Should I Stay or Should I Go? How to Decide It’s Time for a Career Change

Debating with yourself on whether or not your company is for you? With the average hiring process taking about 23 days, dealing with a terrible team or below average pay might be enough to keep you around for an extra few weeks or even months. Maybe you’ve been with your company too long to know if the grass is in fact greener on the other side or perhaps you have it better than you realize. Either way, I’m here to help you decide if you should stay or if you’re well overdue for a career change. Ask yourself these 3 questions to decipher your true professional destiny.

Tweet This: What 3 questions should you ask yourself to know if it’s time for a career change? Find out:

1. Do I receive career development opportunities?

Think back to the last time you received a promotion at work. Have there been any? Even within a small- to medium-sized business, there is room for growth and improvement.

Joya Martin Cousin, Transformational Business Leader, said:

“The days of being promoted at work solely based on tenure are long gone. If you allow yourself to grow comfortable performing only the tasks you were trained to do when you were hired, then you might as well make up your mind to be overworked and underpaid for the rest of your working life.”

If you answered yes: Congratulations! You work for a great company that offers development opportunities without leaving it up to the employee. Continue to learn about your skill sets and communicate new found strengths and weaknesses to keep your career growth on a steady incline.

If you answered no: Just because your employer doesn’t offer career development, doesn’t mean they won’t. At your next performance review, inquire about aspects, tasks or even positions the company doesn’t currently have implemented that you think you could really kickoff. If your employer isn’t quite open to your ideas immediately, this isn’t a sign to leave either. Keep advocating for your ideas; if you don’t see any incremental improvement, it’s time to find the door for bigger and better opportunities.

2. Am I truly excited to wake up and go to work every day?

Have you noticed your excitement toward work declining? Maybe you haven’t noticed, but if you’re taking more sick days, don’t talk to anyone at work or find your productivity and motivation taking a dip, you’re not happy where you work.

If you answered yes: Excellent! Chances are you work doing something you’re truly passionate about. If you’re excited to go to work every day but are still questioning if you should stay or go, the issue is elsewhere. Perhaps you’re not being compensated fairly, you don’t have a good team of coworkers, or you’re not being recognized for the impeccable work and effort you’re putting forth each day.

All of these issues are easily fixed with effective communication and negotiation. For fair compensation conversations, read these 6 tips. To maintain a calm and collaborative workspace with difficult coworkers, read these 10 tips. If you believe you and your colleagues aren’t receiving a fair amount of feedback, overall direction and recognition, make a business case for your team with the ROI of continuous employee feedback.

If you answered no: Just because you’re not thrilled to go to work every day, doesn’t mean you should pack up and hit the job boards. Unhappiness at work could mean several little things, like sitting in the same desk all day every day, performing monotonous tasks and driving the same route to work each and every day. Try:

  • Moving desks or sitting in the conference room for an hour each day
  • Bringing desk objects from home or your favorite store to spice up the place to incorporate feng shui
  • Going for a 20-minute walk over lunch
  • Driving a new route to work every once and awhile

Business Freelance Writer and Editor, Jane Porter (@janeporter00), said:

“Deviate from your routine, and it’s hard not to feel like you’ve lost control of the day. Yet when it is done with intention of self-awareness, breaking from regular routines can be a powerful way to stimulate new thinking, break bad habit, adapt better to change, and be more collaborative in a team environment.”

If switching up little processes and landscapes doesn’t work for you, it’s safe to say you can grab your cardboard box and find new horizons, guilt-free.

Are you working in your passion industry? How to find out.

3. Are my company’s values clashing with mine?

How can you tell if your core values are being tugged on? Do you find yourself muttering under your breath at what your boss or coworkers are saying and doing? Does your company stand for political or ethical stances that you find offensive?

If you answered yes: Your core values aren’t aligned with your company’s. There aren’t many solutions for employees to change the core values of an organization, but you can speak with your HR representative if acts by higher ups and employees are bothering you. Chances are, they hadn’t even noticed your discomfort until you say something. If you have strong views about implementing giving programs or CSR programs to improve your employee engagement and employer brand, talk with your manager about making a few changes to the company’s core values- who knows, you might win!

If you want to find a new company that advocates for the same values you hold near and dear, pay attention to their messaging on the website, social media and job ads; company values and missions are a large part of hiring and recruiting these days and can help you pick through the pile.

If you answered no: You’re solid! Working for a company that has a steady set of core values generally have good decision-making processes and strong retention.

Don’t forget to consider company culture! How to tell if a company’s culture is your jam.

Ask yourself these 3 questions to solve the overhanging question of whether you should stay with your company or if it’s time to pack up and go. Leaving a job, long-term or short, is a tough decision, but if it’s the best for mental well-being and professional advancement, guilty shall not be charged.

Did you decide it’s time to leave your organization? We’ll help you find your dream job. Did you try the above tactics and realize you just needed a refresher and your job rocks? Tell us about it! @ElevatedCareers

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