employer.
You live for Fridays and dread Sundays. Everyone loves the weekends — or whatever days you have off from the job — but if you have an unusually high love of your days off and a strong dislike of your work days, then it’s a strong sign that you are unhappy with your job and should consider looking for a new one.
You’re stressed out to the point that you feel mentally or physically ill. Maybe the most important sign of all is if your job is making you ill, then you really MUST immediately start looking for a new job. No job is worth risking your mental or physical health.
Final Thoughts on When It’s Time to Look for a New Job
Most of us know in our hearts (or our gut) when it’s time to move on to a new job, but sometimes our brains are slow to get the message. If you recognize yourself in one or more of these situations, then it’s time to re-evaluate your career (and career choices), dust off and update your resume, and start talking to your network of contacts — and move into job-hunting (and/or career-change) high-gear.
Key Job-Search and Career-Change Resources
- Quintessential Careers: I am a Job-Seeker. Your one-stop resource for finding a new job. You’ll find some expert free job-search tools and resources.
- Quintessential Careers: I am a Career-Changer. Your key source for all things career-change related. You’ll find some great free career-change tools and resources.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.