Is the Grass Greener?

How to know when it is time to change jobs - A Top 10 checklist:

There are many things to think about when it comes time to change your job. It is no small decision, and the average person takes anywhere from 6-12 months to find a new job. Before starting your search however, it is important to decide if the “grass is really greener” on the other side. The reasons to leave a company obviously vary from person to person, however the following checklist might be a good place start your decision making process.
If you can check more than three of these for your current work, then it might be time to start searching!

1) If you are not happy, physically or mentally, at work (most of the time). In fact, if even just thinking about work makes you stressed or unhappy, then that is not a good sign! In this case it is important to think of the root causes of these feelings. Is it temporary? Is it related to something that you can change in the office? What efforts, if any, can you make to better the situa-tion? Or is it beyond your control and time to move on?

2) You feel exhausted all the time- physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. If you feel that no matter how much you work, and how late you stay every day, that your boss still expects more from you and always pushes for more, then that is a bad sign. Remember, no job is worth your health- it doesn’t just affect you, but also your family, friends, and everyone around you.

3) You are not being appreciated. Along with the endless work and long days, no matter how much work you do, your work is not appreciated by your boss, and you are not being promoted or incentivized for your efforts. It is amazing how powerful a simple phrase like “good job” or “thanks for your efforts” can be. When was that last time you heard this from your boss?

4) The work environment is toxic. If the boss and coworkers don’t recognize your hard work, take credit from you for any good ideas, or blame others for mistakes, then it is likely you don’t have long term potential there, unless you can also play that same game. Even worse, if power harassment or sexual harassment is prevalent in the office, then perhaps it is time to move on.

5) Your company does not show any loyalty or investment in you. When thinking of your work, is there any leadership train-ing, or any encouragement to move up? Or perhaps you are currently still on a contract basis while the company refuses to offer you a permanent contract (but keeps promising to do so)? If so, then ask yourself: If they are not prepared to invest in you, then why you should you continue to invest in them?

6) The company is in trouble. There are many ways to measure this of course, but here are some signs to watch for:
— Recent layoffs, “resets” or “reorganizations”, and this isn’t the first time, despite the promises that “this will be the last”.
— High turnover due to a toxic environment, or lack of growth for employees
— Little effort to replace workers that leave, while simply loading the extra work onto remaining staff.

7) You can’t see yourself at the same company in one or two years. Are you excited at the prospect of being with the same company a year or two from now? Are there opportunities for growth that will make your current hard work worth the effort?

8) You wouldn’t recommend your company to a friend. An easy to way to decide if a company is worth staying at, is to ask yourself: If I left this company and a friend asked me about joining them, would I recommend it? Or would you hesitate to do so? Then, if you can not recommend the job to a friend, why would you stay there?

9) Your skills are not being used to their potential. If you feel your skills are not being tapped, feel underutilized in gen-eral, or just feel like you your efforts are being pushed to the side, then it is time to move on. An office environment that allows this likely won’t change, unless the boss changes or something equally dramatic happens.

10) Your work-life balance is non-existent- If you have already checked several of the boxes above, then you likely don’t have work life balance. If you are dedicating all your time to the company, and don’t see any return for your efforts, then why are you giving them all your waking hours? This goes double if you have a family- that time with the family only comes once - make sure you are comfortable with the work life balance you have.

Dan Schulte
Senior Recruiter
Cole & Company