Skip to main content

Is it time to change job?

July 12, 2023

It’s the time of year when our minds turn to holidays and our holidays turn into time to wonder if we’re in the right job now we’ve stepped away from it.

Where holiday reflection can lead

I was chatting with someone the other day whose partner did just that. 

They’d been in the same job at the same company for decades. Looking in, you’d reckon it was a safe job with a good employer but they weren’t happy; a small cog in a big operation, deployed as needed without much say, and standing still in terms of their development. 

After some holiday soul-searching, they’d resigned, excited for pastures new, but understandably apprehensive about whether the grass would be greener when they got there.

What followed was a series of pleasant surprises: how quickly they were snapped up by a new employer, how it feels to work for a company with a genuine employee-centred ethos, and how much their contribution is recognised. Within months, the company spotted their potential and invited them to move to another role where they are happily developing new skills.

It must be like a refreshing downpour after a drought. 💧

Have you reason enough for change?

Being somewhere a long while doesn’t necessarily mean you should consider leaving. If your role still provides fulfilment and learning then lucky you, hold onto it! However, over time, jobs can become repetitive if your skills and experience outgrow the scope and challenge of the role.

Things can change around you too, making the job much harder and possibly quite different from the one you took on. Leaders come and go, teams are reorganised, strategies shift and budgets might get cut. Perhaps the person who recruited you, who liked your approach, valued your counsel and saw your potential, has left and the chemistry just isn’t there with your new manager.

How physics makes moving harder

The trouble is, it’s easier to stand still than move forward. Remember back to your physics lessons and Newton’s first law of motion, sometimes called the Law of Inertia. Part of it says a body at rest remains at rest unless acted on by a force.

That means you need to muster up extra energy to move forwards, including ways to combat what you say to justify staying safely where you are like I’m known and trusted here, I’ll never get an equivalent salary elsewhere or I’m too old to change now.

So how do you decide if it’s time to change job?

The story above is proof that it’s possible though and my clients have discovered this too (read Becca’s story).  

If a move is on your mind, can I suggest you take a look at Gallup’s Q12® survey questions? They go right to the heart of work satisfaction, asking questions about resourcing, support, leadership and development opportunities. 

Normally used to measure employee engagement, in a career context they are powerful indicators of whether it’s time to be moving on. They reflect the things that, when not in place, make a job difficult and dispiriting. Not a place you want to dwell for long. 

If you find yourself answering ‘no’ to a good number of these questions, maybe it is time to find that new job. But whatever your conclusion, I hope my suggestion speeds up your thinking so you can get back to enjoying your break. 

Happy holidays!

About me

I’m Celia Clark. I’m a career development coach based in the dreaming spires of Oxford. I help you think clearly about your job, in all its ups and downs, so you can be happy and successful in your work.

Enjoyed reading? Sign up for my blog to get monthly insights and inspiration like this straight into your inbox