The 10 Best Times to Switch Jobs

From US News:

Read the signs. Any of these 10 scenarios could mean it’s time to make a job change.

You’ve been with your employer for more than 10 years.

If during your extended tenure you’ve held four different positions and continue to enjoy your work, then maybe you can ignore this one.  But if you’re clocking in to what is now a “Groundhog’s Day existence, you definitely need to explore your options.  A change in work environments will keep your skills nimble.

You’re really good at your job.

This could be because you’ve stayed too long, or it could be that you were overqualified to begin with. Either way, if you never make a misstep then you’re not being challenged properly. To stay relevant you have to keep learning and trying new things.

You’re really bad at your job.

Did you see this one coming after the last slide? Hiring is trial and error, and sometimes your skills are askew of the job’s requirements. Honestly assess why this could be – maybe you haven’t had the necessary experience to excel in the job, or maybe you’re not invested in the work because you’re in the wrong career. Depending on what you determine, the smartest choice could be to look for work elsewhere.

You don’t get along with your colleagues.

You might spend more hours with co-workers than with loved ones, so hopefully they don’t make your skin crawl. Not finding at least one kindred spirit at your workplace is a smoke signal that you’re not a good culture fit.

After completing a successful big project.

If you’re fresh off a win, you’ll hopefully have two things working for you. One, the crash and lull that comes after a busy season should free up time to network, apply for jobs and interview. Two, you’ll have recent metrics of your performance that you can add to your résumé and discuss with potential employers.

On the turn of a fiscal year.

This may or may not be the beginning of the calendar year, and it varies by company. But it represents a new beginning, and it’s a time when companies introduce initiatives and hire staff to achieve fresh goals. Work your networks to find out when your target companies end and begin their fiscal year; for instance, the federal government’s begins Oct. 1.

After a vacation.

When you start a new job you won’t have earned the time off or your new manager’s trust to take a break. Instead, plan a getaway to recharge your batteries before preparing to start a new professional chapter.

Your goals don’t match with those of the company.

Hopefully your career goals and the company’s were aligned when you started, but sometimes they don’t stay that way. Figure out what type of job and workplace will put you back on the right track professionally, then pursue that opportunity instead.

Your skills are unappreciated and underutilized.

Does your boss never acknowledge your hard work? Are there promotions and raises aplenty for your co-workers but never for you? Do you feel like your job has become obsolete altogether? Have a talk with your manager about what you need to do to earn the recognition you feel you should have. If the discussion is unsatisfactory, then it’s time to move on.

You’re content with the work you do.

It might seem counterintuitive to look for new work when you’re satisfied with your current gig. But too often job searches are a reaction to a sour work experience, and we end up fleeing from one bad job to another in our haste to get away. Instead, you should regularly update your résumé, watch out for plumb opportunities and carefully weigh how good you’ve got it with how good you could have it.

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