Growing up I was taught by my parents to get a job and keep a job. Period. It was ingrained in me that once I graduated college, I needed to land at a good company and stay there. The big reward would be retirement at 40 years with a fancy company pen and pension. This was my mindset for years. It’s what was expected of me, and it is what I aspired to do.
Ultimately though, the longest I held out at one company was 14 years, thank you very much. I was on a roller coaster with highs of success and excitement to lows of frustration and disappointment. Yet, with dogged determination and loyalty, I stuck out it. I was supposed to right? Wrong. By staying, I denied myself the opportunity for even more growth and opportunities. Staying was comfortable (even in the hardest times), but it wasn’t always productive.
Even though all of this is in my rearview mirror now, wish I would have known years before how to assess if I should stay or go. I needed some type of guideline to know when it was time to depart. It would have given me confidence in making the big decision and the courage to pull the rip chord to create change for myself.
Here are three statistics will give you an indication of how employees view their current companies and jobs:
- 71% of workers said they are looking to change employers
- 37% of engaged employees are looking for jobs or watching for opportunities, as are 56% of not engaged and 73% of actively disengaged employees
- 47% of people actively looking for new positions say company culture is the main reason
So if you are feeling like you need a job change, you are not alone. Here are three signs that maybe it is time to take the leap, and three signs that you should tough it out a bit longer:
Three signs you should quit your job:
1. Deficit in development:
If you notice that your company isn’t doing anything to develop, train, or promote you, it is a sign that it may be time to go. This is two-fold. First, it shows they have little interest in your future and how you contribute to the organization. Second, your professional growth can be hindered if the company does not actively develop or promote. This deficit can create frustration on the employee’s behalf and it shows that the company is not invested in their people.
2. Getting out of bed:
We all go through periods where our jobs are miserable, or we are just flat bored. Getting out of bed can feel like a chore itself. If you are not mentally engaged in what you are doing for a living, don’t wait too long to make a change. Staying in a role you find completely uninspiring will do a number on your self worth will and will be detected by your manager. When you feel this stagnancy or boredom linger, it is a sign that it is time to go. Give yourself the chance to find something new that will interest and inspire you!
3. High turnover:
Employees stay in their jobs if they actually like their work environment. If they have a good boss, work-life balance and consistency, they will stay for a while. But, if these components are not present, most people will jump ship. If you see your respected colleagues leaving right and left, know the issues are most likely systemic. This is a signal that it is time to find a new ship that is sailing in the right direction.
Three signs you shouldn’t quit your job:
1. If you are under 12 months of employment:
This is the sweet spot, 12 months. Say you get involved in a job that you don’t feel is a right fit or you wish you didn’t take, do your best to make it last one year. Leaving at 6-9 months can look questionable to your next employer. Staying 12-18 months, even if you want to go, will show stability and that you were dedicated to this period of your career journey.
2. Leadership change is coming:
When you see that the people above you are moving on or moving out, hold tight. This could mean a positive change for you. Their movement makes room for perhaps your advancement, a role change or maybe even just a better work culture. This type of transition can yield professional growth, so watch what happens and then figure out what this can mean for you!
3. Look for a job while you have one:
It has been said again and again, it is best to look for a new job while you have a job. Even if you know you want to quit, stick with your current position (barring horrible circumstances) while you are on the new job search. Clearly by doing this, you are maintaining your current income, while at the same time you appear more marketable and desirable to your potential employer.
In today’s environment, there is a lot more freedom of choice based on social acceptance of job hops, which can work in your favor. If you find you are in disengaged or perhaps indifferent, don’t waste any more time. Assess your current professional situation and don’t be afraid to ask yourself if you should stay or if you should go.
Holly Caplan is a workplace issues expert, award-winning manager and author of Surviving the D-ck Clique: A Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Male Dominated Corporate World. For more information, please visit, www.hollycaplan.com and connect with her on Twitter, @hollymcaplan.