How do you know when it’s time for a new job?

How do you know when it’s time for a new job?
How do you know when it’s time for a new job?

posted 18 Dec 23

Are you wondering whether 2024 could be the time for a career change? Perhaps you’ve found yourself watching the clock, your motivation dwindling, or you feel like you’re moving in the wrong direction in your career? 

Deciding when it's time for a new job can be a subjective and complex decision and will depend on various professional and personal factors. Whilst you’ll need to evaluate your current situation and evaluate your long-term goals and career aspirations before making any rash decisions, you’re likely ready for a change if you answer yes to one or more of the below scenarios:

Your company culture no longer aligns with your values

Perhaps the company has taken some commercial or strategic decisions that don’t sit well with you, or a management reshuffle has not been a change for the better. Or perhaps, it’s your own thinking which has evolved, and you are starting to feel that the company’s values don’t align closely enough with your own anymore.  

When you join a firm where the culture and your personal values align, you're more likely to enjoy your role, feel happy at work, and be more productive. If there is a misalignment, the opposite can happen, leading you to feel unhappy, checked out, and less motivated to do your job. A lack of shared values is a powerful motivator to find a new company that you can really believe in. 

You feel undervalued  

Do you feel that your opinions and contributions go unacknowledged? Have you been overlooked for a promotion or an important project recently? Or perhaps you’re finding others take the credit for ideas you put forward months ago? 

You spend a significant amount of time at work and working with your team, so it’s important that you feel a valued member. If you’ve done everything you can to improve the dynamic, but things still don’t feel right, then it may be time to find something new to challenge where the atmosphere is productive and encouraging and where you feel you can make a real difference. 

You no longer feel fulfilled or happy

You used to wake up in the morning excited about what you might achieve in the day ahead, even taking on additional responsibilities and staying late to get things done. Now, you're counting down the hours until you can log off and head home, rather than look for opportunities to stretch yourself or go the extra mile.

Everyone deserves to work in a job they feel enthusiastic about and fulfilled. It may be that your job doesn’t challenge you anymore and you’ve become complacent as your current employer doesn’t have an adequate development path for you, or perhaps you’ve grown as an individual and the role hasn’t grown with you. If you’re nodding in agreement, it could be time to move on to something that ignites your passion again. 

There are no opportunities to progress 

You work within a small team or feel undervalued in your role and believe there are no opportunities to progress within your current workplace. You’ve reached the ceiling in terms of progression and are looking for a role which is more challenging with greater salary and benefits package.  

Remember that your career is a journey, and it's okay to assess your options and seek new opportunities when your current workplace does not provide the growth you desire. By taking a proactive approach, continuously developing your skills, and exploring various avenues, you can increase your chances of finding a step up in your career.  

You have a poor work-life balance 

You’ve found yourself working late, starting early, rarely taking a lunch break, and spending less and less time doing the things you enjoy outside of work. You yearn a role that allows you to switch off as the day ends and gives you sense of accomplishment, rather than feeling like a you’re on a never-ending hamster wheel. It’s okay to want to only work for the hours your paid for and spend more time with family.  

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for overall wellbeing and job satisfaction. If attempts to set boundaries or negotiate a better work-life balance at your current job have been unsuccessful, seeking a role that naturally aligns with your needs may be a more viable solution. 

You work within a stagnant or declining industry or company 

Are you reporting on negative projections you feel you have no control over? Have you seen some of your colleagues be made redundant? Or you’re concerned about the impact of recent technologies or economic factors? Not all industries or companies are linear. Identifying whether you work in a stagnant or declining industry requires a combination of observation, research, and awareness of market trends.  

If you find yourself in an industry that is declining, it's essential to proactively manage your career to ensure continued professional growth and job security. Start by assessing your skills and transferable abilities, research growing industries, and monitor market trends. Remember that a career transition takes time, stay persistent, and be adaptable to changes along the way.  

You have been unable to negotiate a better salary or benefits package in your current role 

The cost of everything is on the rise, yet your take home salary has remained the same, and you are unsatisfied and frustrated. You’re not alone. CIPD’s Good Work Index 2023found that 29% of workers who quit their job did so for better pay and conditions, whilst a further 34% said they would leave their current employer for more money. 

If you’ve tried negotiating a better salary and benefits package in your current role without success, perhaps it’s time to reassess your long-term career goals and consider whether the current situation aligns with your aspirations and financial needs.

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Next steps 

The world of work is evolving and with new opportunities constantly coming to the market, do not be afraid to consider a career move if your job no longer aligns with what you want. From financial reward and professional development to work-life balance and industry preferences, consider what is important to you to strategically apply for your next role. 

Even if you’re not currently in the market for new employment, it is still worth evaluating whether you’re satisfied in your current role or if you feel you could get better elsewhere. Look at adverts for positions like yours or your ideal role and make a note of the commonly listed skills, experience, behaviours, and salary ranges. You can then compare your findings to your individual circumstances.   

Working with a specialised recruitment agency who can represent you confidentially or notify you of relevant roles before they even hit the market is a great way to enhance your career prospects. At Search, we specialise in more than 15 distinct specialisms and work with leading employers nationwide. If you’re feeling undervalued, unfulfilled, or overworked, contact us today or and browse current opportunities we have available.