We are getting back to posting the answers to our interview questions. I’ve found it is interesting to hear how individuals decide it is time to move on to another job. Here are the answers from the people we interviewed. If you have a method you use, please share in the comments.
I think when you start counting down — hours to the end of the day, days to Friday, weeks to vacation — it is time to start finding something more fulfilling. Wishing your life away is no way to live — when you are doing something deeply satisfying, time disappears and each day becomes exhilarating!
Kristen from BOOK CLUB CLASSICS (rss)
I think we underestimate the value of a minute spent doing something we really enjoy.
It’s time to look for a new job when you are spending too much time working to earn money that you will never have the time to enjoy, and trying to earn the respect of people who really don’t care about you. Life is too short to not be lived.
Jason from World Fitness Network (rss)
It is amazing what people will do to impress people they don’t really like.
Jobs are valuable only insomuch as they allow you to do other things. If you are so physically or mentally exhausted that you cannot do anything else, it’s time to get a new job. If you find that work gets in the way of you doing what you want to do more than it enables you to do those things, it’s time to get a new job.
The ideal condition, of course, is when work is play since your job is what you want to do. If you’re happy doing what you want to do, success generally follows. If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, success generally will not follow.
The best time to quit your current job, if it meets the conditions specified about, is as soon as you find a better alternative. There’s never a good time to switch jobs or change careers, but if you know something’s not working out for you, it is better to get off the boat while it’s still in harbor rather than some indefinite time in the future.
Charlie Gilkey from Productive Flourishing (rss)
I see many people getting an education in something that “pays well” without any thought as to what they really enjoy doing. I think people should put effort into things that they enjoy. Passion is often as valuable as knowing some well-paying skill. (Although it helps when you are passionate about something that pays well.)
If you don’t look forward to working when waking up in the morning then it’s clear that something is seriously wrong. Work is one of the things which should motivate you to get up in the morning, not make you wish that you were on holiday.
Alan Johnson from TheRatingBlog (rss)
If you wouldn’t prefer to be on holiday, I’d say you don’t know how to take good vacation. :) But, good point. If you wake up with dread instead of excitement, you are doing something wrong.
Good clues it might be time for a job change: you don’t feel like you are learning anything new; you don’t feel like anyone “gets” you; you examine your job responsibilities and realize that few line up with what you are actually good at and are interested in; you have serious concerns with the leadership or stability of your company; you feel dread when you get up in the morning to go to work; your health is poor due to overwork and stress or finally you don’t see how this job contributes to your long-term career goals.
Pamela Slim from Escape from Cubicle Nation (rss)
Good point on the long term goals. When I hire people, I always make it a point to find out where they are wanting to be in 5 or 10 years. I know I can make their work experience much more rewarding if I can help them work toward those goals.
When you don’t have passion for what you are doing anymore!
John Richardson from Success Begins Today (rss)
Although I would caution about jumping around just when things get boring, sometimes it is a sign that you need to talk to your boss and ask for more responsibility.
When somebody you know and trust makes you an offer you can’t refuse, and not before. That said, always be working towards being the person that will be made that offer. Priority number 1, even if you are a CEO, is to know who your boss will be. If that isn’t going to be bettered, with a high degree of certainty, then don’t jump. Never run away from things, always be called forwards. Unless the thing is a lion of course!
I have heard of high-level employees who said they would take a job with the condition that their office was on the same floor as the CEO. Another employee agreed to take a job as long as he was able to eat dinner with the CEO and other top executives a couple times each year. Who you work for matters and if you want to really learn from them, you need to make sure you actually are around them.
There are three important factors that cause me to look for another job:
1. The most important factor in my personal occupational satisfaction is that I enjoy my work. When the work becomes boring, unchallenging, or just pure drudgery and my boss doesn’t seem to care, I start looking elsewhere for employment.
2. Another important factor is that I am appreciated and valued. How important I am to my organization is evidenced by how I’m paid, how much I’m paid, whether my opinions are valued, and how I’m treated publicly and privately by my boss. If these areas are lacking and the boss doesn’t seem to care, I start looking elsewhere for employment.
3. My third factor is that I want my work to be meaningful and fulfilling on some level. I don’t have to be saving thousands of starving people, but I want to know that my employment results in the betterment of someone’s life. It may be that I help keep a group of people employed and able to feed their families. It may be that I help a struggling customer with setting up a payment plan. When my work seems to become nothing but a meaningless wad or paperwork, I start looking elsewhere for employment.
Right now, I’m looking elsewhere for employment….
Ron Haynes from The Wisdom Journal (rss)
I hope you find a job that you like. Your three items make an excellent read for managers who are looking at retaining people. I think a lot of bosses forget to treat people in the way they would like to be treated.
