You may have an inkling that the time has cometh for you to seek pastures new, or you might just want to make sure that you are doing the right thing by staying put. Either way, go through these points and see if they apply to you.
1. Sense of purpose
Does your job require you to perform meaningful and fulfilling tasks? This is subjective and can only be answered by your own satisfaction after a day of hard work. You will want to feel that your effort has made a difference to your customers and is important to the business of your company. Ask yourself how the company would be affected if you left.
2. Comfort Zone
Is your job fairly easy? Is it boring and does it lack the challenge at times? You might have done it for a while and realized that experience does pay off in this particular job. This is true but too much experience of only one position will hamper your career as you will lack the holistic view of you industry.
Are you still learning? They say the rich never work for money, only to learn. You probably need the money but if you are no longer learning, you are not doing your career or yourself any favors. The goal is to make money and learn. Ask yourself, when was the last time you received relevant and high quality training? Is anybody mentoring you and making sure you develop? What have you learned since you started in this position and what do you think you will learn if you stay?
4. Career opportunities
Advancement opportunities, is there a clear career path for you or will you most likely stay in the same role for the foreseeable future? If you are doing a good job, your boss should tell you what to expect and set out a plan for you to progress. If he or she takes little interest in your progress, this might indicate that you are not in pole position for any ladder climbing anytime soon.
5. The people
Do you get on with your colleagues? As some of us spend more waking time with coworkers than our families, it is integral you enjoy working with the people around you. No need to be best pals with everybody but being able to work well together is the least you should expect.
Location – is your commute bearable or is it getting the better of you? Most people can do an hour’s commute each way for some time but unless you can be productive (e.g. laptop on train), this is a waste of time and probably not sustainable in the long run. Some employers will offer the option of home office which certainly helps.
Life/work balance – do you switch off when you get home or are you constantly checking emails and thinking about work? You shouldn’t have to be a work zombie Monday through Friday, your relationships outside work should not suffer due to your mental fatigue.
Do you believe you are paid enough for your effort? How do you fare against an industry benchmark? This question is not about cash compensation, it encompasses your total package (paid vacation, perks, bonus etc). Tally everything up and see how it compares.
If most of these points apply to you, have a serious think about your future and work out a roadmap to where you really should be. If the points don’t apply, happy days – you are in the right job!