How to know when to change jobs

Have you been thinking it’s time to change jobs? Sometimes it can be difficult to know when it is the right time. And truthfully, I have been having a lot of conversations lately about the fact that there isn’t really a “right” time. For anything. 


In most instances you just need to trust your intuition and take action, but for a lot of people, trusting your intuition doesn’t come naturally. This is why I prepared this post. To clarify some of the feelings, situations and circumstances when you might want to consider making a move. Let's talk about some situations where you may consider changing jobs. 

1. You’re experiencing negative feelings  

Are you feeling negative a lot of the time during your work day? If you’re regularly bored or feeling frustrated, it’s a good sign your current job doesn’t fit you anymore. It might be time to change jobs. 

First of all, If you’re bored, you’ll need a new challenge. Because if you’re frustrated, it could be that you’re not feeling valued in your work anymore. Worse still, you could be feeling more extreme negative feelings, like anxiety, anger, sadness or helplessness. If this is the case, you really need to assess your situation and consider whether your job is continuing to serve you. Generally, I would encourage you to take action BEFORE things get this bad, noting that action doesn’t necessarily mean just upping and leaving.

2. You’ve already tried to fall back in love with your job

Okay, I get it. You might be feeling negative about your role and maybe you think you’ve had enough. But have you already taken some steps to investigate your feelings? Is it possible for them to be turned around?

I wrote this post a while back, with some lessons you can learn about your role and consider when you’re deciding whether or not it’s time to leave. It can certainly inspire a period of rediscovery. And as a result, may help you see your job in a different light.

3. You’ve stopped learning or challenging yourself

If you feel like you could do your job with your eyes shut, it could be time to move on. Because the right job should encourage you to keep learning and adding new skills to your repertoire.

Ideally, your role should challenge you and help you to develop personally and professionally. Although this might not be a priority for some (sometimes being safe and secure is a higher priority depending on your phase of life), it’s certainly a consideration. If you’re motivated by challenge and improving your skills, this could be a sign that it’s time to look for a new opportunity and change jobs. 

4. You dread the idea of going to work on Monday 

I’m going to give you some #realtalk here. Not every job will be your dream job and not everyone has the opportunity to work in their dream role. But if you’re staying up late on Sunday night worrying about the fact you have to go to work the following morning, there is something not right.

Fair enough, you may not be bouncing out of bed on a Monday morning. But wasting your weekend feeling anxious about the work week is a different story. This might be an indicator that it’s time to look elsewhere.

5. You feel stuck

Do you feel like you’re going nowhere in your job or career? If you’ve run out of progression options with your current employer, or you’re being repeatedly passed over for promotion you think you deserve, look for the next step up the ladder with a new company. If career progression is important to you, then you should avoid stagnation. This could also be a good time for reflection about why you aren’t being promoted - are there specific skill areas you need to develop before you are capable of progressing?

Above all, your aim is to reduce that feeling of "stuck-ness" as it can breed frustration and mean that you aren't challenging yourself, as I mentioned previously in point 3.

6. You’re dreaming of a new career

It might not be the job that’s the problem if you find yourself regularly daydreaming about a new career. A change of direction could be the perfect career change to overcome frustration and boredom. In this case, you might want to start thinking about your transferrable skills and conducting research into your career options should you decide to change jobs.

Working with a career coach is a great way to understand and articulate your skills and strengths and find out more information about your opportunities to pursue a different direction.

7. Your work situation has become uncomfortable

Has there been a change in atmosphere at the office? New staff or new management can make a big difference to your happiness at work. If the company culture has become toxic, you are experiencing workplace bullying or you feel like your colleagues aren’t pulling their weight, a new job might be the solution.

That isn’t to say that you should jump ship every time there is a change in your environment or you encounter a difficult situation. But you do have options. And a change is definitely one of them. 

8. You find yourself always complaining about your job

Furthermore, If you find yourself complaining about your work, the office or your colleagues to anyone who’ll listen, it’s could be time for a change. Work shouldn’t be dominating your thoughts in this way.

Consider how it would feel if you had more positive things to say about your employment. How would this change your life? What would happen if things stayed the same? These are some self-reflection questions you can use to explore your desire for change.

is it time to change jobs?

In conclusion, If you’ve decided that changing jobs is the right move for you, you should start preparing for the jump. Make sure your resume is up to date, and give it a polish to add in any new achievements or to tailor it for the type of job you want to secure. 

Likewise, start looking into the hidden job market in your area, or check out a job board like Ausdoc.Jobs to find out more about jobs that are available. Best of luck!

Want to change jobs? Read this first!

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 If you have been thinking about changing jobs but you just aren’t sure if it’s a good idea, this post will help. Consider these tips and make an informed decision before making a jump - Pop Your Career

Are you sick of sending out applications and not getting any traction when what you really need is to be securing a job? I hear you. In this post, we’re going right back to basics to talk about how you can increase your chances of receiving an offer letter with your name on it! – Pop Your Career


About the Author


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.

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