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Deciding When to Change Jobs. Time to Move On?

Deciding to change jobs or careers is typically a fairly emotional decision, but it’s important to also have a rational element in your decision making process. Assess how you feel about your current position, how the experience you have gained to date has affected you, and what potential there is in your current role.

You can start by thinking about the following:

  • Do you feel satisfied? Or do you think you could achieve more?

You may have arrived at your comfort zone, the point where you feel that there is no more to achieve in your current position. Not being challenged or stimulated by your role can be demotivating, and at the very extreme it could lead to unnecessary stress and affect your emotional wellbeing. If this is the case, it’s most likely time to move on, to protect your dignity, happiness and self-esteem.

Think about where you’d like to see yourself in the future, and what you would like to achieve. Compare these goals with your current role to help decide whether or not it’s time to move on – but be sure to weigh up all of the contributing factors before making any decisions.

  • Do you think you would feel happier in a new role or working for completely different company?

Ask yourself whether or not you are able to achieve your ambitions with your current employer, and consider other opportunities in the job market that could better help you to achieve them. You are likely to spend a large proportion of your time at work, so the people you work with and the culture of the company can have a significant impact on your career satisfaction and overall happiness. Separating the role from the company will help you to identify which aspect is most in need of change.

  • Are you feeling that you are being taken for granted?

This might occur if you don’t feel appreciated or respected enough at work. It always helps to receive recognition from your employer and from people you work with. If you don’t feel that your current role is rewarding you or enhancing the development of your career, then you might end up feeling that you are being taken for granted. In the first instance you might want to raise the issue with your employer, but if you’re unhappy with the way things are going and feel that nothing will improve, then maybe it’s time to move on and find a new challenge.

  • How does your current role impact on your personal life?

It can be difficult to find the right balance between work and spending time with family and friends. And even when you do, your priorities are likely to change throughout the different stages of your life. So be sure to identify your lifestyle goals as well as your career goals when making any decisions about your career.

Using a table, write down the positive and negative aspects of where you are now and how you feel about it. Consider where you’d like to be in 5 or 10 years’ time and make a note of that as well. If the negative column is longer than the positive one, then perhaps it’s time to find the next step in your career.

The important thing is to know when to quit, because as entrepreneur Donald Trump says, “Wisdom is in knowing when to stay and when to go.”

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  • Elizabeth

    I have only been in my job six months, I thought it woul be a great long term opportunity, but its taken over my life; or eample over a fortnight, I worked 148 hours. I have no work / life balance now, and its now afecting my health. Historically, this has always been the case at this organisation (apparently), resulting in a 100% turnover of staff an 4 out o 11 team members working with occupational health counsellors. Thus I need to move on, things are not going to change. Problem is, how do I explain this to potential future employers?

  • Sara

    I am in a similar situation. My boss was bullying me and taking advantage of the fact that I didn’t have much opportunity to leave. It finally came to a head when I asked for a holiday and was granted it but then spent the entire week getting abusive text messages for not being there. I’ve had to complain to HR but they are not taking me seriously and now the only option I have is instead of working in my job, to work in various different branches of the business on a part time basis until something else full time might turn up. I am incredibly stressed and don’t want to go back to the company at all but I can’t afford to be unemployed. What do I do?

  • Evelyn

    I work for a contractor, who works for a large organisation, the bullying is just terrible I just want to get out of this situation and am desparately looking for another job, so when I leave I can give the line manager a few home truths, the bullying is making me ill

  • Rob

    I have a similar situation whereby I left my job of 10 years in the UK to work for a company in South Africa who painted a really professional view of their company. Now I am here, they hardly speak to me or include me in any of the type of work I was doing in the UK, forcing me to do low-level fixing jobs (in Telecoms) instead of the high level exposure I had in the UK. They also paid me way below my UK market value so I am now struggling to pay the bills in SA and cant afford the airfair home either. They work their people to death and one can only survive if you work overitme every night and all weekends. SA is a god-forsaken place and everyday I trawl the web looking for a job back home in England. Thank goodness I kept my house.

