Deciding to leave your current employer often feels like a big step. A new role can be intimidating, with new people to meet, processes to learn, and challenges to overcome. Not to mention, the process of searching for a new role can be daunting too.
While jumping from job to job aimlessly may not deliver the results you’re looking for, there are times when switching to a new employer can be very beneficial for a number of reasons including and not limited to; increased opportunities for professional development/career progression, increased pay and benefits, and an opportunity to find a better company culture fit for you.
With endless opportunities now available on the market, candidates have more options than ever before. Around 96% of employees globally say they’re thinking of starting a new position in 2023 according to a recent poll by Monster.com.
So, how do you know if you should follow suit?
The key to success is making sure you’re taking this step for all the right reasons. Here’s how you can decide if it’s the right time to leave your employer.
1. Look at Opportunities for Growth
The best roles open the door to endless development and professional growth. To achieve your career goals, you need to ensure your current employer is committed to helping you expand, thrive, and succeed in the years to come.
Even if you’re relatively happy with your role as it stands today, a lack of development opportunities could mean you start to feel bored, restricted, or stunted.
Ask yourself if there are any “next steps” available in your current role. What kind of approach does your employer take to promotions? Can you work towards a higher-paying, more challenging role? Are there any educational opportunities available to help you build transferrable skills? If your employer doesn’t allow you to gain certifications, attend conferences, or even explore opportunities for upward movement in the company, it might be time to look elsewhere.
2. Ask if the Culture Matches Your Needs
Company culture is more than just a buzzword. Several recent polls on LinkedIn indicate that over 80% of job seekers say they think a healthy culture at work is vital for success.
As you continue to grow as a professional, you might find that your priorities begin to change. For instance, if you’re looking for remote or flexible working options to suit your new family responsibilities, you may need to find a company with a more agile culture.
In some cases, the culture in a business can also deteriorate over time. Business leaders may stop actively investing in employee happiness and well-being. New leaders and managers could start to create uncomfortable working environments. If you’re not happy with the culture, you’ll struggle to thrive in your role.
3. Watch for Signs of Burnout
If your current employer doesn’t invest a lot of time and effort into supporting employee wellbeing, you may begin to notice the repercussions in the form of physical and mental symptoms. Employee burnout has become increasingly common in recent years, due to inefficient work processes, a lack of stability, and new digital transformations.
If you’re constantly feeling exhausted at work, taking more days off to care for yourself or find yourself dealing with excessive feelings of anxiety or stress, you could be on the verge of burnout.
Not only is burnout detrimental to your health, but it could impact your performance in the workplace, meaning your professional reputation begins to deteriorate. Speak to your employer about ways of tackling burnout before you consider leaving. If they can’t help, it might be time to look for a new role.
4. Consider Your Engagement and Motivation Levels
Many of us have days at work when we’d rather be at home with our families. Wishing you were elsewhere or watching the clock from time to time doesn’t necessarily mean you should leave your employer. However, if you never feel motivated, or you’re constantly disinterested in the work you’re doing, this could be a sign you’re in the wrong place.
Ask yourself what prompts you to go to work each morning. Are you inspired by the vision of the company? Do you feel a connection to the values they share? Or are you just trying to earn a paycheck? If you don’t feel motivated to continue doing your best, your work quality could begin to suffer, which puts you at risk of repercussions later on.
If you’re no longer passionate about the work you’re doing, or the company itself, it might be time to look for a role where you feel more engaged and excited about your position.
5. Are You Using Your Full Potential
Sometimes, even roles with clear job descriptions don’t turn out to deliver the experience we expected. Over time, your position might evolve, to the point where you’re doing more of the tasks you dislike, and less of the jobs you feel inspired and motivated by.
While you don’t have to love every aspect of your job to be successful in your role, you should feel as though you have the opportunity to showcase your skills and reach your full potential. If your talents aren’t being utilised properly by your current employer, you might start to feel restless and unhappy in your job.
Before you leave your role, you could always consider asking your manager for opportunities to do more of the things you like or take on new challenges. However, if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut with no way out, it might be time for a change.
6. Consider the Feedback Experience
Finally, in order to succeed in any role, employees need regular feedback and guidance. You should be getting advice from your managers and supervisors on how you can improve your skills and boost your professional outcomes, so you can continue to grow.
At the same time, it’s important to feel as though you’re being recognised for your work. If your leaders never say “thank you” when you do a good job, and they’re terrible at providing rewards and recognition, then you’re more likely to feel unsatisfied in your role.
Again, you can consider speaking to your boss or HR team about your concerns, but don’t simply accept the sense of being “invisible”. Make sure you can feel like an active and appreciated part of your team, by looking for the right role.
Is it Time to Switch Employers?
There are countless reasons why an employee might choose to switch to a different role over time. While leaving your current job can be daunting, it can also be an important step in making sure you achieve your true potential and accomplish your professional goals.
If you think it might be time to seek out a new position, get in touch with us. Our recruitment team can provide information on the current job market for the roles you're looking for, and look at your future goals and give you ideas on the best next steps. We might even the ideal role for you!