5 Reasons why you should consider leaving your company for a new job opportunity

Making a job change can be scary. Whether you want to work in a new industry, learn new skills, or need a new job simply out of necessity, a lot of apprehension comes with walking into the office on your first day of a new job. You want to move out of your job in order to move up, but will I work well with my new manager? Will I relate with my co-workers? Will this company provide me the opportunities I’m looking for? Does this company have a bright future?

This fear can be summarized by one question: will I regret my decision?

This apprehension can lead a lot of people to avoid searching for a new job. Change is hard! Whether you are actively looking for a new job or have just begun thinking about making a job change, is there a right time to look for a new job?

In short, yes.

The “perfect time” doesn’t often exist for life decisions (ask anyone who’s decided to have children or go back to school for additional degrees), but when it comes to our careers, there are important reasons why the right time may be now to leave your current role for greener pastures. Let’s explore those reasons.

1. You’ve achieved everything you want, and you desire to do more.

It’s a great accomplishment when you become an expert at anything, and our jobs are no different. You may be in a position today that no longer challenges you because you have mastered your responsibilities. Congratulations! But if you are someone who desires to do more, that opportunity may not exist with your current employer. If you are at the top of the organizational chart, or if your department doesn’t have promotional opportunities for you (now or in the future), it may be time to consider changing jobs to challenge yourself again.

This desire to do more can coincide with job outlooks and economic factors, such as technology advancements, and you want to advance professionally in new ways. Developing an interest in an evolving field can be an exciting opportunity to pursue a new career path. It may be less-than-exciting to change jobs, but well worth it.

2. You do not have the support of your manager or company leadership to do more.

Sometimes the opportunity exists to do more in your role and within your company, but that door has been shut. After interviewing for a bigger role, someone else was selected. When seeking opportunities to partner with other departments and expand your skills, management is not in support of you taking on other tasks and other work. You may want to mentor employees, volunteer for organizational initiatives, attend trainings that will further your skills—but management disagrees.

This may feel disappointing, but the silver lining is that it may be the spark you need to go after a new job that does deliver these opportunities.

3. You feel a lot of pressure and stress in your job.

We spend a significant amount of time at work. The World Health Organization notes that the average adult spends one-third of their life at work, and if this time is miserably spent, this can have a significant impact on our wellbeing. Many (and we mean many) factors influence stress levels at work, but if you feel unhappy, stressed and frustrated by your job duties, your work relationships, and your work environment, it may be time to search for a new job that will make you happier.

Entering a new work environment that makes you happy can have a profound impact on your health, your personal relationships and your career.

4. The expectations of your role does not align with compensation (paid or otherwise).

It’s great to be asked to take on more responsibility, but at a certain point, this additional work can become overwhelming (speaking of stress). Performing work outside of our core job duties can be a sign of a forthcoming growth opportunity (such as a promotional opportunity), but sometimes this additional work does not come with any benefits.

Human nature is to appreciate positive feedback and recognition for a job well done. And if you are in a role today that lacks such rewards and recognition, you may lack a desire to do more. Rewards can be monetary (such as a bonus or pay increase), but it can also be non-monetary, such as a new job title, invitations to exclusive events, or simply a congratulatory email from your manager sent to the department. If you feel that these rewards are lacking, but your job responsibilities keep expanding, it may be time to look for a new role that delivers both.

5. Life has changed since you started your job, and the company no longer supports your values.

People change—it’s human nature. We learn, we grow, we adjust our beliefs based on our experiences. Sometimes this can conflict with our jobs. Becoming passionate about a new industry, developing new skills and taking personal interests more seriously can be the motivation you need to evaluate new job opportunities. Your current role may not provide such chances.

Additionally, your values may have changed, and the job you have today may not align to those values. If your company is producing products in which you are not comfortable promoting, it may be time to search for a job that you will passionately promote its products and services. You will be far more successful, and motivated, in your work if the company you work for aligns with your values.

Rarely does a career path look like a straight road. They often look more like a jagged, rough path with brush, overgrown trees, less-than-sturdy bridges and large rocks as obstacles to climb over. What’s important is to see the forest through the trees (and thick brush). The best time to look for a job is when you have one, because there is far less pressure to accept the next job offer presented to you.

It may be time to move out in order to move up! Identify your career goals. Evaluate if anything exists in your role that is preventing you from achieving these goals. And then research job opportunities that fill in these gaps. Taking actionable, concrete steps to advance your career will make a job change far less scary. It’s never too late to make a change. The next five years will pass whether you like it or not. Where do you see yourself in five years?