Usually when the business school career center tells us to…
In the past though, it’s always been when you plateau on the learning curve. If you stop growing and start stagnating, you slowly start to run into those things that really make your time at work stink.
It doesn’t mean you have to quit your company, but it does mean you need to either look for a promotion or for ways to expand your current job description.
Jared Degnan from Vanderbilt OwenBloggers (rss)
Good point. Before jumping ship, it might be worth looking for ways to make your current job better. If you are planning on leaving, it gives you quite a bit of leverage.
When you stop arriving an hour early just because you’re excited to start working.
Which would mean most people should start looking.
That is an interesting test. I agree that if you are showing up an hour early just because you like the work, you probably have a pretty good job–or a horrible social life.
When you have really tried to find the value in what you do, but can’t. When you feel like you are doing things that are unethical. When the ONLY reason for doing what you do is to make money.
When you start wondering if everything you do is useless and there is no hope for ever making things better. If these feelings are present much of the time at work, you are in the wrong job and probably in the wrong career too.
Ariane Benefit from Neat & Simple Living (rss)
Money is a good reason to work, but it is poor as an only reason.
For me, I know that I need to look for a new client when I am bored. If I am not learning and thinking and growing, I am stagnating. It’s time to move on.
LJ from simpleproductivityblog (rss)
This is a good reminder that people working for clients may sometimes need to switch to a new client in order to keep things interesting an fulfilling.
I’m entrepreneurial, but I believe strongly in multiple streams of income–that often includes working for another employer in addition to running my own business.
A year-and-a-half ago I made a career change from working as a Web Programmer to working as a computer Instructor and Courseware Author. I had identified in my 3- to 5-year plan that I needed to improve my public speaking skills and writing skills. Shortly after that, a great job opportunity became available to do just that. I’m loving it!
I’ve lost my share of jobs over the years as well, but each transition also turned into a better opportunity somewhere else.
More than anything, people need to follow their heart. Life is too short to spend it doing something you hate. Do what you love. Don’t be afraid to make a change when your own desires change. Give every job 110%, but don’t take anything so seriously that it ceases to be fun. When all the fun is gone it’s past time to leave.
Ricky Spears from Ricky Spears’ Blog (rss)
When you can see into the future and realize that the fun is going to be gone is a good time to leave. Better to move on while you are ahead.
Though I don’t qualify for this anymore…three straight days of “I don’t want to go to work at that place” was a clear signal.
Mike Sansone from ConverStations (rss)
It wouldn’t take me many days of waking up like that to come to the same conclusion. Fortunately, I’ve been able to move on before I got to that point at every job I’ve had.
I find this question difficult, because in a sense I’m always looking for a new job. I would say the most obvious tell would be stomach aches and difficulty sleeping. This is not a way to live life.
Anne from Writers Cabal Blog (rss)
If I’m going to get stomach aches and insomnia from my job, I’d rather be working for myself. If you are going to take that level of stress, you need the associated chance of reward and that just isn’t present in most jobs.
It’s time to move on if I’m in a job that won’t let me do my best work.
I’m a professional. Managers tend to manager by making rules that restrict a professional from doing what he knows best.
Ariane Benefit says
Great article! I love these group interviews! Thanks for including my response. I agree with all the points here but I would qualify 2 of them…
1) I’ve had jobs I loved, but projects that were really awful – so I chose to tolerate the 3 days straight of feeling like “i don’t want to go to work”
2) I never went to work “an hour early” no matter how much I loved the job unless I absolutely HAD to. I’d much rather stay late…I’m just not a morning person. Before I married a morning person who gets me up early most of the time…I was lucky to make it to work on-time! Most of the people I know who go to work an hour early do it to avoid traffic – not because they love it. Maybe that’s because I live right outside NYC. : )
Charlie Gilkey says
Great post. It’s always great to hear different perspectives on the same job.
What I would say today is to ask yourself the “have to vs. get to” question. If you feel like you “have to” work, rather than “get to” work, it may be a good time to consider jumping ship.
The hour early test resonates with me. I’ve tasted what it’s like to be so excited about getting to do what I was doing that I’ve woken up early just to start on it. But I also understand Ariane’s point that some people would rather stay late, but the point’s the same.
Thanks for including my response, and, as always, great job!
For me, it’s whether my job continues to allow me to tap into my strengths and/or work within my personality. For example, I am a big learner, and when I stop learning at my job, I know it’s time to move on. I am also big explorer, and when I am forced to work with micro-managers who need to approve every steps of the project I am leading, I know it’s time to find another gig.
I agree with Confucius who said:
“Choose a job that you like and you will never have to work a day in your life.”