  • Angie

    I too, am being bullied having had two new ops managers in just over a year, having said at the interview that they will provide telephone support and one months training, Ihave yet to receive the training it consisted of approx 6 hours of visual training i.e, copying what had been done and how to use a pda for the equipment, since then the managers and help desk do not answer their telephones and do not reply to text messages, but, however they say if you need anything dont hesitiate to call ! How can people run these multi million pound companies and never get any negative feedback its beyond me. How do you actually get these people to listen without being knocked down or feeing intimidated.

  • Lai

    I was in a similar situation when my previous boss bullyed me every single day. He would shout and swear at me for no reason. He told me at the interview that I would receive relevant training but I did not. I had no support from him and was shouted at if I did something wrong. I was in tears on my occasions and my work life was hell. It started to affect my personal life as I took the pain and stress with me. I spoke to HR but were of no help. I was eventually told to transfer to another unit as he did not feel i could do the job. I found out later on that the position I was doing was maternity cover and the lady had come back to her job. I feel much better now that I am not working there I wish I could have done more about it but had no one to turn to help.

  • Ewen

    Had a similar situation some years ago – remember bullies are cowards, or sometimes don’t even realise what they’re doing.

    Document all instances of bullying and follow the company grievance procedure and H&S policy regarding stress and dignity nd diversity in the work place.
    You’ll probably find that things get sorted out long before they get serious to your satisfaction.

  • Janet

    I have read all the comments & I have been in a similar situation although no one wants to lose their job, I was not given a choose in the matter, bullying was by the MD of the company & although this was happening to me in front of others, none of them said a single word about it, Why? because he had been sending emails to the staff about me making things up (Not nice things either), Well I have left my job gathered the info & now going to Tribunal so he will get what he deserves, I am finding it very hard with very little income at the moment but will keep you posted of the outcome at the end of June. Stand up to them it’s the only way – we only get one life so don’t let other’s bring you down.

  • John

    Hi Janet I just wanted to wish you good luck for the future and I hope you find a job you want.

  • KK

    hi Lai, I had a similar situation. I was “made redundant” in January followed by a few consultation meetings with the company I worked for. They did not settle my pay and agreement before terminating my contract, I found it totally unacceptable and unprofessional. They even claimed themselves to be a professional company with equal opportunity, I’ve found it totally nonsence. I was in a senior admin role in the last 2 good years but since the new MD took on the role, I was demanded to do the junior staff work, tea making, answer telephone and door etc without a proper chat. I started to feel very unhappy at work, felt isolated as the MD might have poisoned the colleagues that I’m not a team player, bla bla bla… then what happened next was I got sacked. I guess it’s largely because of possible racists. Take care and good luck to everyone on your job hunt.

  • victoria

    Hi i’m a muture student who be gratefull if you could furnish me with advice and tips with a list of important key words when trasfereing skills in a career change. I feel that I need to work in the field that i’m studying at an administrative level, where I can take on new challenges aswel as gain pratical insight and knowledge that will enhance learning skills in order to achieve my qulification.
    PS: I’ve worked as medical reception stroke administrator for over twenty years and I gained experience them all. And that my decision came time when there were no opportunities to develop further, However I take up health studies and instead the perfect opportunity to study part-time for HE certificate in health planning management. Therefore once stated course a new chapter had arrived as I was inspired with interest which I can work achievable goal stage by stage. So in view the above in your how do create my application for any possible vacancy, that describe the variety of long term positions i’ve worked were I can role different by using a range power transferable skill with roles have mainly all similar.
    many thanks victoria

  • Bob

    Hi, Ive just found an email from my boss to another collegue saying that he doesnt trust me and that I dont do the work he asks of me, and if I dont knuckle down im going to “lose” my job. What can I do to stop this?

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