Written by Tami Ball — a marketing professional, educator, and writer
At any stage in your career, you may ask yourself “Is it time for me to leave my job?” Here are several reasons to consider moving on.
1. Insufficient opportunities for growth.
Do you have the credentials for promotion and additional responsibilities, but the opportunity does not exist at your organization? If you are not enjoying your job because you are not challenged, it could impact your overall performance. Professional growth is something that should continue for the rest of your life, regardless of the career you’ve chosen. Instead of staying in a position that does not test your abilities, look for a role outside of your company.
2. Need for better salary and benefits.
If you have recently gotten married or planning to start a family, you may need additional income and better benefits. When these life events happen, it’s important to consider saving more for retirement, investing in a 529 college savings plan, or increasing your life insurance coverage. You may also want more flexibility, such as maternity/paternity leave, personal time off (PTO), and working from home on a part-time basis. If your current employer cannot provide these benefits, it may be time to look for another job.
3. Lack of leadership.
It’s very difficult to be successful in a position when management has not clearly defined your role and responsibilities. Good leadership, in my opinion, involves an open-door policy to discuss anything related to your job and personal growth. A good manager should be engaged with their staff, not simply delegating tasks. Does your manager encourage you to participate in training classes, network with cross-functional team members, and provide guidance for setting and reaching performance goals? Also, your efforts should be recognized, and you should receive assistance with any conflicts outside of your control.
4. Overworked, and underpaid.
Due to the current economy, many employers have either downsized or implemented a freeze on hiring and promotions. Are you doing the job of two employees, possibly as a result of layoffs? Do you work long hours and weekends, without the promise of promotion or advancement? These circumstances may result in a lack of sleep, stress, and impacts to your overall health. If your workload has become unmanageable, consider finding a new position.
5. Culture of work environment.
If you were asked the question, “Do you support the culture of your company?” what would you say? A healthy culture promotes positive values, ethics, and morals, in which all employees are treated equally – whether they are permanent or temporary (contract) employees. Are there ethical conflicts between how the company operates internally, and how it presents itself to the public? Communication between executive levels and all staff members should be timely, transparent, and frequent. Another element of corporate culture is diversity. As an African-American, I have always sought a diverse workplace that hires and promotes individuals based upon their qualifications. I am happy to say that after years of working for several major corporations, I’ve found it.
6. Unable to fully utilize true talents and skills.
If you are a creative person (like myself) and find yourself in a position with strict operational policies and procedures, self-expression may be limited. You may be an excellent public speaker, but if your role does not provide the opportunity to showcase this talent, it may not be the best fit for you. Take an inventory of what you really enjoy doing, and look for a position that is fulfilling to you.
7. Desire to become an entrepreneur.
One of the reasons you may choose to leave your job is to start a business. If you don’t want someone else to determine your growth and earning potential, this may be your best option. Have you always wanted to own a business? If so, what is holding you back? Yes, opening a business requires hard work, and takes considerable planning and research. But if you get started now, you may be able to launch your company much sooner than you think. Take the time to develop a business plan, and figure out what is the best course of action for you, your lifestyle, and your budget.
8. Poor relationship with manager.
Several years ago, I found myself in a new position with a local bank that resulted in a poor work experience. From day one, my manager consistently criticized my performance, micromanaged my work, and on several occasions, took credit for my accomplishments. I did not feel comfortable reaching out to her with questions, so I was forced to consult with my team members or others within the organization. She showed favoritism to other employees, allowing a selected few to participate in conferences and travel to work-related events. I could not tolerate a manager who did not approve of my willingness to speak up during meetings, present ideas to the larger team, and being well-received by her peers. Despite all my efforts, I could not establish a working relationship with her. After three very stressful months, I submitted my notice and left the company. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.