How to Know When to Leave (or Stay) at a Job

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Should I leave or should I stay? When do you really know it’s the right time to move on from a job for something new? A difficult question to answer, but one that many people face in today’s working world. Gone are the days that you are expected to, or want to stay in the same job, in the same workplace, for the rest of your life, but when do you know it’s time to move on and start looking for a new job? Here’s what you should consider.

Is there room for improvement?

The first thing to look at is if there is room for improvement in your current role. Figure out what it is that you like and dislike about your role, and how you could potentially address the dislikes. Often time’s employees are so hesitant to speak up to their managers about their dislikes on the job, when in reality, their managers may be able to help you see a way to make it more enjoyable.

What are your long-term goals?

Next, think through what your long-term goals are. Think about where you would like to be in the next 5-10 years, and what you are going to need to do or learn in order to get you to that point. A good employer will want you to grow with them as oppose to leave for a different opportunity, so by expressing the things you’d like to work on, you could end up with new opportunities that will help you reach your long-term goals. If you don’t see your employer assisting you in reaching these goals, it may be a sign that you should look for one that will.

Can you grow in your current workplace?

Take a look at if there is room to grow within your own organization. Is there a position you can see yourself moving up into if the opportunity presented itself? Is there a chance that you could be promoted within your organization to something you’d enjoy better? In larger organizations this is often a plus, but in smaller organizations, where a higher and better position may not exist, that may be a sign you’ll have to move out of the company in order to move up and forward in your career.

Are you happy?

Last but definitely not least, ask yourself if you are happy in your current workplace. Sometimes it can just be the role you are currently in that’s making you unhappy but the actual workplace is a place you genuinely enjoy working at. Other times you may just be completely over the place that you work, and know that even if you had a different role, you still wouldn’t be satisfied. If there isn’t a chance that you think you could work with your current workplace to improve your role, or move to a position you’d like better—then that’s a sign that it’s time to move on.

Moving on from a workplace that you’ve grown in and are comfortable at can be a tough decision, but in terms of your happiness and your employment, it’s okay to be selfish. If you have grown out of your current career, and don’t see a chance for you to develop professionally anymore, your employers will understand your want to move on to something that is better for you.

Lauren Marinigh is a PR and marketing professional based out of Toronto. You can learn more about Lauren at www.laurenmarinigh.com or on Twitter at @marinighPR.

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