“Should I look for a new job? Switch to a new career? Stay on and work things out?”
I hear these questions all the time.
Of course, the answer is never easy. There are nuances. Shades of gray.
It depends on the details of the situation (Isn’t it always?). One’s own predicament. The person’s attitude and mindset. The willingness to rock the boat and splash water all around.
But there are certain situations when a career move is the better choice.
Or at the very least, you ought to seriously consider it.
There are broad thematic reasons we could easily find with Mr. Google’s help. But general themes, I find, don’t always help when you’re trying to decide once and for all.
So, I thought I’d start a list, based on actual things I’ve observed and experienced.
Practical reasons for seriously thinking about a career move.
Here are the first five.
- When your job requires that you perform tasks that you are not good at AND have no interest in getting better at;
- When you cannot see how your job contributes in a meaningful way to the main goal of your team, division, or company (and even after you’ve spoken to your boss about it, you still don’t see it);
- When, no matter how your look, you cannot find anybody in your team, division, or company that you admire and can learn from;
- When you’re not given meaningful feedback that can help you really grow in your chosen field of work;
- When the main tasks in your job have been the same for the last five years, and you have no reason to believe they will change in the next five.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
Changing jobs doesn’t mean you have to change companies too. Sometimes, if you really like the company you’re working for, you can pivot within the company.
If the problem is a lack of progression, it’s usually a good idea to have a conversation first with your boss or manager. Sometimes, what’s obvious to you—i.e., that you want to progress to the next level or to more responsibilities—is not obvious to others, even if the “other” is your boss.