Let’s say you have a job that’s pretty much OK. Possibly even fairly good: you and your boss get along. Your coworkers are nice. You are competent – if not even pretty good – at the tasks assigned to you.
It’s simply your average, OK, nothing-special-but-nothing-bad job.
It may be time to leave it. Here are a few reasons why.
- The job has become easy.
Some great jobs are like that: what used to cause you to stretch and challenge yourself a little bit has become “the usual.” You can do the job with your eyes closed. Nothing surprises you; nothing makes you reach a little deeper to get things done. You’ve learned everything there is to know about how to do the job well. And you do perform it very well!
While this may sound like a dream job, watch out (stress-free job!): if you’re not learning new skills, if you’re not challenged at least a little bit, you run the risk of becoming stagnant. What’s more, if you’re continuing to coast along, not learning new things or taking on new challenges, if you should be laid off or fired, you may find that your skills aren’t up to the level a new employer needs.
It’s wisest to always aim to learn new skills because technology is constantly changing and today’s job market requires that workers keep up or be left behind. Yes, it can be very uncomfortable to find a new skill awkward or hard to do. No one likes to be perceived as incompetent. But everything new is hard…until it isn’t.
If you’re so good at your job that it’s very easy, it may be time to look for a more challenging position.
- There’s no room for advancement.
Just about every company wants to provide raises and promotions to its employees, but sometimes it’s just not possible. Smaller companies, especially, may have a hard time finding a spot for a good employee with ambition. After all, there can only be one director of marketing, for example, and if the current director has no plans to leave, what is an ambitious assistant director to do?
She could decide that she’ll ask her boss for more responsibility and projects, take on new skills without asking for a raise or promotion with it and decide instead that she’s with new challenges within the same position. Instead of moving up the traditional career ladder, she’s moving along what has come to be known as the career lattice, a term used to describe today’s understanding that there’s no longer a one-size-fits-all definition of success, but rather many ways an employee can be challenged, grow and contribute.
But if the assistant director goes to the boss, asking for more responsibility and challenges and the boss refuses or says it’s just not possible, then it’s probably time for the assistant director to start looking elsewhere for those challenges and successes.
- You don’t respect your boss.
Remember that respect has nothing to do with liking your boss: respect is all about valuing what your boss does and the way she does it. You can even disagree with your boss at times and still respect her. But if you feel she lacks vision; if you feel she’s indecisive or, conversely, impulsive; if you feel she mistreats team members or shows underserved favoritism; if you couldn’t give her a recommendation as a supervisor, it’s a sign you don’t respect her and you may want to look elsewhere.
If you feel it’s time to take on new career challenges, we can help you here at Helpmates. All of our recruiters are Certified Staffing Professionals, which means they will be able to identify your strengths, listen to your desires and do their best to match your needs with our available opportunities. Contact the Helpmates office nearest you for more information.