Whales do it. Birds do it. Even ambitious MBAs in suits do it.
So how do you know when to do it?
Move on, that is. Switch jobs.
Somehow, vagaries of climate and road construction notwithstanding, each year thousands and thousands of migrating species know when it’s time for them to hit the road.
If scientists know their secret, they’ve yet to share it with the rest of us in terms I can understand.
So I’m taking a stab at defining those telltale signs that tell you it’s time to turn tail yourself. Here are some ways you can tell if it’s time to move on:
You feel it in your bones – It’s like when you’re dating and something happens – he looks at you and says “Huh?” like you’re his mother, or she doesn’t even get off the phone while she tells you what to do – and you know it’s over. If you’re honest with yourself and you’re a good observer, you can tell when you’ve lost that loving feeling with your job, too.
A number count – Maybe there’s no such thing as a magic number, but if you’re in a career-building mode you can’t stay in any one position too long. Is it one year, two years, lean years, mean years? Only you can be the judge.
Change in management – Even if you weren’t in love with the people who ran the place before, when a new team comes through the door you might want to exit. It’s only reasonable to assume they’re going to want to put their stamp on the workplace, and since when have you been into collecting stamps?
No more mountains to climb – In some organizations, there’s only so far you can go before you hit the regions described in old maps, “There be dragons there.” You could call them founders, vice-presidents, partners or whatever – you know these gigantic, scale-covered creatures aren’t going anywhere. But you will – if you want to move up.
When you have somewhere to go – If the Great Recession taught us nothing else – and I do hope it taught us more –it’s that you always need to be on the lookout for your next job. While it is my fervent hope, that, as the recovery ambles on, more of us make job decisions out of choice, rather than desperation, I hope we’ve all realized that you can never, really, stop looking for work. Maybe you don’t want it, maybe you don’t need it. Congrats. Keep an eye open anyway. You never know what you might find. And jump on it when you do.
by Danielle Dresden