Unless you’re a famous football player or a luxury hotel tester, you probably don’t always love your job.
Consequently, when the thought of moving on flits across your mind, you may wonder if it’s genuinely a good idea or if you’re simply falling into a grass-is-greener mentality.
The fact is that there are no fixed rules as to when it’s time to switch jobs. You simply have to be honest with yourself about what the best decision is for you.
Having said that, some red flags are too big to ignore.
Do any of the following ring true about your workplace?
If so, it’s probably time to dust off that resume.
1. You have a bad relationship with your boss
Your boss should play a crucial role in your career development.
They should give you the sort of candid feedback that will praise your strengths and help you build on your weaknesses.
They should fight your corner if company policies or co-workers are causing legitimate problems for you.
They should help you advance, either through grooming you for promotion or by providing glowing references.
When you and your boss have a toxic relationship, however, none of this happens.
Because of how much this can damage your career, the best solution is to quit.
Even if you feel that your boss is to blame for the bad relationship, their seniority means it is likely that the company will back them over you.
Better to cut your losses and find a manager who is also a mentor.
2. You won’t meet your personal goals if you stay
It doesn’t matter what your career goals are, but it does matter that you’re putting yourself in the best place possible to meet them.
If you’re just looking for some easy temp work before returning to school or having a family, then a high-pressured job is wrong for you.
Similarly, if you want to be a CEO in ten years’ time and there’s no promotional opportunities at your current workplace, you should move on.
3. Your job is negatively impacting your life
Our jobs make up a huge part of our lives, but they shouldn’t become our lives.
If a bad job is souring your evenings and weekends, it’s time to take action.
Life is too short to be miserable.
Ask yourself if your job makes you feel more unhappy than happy, and if you spend a large portion of time complaining about it to friends and family.
Another warning sign is if your work frequently causes you to miss life events that are more important to you, such as family milestones.
And if your job is making you physically ill – because of poor working conditions or stress – get out before your health is permanently damaged.
4. You consider any aspect of the company unethical
Even good jobs will have elements that you dislike.
But there is a world of difference between a task that you find boring and a task that you consider immoral.
Indeed, if anything about your workplace sets off your ethical sensors, that’s a very clear sign that there is a fundamental mismatch between your values and your company’s, and it’s time to get out of there.
This isn’t about whether your company is unethical or not, but about the fact you consider it to be so.
Our ethics are such a highly emotive part of our personality that working somewhere that violates them is likely to knock our self-esteem, not to mention send our motivation through the floor.
5. You’re not being adequately compensated
Let’s be frank: very few of us work for selfless reasons.
Money is the most obvious motivator, but not the only one: we may be willing to sacrifice some salary for flexitime and a short commute, for example.
If you feel that the compensation you get back from your company doesn’t equal the effort you put into it, it’s time to look for a better deal elsewhere.
Do some research and find out what the market rate for someone with your skills is.
Reach out feelers to see if other companies would be prepared to offer you more, and if they are, jump. By and large, a company that lowballs you is not a company that values you.