6 ways to know it might be time to finally jump ship at work

Sometimes, after many years, it becomes abundantly clear that you need to leave your job.

Whether it’s your first position out of college and you feel like you’re going nowhere, or you’ve racked up decades at the same company and don’t have as much to show for it as you’d hoped by now, here are potential signs that it could be time for you to move on.

You’re not adding to your skills arsenal

Leaders should never stop learning, according to author and ethnographer Simon Sinek. But neither should the employees who report to them.

Camilla Cho writes in The Muse that if you’re not gaining any knowledge, you might need to make an exit.

“If your learning curve has flattened out or you’re really not feeling challenged, this may signal a need to move on,” she writes. “You may not be learning something new every day on the job, but you should be improving upon your core skills and picking up new ones. You often have to take this into your own hands, of course — asking to be involved in a new project, signing up for courses you’re interested in, or attending a relevant conference or seminar in your discipline, for example.”

She continues, saying if you can’t take any of these routes at your employer, that “it’s a sign that the company is not serious about investing in your career development.”

Your boss doesn’t give you any autonomy

Science says that many people like some autonomy on the job, but don’t always get it. Does your boss let you express your creativity when working on projects? Or contribute new ideas that eventually come to fruition in some form?

Not feeling empowered at work — where you spend so much time each week — can really weigh on you.

You’re constantly making excuses about it

There’s only so much you can take.

Career expert Alison Doyle writes in The Balance that a possible sign it’s time to jump ship is when “you find yourself justifying your job.”

“If there’s more to complain about than to praise, know that you can find a job that offers more positive than negative, and you should get ready to start looking for it,” Doyle writes.

You’re not getting paid better for doing more work

Jacquelyn Smith writes in Forbes that “your job duties have changed/increased, but the pay hasn’t” could be a signal to go.

“Sometimes there’s a good reason for this,” she writes, but if downsizing has moved your team into double time, but nowhere near double pay, it may be time to move on. “That’s especially true if the company is performing well, but it’s not reflected in your salary or other rewards,” Smith continues.

You haven’t found meaning in your work yet

While science says that many millennials want to feel like their work contributes to a good cause, you don’t have to be a young person to be in the same boat. Finding meaning in your job can be a rewarding feeling.

Either way, here’s what to do if you’re not quite ready to leave your job yet, but you’re trying to find inspiration in your current situation.

Your manager never listens to your team

Effective supervisors hear their reports out. If you have a boss who would do cartwheels at the drop of a hat for one of the higher-ups, but has never taken you or your concerns seriously, you might want to get out while you can.

Chances are, if they have a history of completely disregarding your intentions, thoughts, and honest feedback, they will continue to do so.

But you don’t have to put up with it.