It can be scary to leave the security of an established job or company for the excitement of a new career. Here are three indicators that you may be ready to make the switch:
1. Poor fit
There can be many reasons why a job is not a good fit for you. Perhaps you no longer find the work rewarding or challenging, and are ready to move on to a position where you can make a bigger difference. Of course, it is also possible that the job was never a good match for you to begin with, and if this is the case, it is best for you to recognize this, and to actively manage the next phase of your career, before you are asked or forced to leave under less-than-ideal circumstances. In other cases, a job which is good for you in some respects may be deficient in other key aspects. It is helpful to consider what these shortcomings are, to brainstorm some possible solutions, and, if these do not improve the situation, to have an exit strategy on hand for positions where you are no longer a good fit.
2. Low pay
Sometimes, a job just does not meet your needs in terms of the compensation offered. If you have already tried to earn the right to perform additional duties, and have performed your current responsibilities well, then there may be nowhere left in your company where you can add value. On the other hand, management may fully appreciate the value which you do add, but have absolutely no intentions of compensating you further for your contributions. If this is the case, then (depending on your situation) it may be time for you to consider a second job, changing employment, or striking out on your own in a new venture. Review your options, bide your time, and once you have everything lined up, make the changes necessary so you receive pay which matches your contributions, as well as your needs.
3. Deteriorating situation
Occasionally, you will become aware that your current job is winding down. Perhaps management has decided to hire younger employees to lower costs, or is focused on other cost reduction mechanisms, such as outsourcing or outright position elimination. If any of these patterns are emerging, you should consider why they have not done so for your position, and what (if any) factors prevent this from happening. If any of these factors then change, you should have a contingency plan in place to ensure that you can switch jobs smoothly, with relatively few disruptions to your income. In these instances, failing to plan ahead is definitely a recipe for planning to fail. You should not let this happen to you!
Quite simply, a job which is a poor match, which has inadequate compensation, or which x, is probably one you will want to leave. You should develop some ideas of your career alternatives, as well as critical checkpoints which would indicate that it is definitely time to go. With these in hand, you can make smart decisions which lead to a better future for yourself.
Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays