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Self awareness

Working out what you want

You find yourself faced with a career change and setting your personal goals. Part of the reflection is deciding what you really want for your next move. It’s sometimes easy to work out what you don’t want first.

While you might not have chosen to make a move, here are some fairly typical reasons why people choose to move on:

  • You’re always bored
  • You aren’t getting feedback on your work
  • The best talent is leaving the business
  • There’s nowhere to grow in your role
  • Your manager changes frequently
  • You’re stuck in a toxic workplace
  • You’re not treated like an individual
  • The company is falling apart
  • You’re already thinking of getting a new job
  • Your job negatively rules your life
  • Your health has been affected
  • You dread Mondays

You’re always bored

There are ups and downs in terms of pace in everyone’s life. A slowdown in work will affect your well-being when chronic boredom sets in. You don’t feel challenged by the tasks in front of you, leaving your career to stagnate and feeling as if you’re going nowhere.

You may have even asked your manager for more interesting tasks. If these haven’t come your way, it’s time to find a new role. Finding a new job is the best way of escaping the cycle of boredom if there appears to be no end in sight.

You aren’t getting feedback on your work

You don’t need your backside kissed by your manager whenever you make a decent cup of tea, but it’s not just praise you’re lacking from your superiors. No criticism, thanks or celebrations will help contribute to your work stagnation.

How can you improve without feedback? How can you know your work is contributing in a positive way towards the business?

If your manager and higher-ups aren’t letting you know, it’s time to go.

The best talent is leaving the business

The thing about good people at struggling businesses is that they are offered more interesting roles with bigger salaries at growing companies. On the face of it, this is bad for you; talent leaving the business means more of the same work for you.

But this is a positive warning sign for you to begin looking for a new role. Where have they gone? Which specialist recruitment consultancy did they work with to find this new role?

If you ask them these questions, you can find yourself a great new role in a growing business to continue your career progression.

There’s nowhere to grow in your role

As an ambitious professional, you’re always looking for ways to grow your role, increasing your earning potential and industry knowledge.

How can you advance your career if there’s nowhere for your role to grow? Staying focused in your role and wider career is strengthened by having clear markers for which to aim, such as certifications, training, scale and quality of projects, and ultimately your salary, bonus and other monetary factors.

If your current employer isn’t giving you room to grow, it might be time to go.

Your manager changes frequently

She used to be your manager, you knew where you and the organisation stood. A few months later you’re reporting to someone new. Then a few months later, yet another new manager. It may seem ridiculous but it’s far more common than you would think.

If your business is restructuring this often, it would point towards an unstable management structure. Chaos at the top affects employees greatly in their ability to perform at their best, and if you’re being held back your career stagnates.

You’re stuck in a toxic workplace

As passionate, career-minded professionals, situations in the workplace can sometimes become heated and tense. Conflict is common in all workplaces and isn’t necessarily something to be squashed. However, if this conflict is personal and consistent, it’s better for your well-being and career prospects to think about making a move into a new role.

If a toxic environment is weighing down on you, you will never perform at your best. The actions and comments of a few employees can be dealt with, however, if it’s a wider organisational issue which is stopping you from reaching your full potential, it’s time to get out.

You’re not treated like an individual

One of the reasons you joined this company in the first place was to be a part of the team. Even so, no one wants to feel like just a face in the crowd. What you bring individually to a team isn’t just the reason you’re paid, but also part of what gets you up in the morning.

If you’re feeling underappreciated by your current employers, how are you going to remain motivated to push ahead and do the best work for yourself and the business?

The company is falling apart

Layoffs, redundancies, talent leaving, contracts falling by the wayside, a sharp fall in business; if the business is tanking, it’s time to jump off the sinking ship.

All companies have their ups and downs, but a sharp, consistent decline is a key indicator that it’s time to take your skills and effort elsewhere.

You’re already thinking about a new job

It’s always good to be open to listening to a new opportunity. If you’re happy, it will ensure you know you love where you are and what you do.

But if you’re already thinking about how you might look in a new business, it might point to further underlying issues you haven’t noticed. There’s probably a reason you’re looking after all!

Your job negatively rules your life

We’re all different. Some people love taking their job home with them, their careers becoming a crucial element of their lives.

What happens, however, when it begins to affect your family, friends and social life?

You may find yourself complaining about your job, your colleagues or your work environment to those closest to you. If this is you, it’s time to take a step back and think about the root cause. Is it something which can be dealt with? Can you talk to your manager about the situation?

No? For the sake of your well-being and career advancement, a new role would allow you a fresh start to approach your work from a positive angle.

Your health has been affected

The most worrying indicator is what negative experiences at work can do to your health. Stress can lead to a whole host of health issues, including brain and heart issues, digestive issues, depression, as well as potentially leading to other psychological issues which affect all aspects of your life.

If you’ve had changes in your eating habits, sleeping or you’re feeling generally under the weather, it might be an indication that the stress of your current job is affecting more than just your career.

You dread Mondays

Mondays are always difficult after a lazy Sunday. However, there’s a huge difference between that and dreading going into the office.

If you wake up and commute to work feeling anxious about the week ahead, your colleagues, your work environment and your work tasks, you need to consider what you can do to address the situation. If your productivity has taken a hit, why stand still and let it happen?

Having reflected on the above, now think about what you want in your next role and from your current employer.

It might include:

  • Career position?
  • Good salary?
  • Productive working atmosphere?
  • Strong company structure?
  • Personal progression opportunities?
  • Good values?
  • Flexible working?
  • All of the above?
  • Others not mentioned above?

Write down what’s critical to you in your next move – the must-haves.

Write down what’s important to you in your next move– the nice to haves.