, ,

Top 5 Signs You Need A New Job

Sometimes you need to switch gigs. You’ve stopped learning, you aren’t as energized, and it’s time.

You may not even know it. Plus, it is a pain to look for jobs (the black hole of applying online is painful) and hard to switch. But sometimes you need intervention and need to move on – so here we are to help.

Here’s 5 signs to look for:


1 – You’ve mastered the job. Congrats – you have mastered the job. You know all the ins/outs & maybe you can even do your whole job in 1/2 the time it used to take you (and spend the rest of the time surfing the ‘net). While this feels great, this is actually the #1 time to start looking – you always want to be learning/growing.


2 – You’re the last one left. So you came to work with a certain cohort. 5-10 people roughly joined at the same time as you. You did cool work, it was fun, you learned a lot. It is 3, 5, 10 years later. Everyone else has left and changed jobs 2-3 times and are learning new things. You are still doing the same exact thing and start talking about the glory days like a high school QB (how things were so much better 5 years ago).

3 – Your organization stops expanding & starts shrinking – The best learning experiences are when an organization is growing. Yes it may be chaotic at a CFPB or DHS in its growth days but the opportunity is huge – you learn a ton as you are setting up procedures for first time, launching new programs, and have huge opportunities for promotion. It’s time to start looking when there’s no growth & actual shrinkage – there’s fewer promotional opportunities, more people on line, and simply less interesting


4 – You are at end of DOOM loop – I love Frank DiGiammariono’s DOOM loop (picture on the right) on career happiness (download the free guide). He argues that you want to start a job in quadrant 1 (you like the job but aren’t good at it yet). As you grow in the job you eventually are good at it and like it. The downside is when you basically get stuck – you become jaded (good at it, don’t like) and eventually spiral into #4 (not good, don’t like)



5 – You’ve officially learned all the acronyms. It all actually makes sense. So well that you start referring to the 4 times that same acronym was used and all the program names.

That’s my 5 signs – how do you know when it’s time to move on?

Want More GovLoop Content? Sign Up For Email Updates

Leave a Comment

18 Comments

Leave a Reply

Meghan Harvey

OMG. My last office job, before becoming self-employed, was THIS exactly. Sometimes I’d have to fish through my purse for 10 minutes to find the business card with the most recent name change on it… LOL
I was never so happy to leave a job!

Reply
Karen Freidt

Believing in what you do is essential too. Nothing is more depressing than seeing someone make a career out of talking about how much they hate their job. Call them on it. Help them think differently or find a job they might like better. It can work out for all. I have seen it happen. There are plenty of opportunities out there for all of us! Life’s too short to not care about what you do everyday.

Reply
Kathleen Smith

It is important to realize which of these “traits” is your trait and which one is reflective of your job. We many times carry the bad habits and feelings from one job to the next believing it is the job, supervisor or the team when it actuality it is us. Maybe we are unhappy or mayve we truly don’t know what we want to do but are just doing something because it was what we were supposed to do.

It also comes down to deciding what you are good at and what makes you happy. The two don’t necessarily go together. Just because you do something well, does not mean that you love doing it.

An old dharma saying, says find out:
what you do well, and love
what you do well and don’ love
what you don’t do well and love
what you don’t do well and don’t love

Finding the answers is actually very easy and clears up alot of confusion.

Reply
Deena Larsen

2–Actually, if you can grow within the same job then I don’t thinnk that applies. I’ve nurtured my writing career over the 20 years to show our agency how to get onto the web (in 1991–I cringe a bit at that site now), how to use social media, how to reach audiences, what documents are important and what ones we can scrap, etc.

So, sure, if the job doesn’t grow with you, or you don’t grow with the job, then go. But sometimes you can make the place work for you for a long time.

Reply
Bill Brantley

I have the “Edge of the Bed” test. If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is sit on the edge of the bed dreading getting up because you have to go to work, then you need to leave that job. Especially if you do this consistently.

On the other hand, if you can easily get out of bed and have already started a To-Do list in your head before you even hit the shower, then you probably like and want to stay in your job.

Reply
Erica Schachtell

what about 6 – your children have finally left home and gone to college, and now you are finally able to relocate, after years of staying put because they were doing well socially and academically.
(in my agency, ppl who cannot relocate are at a distinct disadvantage ….)

Reply
Profile Photo P. Rana Stewart

How about #7, you just want a new job AND I am totallllly #4 – DOOM LOOP, I am bored out of my mind everyday and trying to find a job NOW in the Fed world is truly challenging, thinking about leaving and going back to the private sector… and I do the “edge of the bed” every morning…. HELP!!!! lol

Reply