5 Signs You’re Ready for a Better Job

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When a job is unsatisfying but pays the bills, it can be tough to think about leaving. But there comes a time when a job doesn't cut it anymore.

If you feel this way, you're not alone. More and more people are reaching this breaking point. According to a Washington Post poll, nearly a third of U.S. workers under the age of 40 have recently considered changing careers.

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Ready to Start Your Journey?

The pandemic is mostly responsible for this trend. The life-altering event has made many people realize that now is the time to make a move. Whether it's changing jobs, changing industries, or going back to school for a new degree or certification, professionals are looking for ways to re-energize their careers.

But a career shift can be scary. After all, how do you know if you're even ready for a new job?

One way is to see if you identify with some of the most common reasons why people are quitting their jobs, which can include:

  • A desire for greater workplace flexibility that consists of a hybrid or remote work schedule
  • The chance to pursue a more meaningful career
  • A higher salary

Or, you could look for other frequent pain points that cause professionals to leave their jobs, which we'll do here. See if any of the following signs apply to you.

Five Signs You're Ready for a New Job

1. You Rarely Ever Receive Feedback

Professional growth doesn't happen in a vacuum. Consistent and constructive feedback helps you build on strengths and address areas for improvement.

If you're in a position that rarely receives feedback, it might be time for a change. Otherwise, it can be tough to measure your progress, reach your goals, and advance in your career.

Peer Thoughts

"Receiving action-oriented feedback and constructive criticism is crucial to your overall development and growth. Without it, it's hard to identify areas of improvement and actually track your progress. If you're working with a team that doesn't prioritize reviewing employee performance and giving feedback, then it's a tell-tale sign that you need to find another job — one that values seeing their employees grow and advance in their careers."

Demi Yilmaz, Co-founder, Colonist

2. You Give Yourself Extra Challenges

Your workload is no longer enough. Despite completing your assigned tasks, you still feel a desire to do more. As an extra challenge, you've started to develop improvements for your company on your own.

Does any of that ring true for you? And if so, what does it say about you? It could mean that you're not using your full potential. If your boss doesn't address your concerns, then you may consider looking for a better job with more responsibilities.

Peer Thoughts

"It's wonderful to be able to accomplish a good job. However, if you can complete all tasks in your sleep and aren't challenged by any area of your job, it's time to move on. This is especially true if you believe you have skills that aren't being utilized in your current position and your boss isn't assisting you in reaching your full potential by giving you more responsibilities."

Fay Hao, Head of Content Marketing, Cloom

3. Upward Mobility is Nonexistent

Career advancement is something most professionals want to achieve. Workers want validation that they're doing their jobs well, whether it's a promotion, a raise, or the chance to expand their roles.

But when the chance for upward mobility is nonexistent, it can be tough to find reasons to stick around. One big downside of not moving up the ladder is the possibility of your salary being stagnant.

Peer Thoughts

"Most professionals don’t want to be in the same level of job for the entirety of their career, so if you have been stuck in one job for an extended amount of time, it might be time to advance up."

Daivat Dholakia, Vice President of Operations, Essenvia

4. The Positives No Longer Outweigh the Negatives

Every job has its good and bad days, but there should always be a balance. When you stop enjoying the tasks that used to keep you engaged, it's probably time for a change.

Consider the 80/20 rule as a way to gauge your feelings about work. The rule basically means that 20% of your work typically results in 80% of your satisfaction with the job. But if those percentages dip, you're less likely to enjoy your work.

You should always feel that whatever difficulties you face, the good things about the job outweigh the bad. But when that balance is gone, it may be time to move on.

Peer Thoughts

"When those really fun tasks that used to re-energize you and make some of the negative or less exciting aspects of the job worthwhile start to fade, those are the little signs that we really have to read and know that it's time to start looking."

Sarah Doughty, Director of Recruitment, TalentLab

5. You Lack Passion for Your Work

While you don't have to love your job, it does help to have at least some level of passion for it. Studies show workers who feel an emotional attachment to work tend to have improved psychological well-being.

But when that's gone, it's tough not to feel like leaving. The symptoms to look out for include boredom, cynicism, and loss of motivation.

Much like job burnout, which has similar symptoms, these feelings can affect your productivity, communication, morale, and problem-solving abilities. When you reach that point, it might be time to look for something else.

Peer Thoughts

"The sad reality is that very often, loss of affective attachment is not so much the condition you're suffering from, but rather the underlying symptom of the truth: that whether it's poor pay, no growth opportunities or a mere lack of vocational aptitude, this job is no longer good for you."

Maciej Kubiak, Head of people at PhotoAiD

Featured Image Credit: Vesnaandjic / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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