“I think I need a new job.” We all say this. We say it when we’re angry. We say it in jest. We say it to family, friends, random strangers on the train if we’re having a particularly rough week…
But determining when and if we actually need a new job can pose a real challenge. Discerning a bump in the road from a reason to leave is not always easy.
In working with hiring companies and jobseekers for ten years, I’ve found a good place to start is with a simple checklist (or “gut check” list) of the most basic tenets of any position. Ask yourself…
-like your boss?
-enjoy the work you’re doing?
-like the people you work with?
-have perks/benefits/compensation commensurate with your experience and value?
If you answered yes to all of the above, clearly, you are in the right place.
But what if…
-your commute isn’t great?
-you’ve hit a plateau and are ready for a new challenge?
These criteria are more nebulous. For the commute, many companies are now working with employees on work-from-home solutions and flex hours. Before you decide that it’s either your sanity or the commute and you have no choice but to leave, talk to your manager. If the other aspects of your job are going swimmingly, it’s worth discussing your options before embarking on a search.
Likewise, if you feel like you need a new challenge, opportunities may exist at your current company. Perhaps you can change teams or clients. Move to a new department. Depending on the size and scope of your organization, making an internal move may be the path for you. If you’re happy with your situation overall, it’s likely your company is committed to employee growth and willing to find new opportunities so valuable people stay.
And the final, arguably most telling questions to ask in any “Do I need a new job?” quandary…
-have a pit in your stomach every Sunday night?
-feel your coworkers are adversarial/the environment is toxic?
-know you are grossly underpaid?
Answering “yes” to even one of these questions means it may be time to look. This isn’t about the ups and downs of any role, occasional professional conflict, or moving for a $5k raise when you otherwise love your job. If you dread going to work every week, receive little to no recognition for the work you’re doing and haven’t had a raise in ten years, there is something better for you. Know that you deserve more and will find it. It just takes the energy and confidence to look.