Questions To Ask Yourself If It’s Time To Leave Your Company
When you started your current job, you were very happy. Maybe it was your first job out of college. It could be a new opportunity to showcase your talents or prove to yourself that you could do it and be successful. But somewhere down the line something happened. It could have been an specific event at work or something gradual over time, but something made you question what you were doing every day. Something made you question your value within your company. After awhile your energy went from excited to complacent.
We all get complacent at times. Many of us find jobs that pays a decent wage and provides a work life balance that they can live with. But is it what you’ve always wanted to do? Most people know right away when they are unhappy with their current job. Others don’t realize it until it’s been bought to their attention. But if you’re starting to make excuses, it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions. There have been many talented people who just settle for the jobs that they have now because there is too much risk to pursue something else. They feel that the train has already left the station and is passing them by. Can you remember the last good day you had at your job that got you excited continue to work there? If you’ve noticed that there has been a long stretch since that answer has been able to roll off your tongue recently, here are some questions to ask yourself if it’s worth considering leaving your job and pursue the next opportunity:
People you Respect are Fired/Reduction In Force (RIF) Organizations get acquired. New leadership gets installed. Each new regime change will install their vision and playbook on how the company should move forward. More often than not current leadership will be given their exit papers and a reduction in force (RIF) will take place. This is done to also welcome in their upcoming leadership and people they want to install to run that playbook. This also provides little opportunity for you, the employee, to move into these newly opened roles.
Until this has happened to you or someone you know, it’s hard to remember that you are also expendable. Do they recognize you for what you do and the contribution you make? A company is paying you a job to do something. If you aren’t performing or they can have someone else perform it better or cheaper, they will do so. If they want to do more with less, that’s their prerogative. You are only a valuable asset as the money you bring in or cost the company exceeds your productivity or risk associated with it. How many people could make a change within the company you work for that could ruin your professional life?
Previous Advancement Opportunities Are Blocked – Do you ever feel like you just can’t win? Your job should make you feel challenged and rewarded. If you’re getting to the point where it becomes stagnant, hopefully you look internally for career advancements. But how many times has the carrot been dangled in your career? If you work “this hard” and perform “this much” then we might have an opportunity for you “here.” We’ve all have had that happen at one point or another. When it’s happened to you, do you excel or do you turn resentful? What I’ve noticed is when a carrot is dangled it’s a great opportunity to find out what your collateral is in the marketplace. Something happened where the company doesn’t see the value of your services for that position at that moment. It could be just a timing issue or it could be as simple as dangling the carrot to get you to perform. Either way it’s a sign that your goals are not always in line with the company you work for.
Politics Are Embedded in Business – In many companies, layoffs happen. But have you ever seen companies that lay off employees, but the upper management stays the same or rotates to other leadership positions? Layoffs usually happen because of performance of the company. When they consistently happen and upper leadership doesn’t change, it’s because office politics have set in. Younger or lower level employees with drive and passion are forced to stay down due to upper management watching out for themselves. Donald Trump had a famous slogan while he was running for President called “drain the swamp.” Much like politics, many middle and upper level executives try to protect themselves from the swamp being drained from executive leadership. Until the swamp is drained, the definition of insanity sets in. Leaders are going to get the same result and you’re going to continue to wait for that position that may never come.
You’re Not Growing Professionally or Personally – What is your purpose within the company you’re working for? What is your dream? What are you going to do that can make the company more profitable or valuable? Do they even listen to constructive criticism or opportunities to do better? Do you feel like you’re just an employee ID number? Do you feel like your employer isn’t investing in your growth? Do they even know what your 1 or 5 year personal or professional goals are? Employee Engagement MATTERS! Empowered employees perform and matter even more! Is your company creating a positive, passionate, and creative environment for you to excel in? If not, chart what is happening with your role and your performance within the company. Are you seeing your productivity and results increase or decline? If so, is your leadership team recognizing this and asking questions to improve your performance? If you are not receiving support to achieve your goals remember this: If you feel you have more to offer the marketplace than where your current employer is giving you the ability to accomplish, it’s time to look elsewhere. Do you know your value?
You Can’t See a Future in The Company- Where do you see your company being in one year? How about five years? Can you see yourself at the company for that period of time? Do you feel like your current position or pay is capped? Would you be happy being in the same position you are in currently for the next few years? Have you ever asked yourself why you haven’t quit already? Why haven’t you made the move yet? Are you too comfortable? Is the risk too high? Your job should make you feel challenged and rewarded.
Your Instincts Tell You It’s Time To Go – Are you seeing a constant exodus from your crew, department, region or company in general? Why do you think this is? Is it a warning sign or are they just finding other opportunities? Your gut can be your best friend. If your gut is telling your it might be time to explore something different or at least figure out why your colleagues are leaving, do so…. quickly!
If you’ve read this far, you might have answered a few of these questions and thought to yourself that you might be happier doing something different. So what should you do next?
- Take on new and exciting challenges within the organization.
- Seek your internal job market to see if there’s anyway to change your current environment with a new challenging position.
- Network with colleagues who have left to see how the grass has been for someone leaving the organization.
It is incredibly hard to know when to pull the trigger. You’re getting messages or calls from headhunters on LinkedIn, but you have created a life, friends, colleagues at the company you’ve been working at. You’re happy. Or Maybe you’re just complacent. Remember, you’re reading this article for a reason. Something isn’t happening or working for you. Change is incredibly difficult. Going to the unknown is much harder than staying where you are now.
Work is a huge part of our lives. Most of us spend over a third of our day working. It’s important to enjoy what you’re doing and the company you’re doing it for. What I’ve found is smartest is to always field those calls from Recruiters or headhunters on LinkedIn or other platforms. You never know when an opportunity knocks or a door is being forcefully closed behind you. Make options for your career in case something happens. Organizations will always try to pile it on higher and deeper for you and create more hoops for you to crawl through. They’re always trying to find a better way to be more effective and efficient in the marketplace. Companies are always looking to increase profits while also learning new ways to lower expenses. Employees are some of the biggest expenses they have! Why can’t you do the same thing? It’s up to you to be aware of your position within your company and learn when the timing is right for advancement or a new opportunity. It’s time for you to investigate what you are worth on the open market and find the opportunity that best fits your passions and goals. It’s time for you to be happy and motivated again to perform at your highest level.