4 Ways You Know It's Time To Leave Your Job (Even One You Love) - America's Future Foundation

November 25, 2019

Career Advice

4 Ways You Know It’s Time To Leave Your Job (Even One You Love)

By: Lyndsey Fifield

Your early career can be an exciting time of opportunity — especially right now while the economy is booming and employers are working hard to attract talent with higher salaries, bonuses, and better benefits. While LinkedIn is prompting you to congratulate your friends on new jobs constantly, you might start to wonder… is it time to move on from your current job?

Or do you just have career FOMO? Here are four signs it’s time to accept another offer:

1. There’s nowhere to grow.
Sometimes, especially in DC, the only way to “move up” is to “move out” to a new role at another organization — but it’s not as important to move up in titles/promotions as it is to experience actual growth for your career.

Are you given learning opportunities, training, and networking opportunities? Do you have access to mentors and leaders who can guide you to better yourself? If you feel your skills are growing stagnant — or that you have to find opportunities on your own time, it might be time to seek out a more empowering employer.

Red flag: You request coverage to attend workshops relevant to your role and get denied repeatedly.

Before you head for the door: Talk to your higher ups and tell them you feel you’re outgrowing your role — or want to gain skills and knowledge to do your job better. They might be receptive when they see that you’re serious.

2. You’ve lost trust and confidence in your team (or they’ve lost trust in you).
This happens way more than you might think. Personalities clash, conflicts don’t get resolved… it’s really difficult to work with people when you don’t trust them. If you feel like your efforts to improve relations within your team haven’t been fruitful and are keeping you from doing your best work, it’s okay to get a fresh start somewhere new (applying the lessons you’ve learned from your negative experience).

Red flag: Your colleagues do less work than you — and you resent it. You feel disrespected and taken for granted. Legitimate concerns about colleagues and work product fall on deaf ears.

Before you head for the door: Make sure you talk to your boss about the situation — and give them an opportunity to make things right.

3. You aren’t challenged.
This happens frequently on small teams with little oversight: If you gain a reputation for doing a great job (which is a good thing!) your boss might “set it and forget it” and fail to give you feedback you need (even if you don’t realize you need it). Some people thrive in this type of arrangement — but many don’t. Without constructive criticism or competent management, you won’t be held accountable for mistakes or called out when you’re not doing your best work. This can seem like a sweet deal, but like mama always said “you’re only cheating yourself.”

Red flag: You’ve started strolling in late, leaving early, and taking two hour lunches… and nobody notices or cares.

Before you head for the door: Look for ways to challenge yourself — or get accountability from another team member if you feel like you need it: They might need the same type of encouragement — and then, boom, you’ve got yourself an accountability partner!

4. It isn’t serving your personal life goals.
If you want to get married and start a family but feel like your office doesn’t accommodate working parents, doesn’t offer enough maternity leave, and isn’t flexible on remote work or hours, you should talk to your boss about it… and be prepared to leave for another opportunity.

It’s easy to make excuses and stay in a secure job because it’s “good enough” but that’s not a healthy way to build a strong, confident career. While men take more risks with their careers, women tend to find safer roles — and that’s okay — but while you’re finding a secure role, make sure it’s one you want.

Red flag: Whenever women on your team go on maternity leave… they never come back.

Before you head for the door: Do your homework and figure out what type of arrangement would allow you to complete your work and meet your personal needs — then speak up about it to your higher ups!

Instead of seeking government solutions for paid maternity leave or expecting Congress to close the “school/work gap” (move over “wage gap”), we need to advocate for ourselves about what we really value… and for women, instead of raises and a corner office, that often means being able to balance a meaningful career while raising children.

Are you looking for your next big role? Start here!