When you’ve decided that it might be time to vacate your present position, it can be a daunting decision. It’s so easy to stick to routines and decide not to explore. You may feel a misguided sense of loyalty to your current company despite how they’ve treated you.
How do you know when it’s time to go?
These 7 questions are the perfect litmus test for weeding out true career ambitions from the sea of fanciful idealism.
How often do you have one on one meetings with your manager?
If the frequency of your manager pulling you into a meeting room to talk about your personal growth and career trajectory is that of seeing a solar eclipse, then you may be right to consider other employment options.
The sign of a good manager or supervisor is someone who appreciates autonomy but is connected enough to you to see where your skill set should take you, how to get you there, and effective ways to motivate you.
If the only reason your manager ever wants to talk to you is to assign additional work with no questions about your wellbeing, feelings, or professional development, then you’re better off finding somewhere that values you more as a person and wants to keep you around.
Are processes ever audited?
Change is as inevitable in the business world as it is in real life and corporations must evolve in order to adapt to all of these industry, internal, and external changes.
If your current job doesn’t take the time to hash out current processes, identify redundancies, and spread the work around in an efficient way that minimizes wasted time, then your chances of seeing any sort of cultural or collaborative improvements are slim to none.
Companies worth your time and effort will constantly be looking for ways to make things better. They’ll want to innovate, scale, and model the business in a manner that suits both their valued employees as well as their revenue.
This is how large corporations make money. They cut waste, promote from within, and make valuable employees feel valuable.
Do you have any interaction with human resources outside of canned and companywide communications?
How your human resources department communicates with and treats you on a daily basis is an excellent sign of the health of your relationship with your current position.
When you’re only receiving canned email responses of legal language and generic documents in the company’s letterhead, then your human resources department is not doing everything they can to assist in training and development.
If your onboarding process is simply giving a new hire a computer and then letting them figure it out from there, then you’ll definitely want to consider other options.
I’ve had jobs where I never even saw an HR person visit the office, let alone provide any level of support and this became a huge red flag when I was considering the possibility of pursuing other avenues of work.
Do you receive a merit-based bonus at least yearly?
Money certainly isn’t everything, but employees need to be acknowledged and rewarded regularly to feel like anything more than cogs in a wheel.
Companies who do not offer bonuses simply do not care about their employees. They don’t want to retain anyone long term. All they want is the cheapest possible price for the work that you provide.
Some people feel that it’s unnecessary as long as your salary is within range, but I highly disagree. Merit-based bonuses allow the hardest workers to feel like there’s something to strive for and a reward for all of their diligence and accuracy.
If I work tirelessly every day to provide value to my company, I expect a little something in return. If not, it’s like you’re being taken for granted.
The value you provide the organization deserves to be given some kind of compensation, in good faith, to let you know that they see what you’re doing and appreciate the effort.
Are there opportunities to learn new things?
Professional development and education are extremely important once you’re part of the work force. You never want to be stagnant in a role. You always want to be able to explore new ideas in the industry, keep up on current trends, and feel that you’re starting with a base of knowledge and continually building on it.
Working in siloes only serves to alienate people from their employer. No one wants to be responsible for a solitary job with no hope to cross train or pick up new skills.
The point of working is to get better and eventually get to a mastery level that allows you to manage, direct, or preside over less experienced folk in order to impart them with the knowledge to allow them to become managers and directors themselves someday.
Never let the arrogance of experience keep you from continuously absorbing new ideas. Don’t work in a place that keeps you from furthering your education in your current field or adjacent fields that interest you.
Do you feel challenged?
As much as some people would argue that they prefer an easy job, I don’t believe they’re being honest with themselves. Sitting around an office without ever being challenged is torturous.
You’ll be in front of the computer for at least 8 hours a day and spend maybe 3-4 of those hours working. The rest of the time will be filled with boredom and idle fuckery. You’ll browse Victoria’s Secret or read some new junk on Reddit. You’ll waste away.
Me, I prefer to be constantly challenged. I want the trial by fire. If my current job is not challenging me, then it’s time to move on. I refuse to spin my wheels for years in a position just because it is comfortable.
Don’t let complacency take over just because you’re afraid of change. Go out and look for the obstacles that, when overcome, will mold you into a better person. Those are some of life’s most invaluable experiences.
Is your opinion valued?
Are you always being told what to do or do your superiors and peers in your daily working life listen to and understand what you have to say?
I always want a seat at the table when I’m working. I am obsessed with organization and efficiency and I want to be able to contribute in a meaningful way to the company. I’m not just there to punch the clock and then drive home.
If there’s no room for your voice to be heard and the ears that your ideas fall on are never receptive, then you’ll want to consider looking elsewhere.
A great company will receive any and all feedback and act on what is most pertinent. It’s part of the aforementioned ability of a business to adapt to the changing landscape. Don’t run in place.
If you have methods and processes that will benefit your organization, find a way to be heard. If that means finding a new company that values their employees’ opinions, then so be it.
Don’t let a good idea go to waste just because the idiots in charge aren’t paying attention.