Nobody likes leaving their job, with all the uncertainty that comes with it. However, there are times when it might be the best option. Often, the career you find yourself in is not how you imagined it, or it might simply be that your employer is not as good as you thought they were when you joined.
It can be difficult to notice that the time has come to leave your job. After all, you don’t want to do so for the wrong reasons, or before the time is right, or you could end up doing more harm than good.
There are some tell-tale signs, however, that can point you in the direction of the exit if you find them applying to you. Here are our top five reasons to think about leaving your job and embarking on a new stage in your career:
Lack of autonomy
The longer you work in a particular industry, the more knowledge you accumulate and the better you get at your job. Which is why it can be extremely frustrating to be forced to take actions you disagree with, simply because you do not have the level of autonomy to have control over what you do on a day-to-day basis.
Everybody has, at some point, had to grit their teeth and do something they don’t think will work because their boss told them to. If this is becoming a regular occurrence – especially if you find you are particularly good at predicting when the actions you’re forced into will fail – you might want to think about leaving.
If personal autonomy is something that is particularly attractive to you, it might be worth looking into becoming a consultant. The benefits of self-employment include the ability to take control over your workload and how you will complete each project that comes your way. At Brookson, we have a range of services for consultants and can provide financial advice if you are thinking of taking on self-employment.
Lack of progression
The longer you work in your job, the higher you can expect to climb up the corporate ladder. However, this is not always going to be the case. There may be a point when you hit a clear ceiling, not due to a lack of ability on your part but merely because that is the way your company is set up.
For example, in many organisations there is only a limited amount you can progress before needing to go into management. This may not be a direction you particularly want to take, or it might be that the firm has all the managers it needs and you are stuck waiting for somebody to leave before you can get promoted.
It is okay to stay at the same level for a certain amount of time, but you need to be careful not to stagnate. If you find yourself stuck with no hope of progression, then it might be time to leave and find a job or career where you are able to progress continually as much as is possible.
Sometimes it’s not enough to progress in a job, even one you enjoy, if you are not learning anything new. Every career should teach you valuable lessons about your industry and develop your skillset to make you a more well-rounded worker. If you are not getting this from your job, then it might not be the right one for you.
This might not seem like a great reason to leave, but bear in mind that no job lasts forever. Your company could collapse or need to downsize, or you could end up needing to leave for a variety of reasons. When you do end up in need of a new career, you want to be as prepared as possible with an array of talents that prospective employers – or clients, if you choose to become a consultant – will be impressed by.
Sometimes, it is better to get ahead of the game and find a career where you can develop your skills, rather than languishing in a job that is safe but will not prepare you for the future. This might mean leaving for a new company with a greater focus on personal and professional development.
You could find that your job is perfectly enjoyable, but it is standing in the way of you achieving your dreams. It might seem melodramatic, but many people have life goals that simply cannot be reached while they are working in their current position. It is almost always better to attempt these sooner rather than later.However, not all life goals are created equal. Climbing Mount Everest, for example, is something that will have to wait until you have the money and the experience to attempt it. On the other hand, if you want to go back to university and earn a new degree, it might be worth attempting this as soon as you can.
Goals like earning a degree will help you in your career overall, so it is a good idea to do them early on so that you can get the most benefit from them. It also prevents you from putting them off for years and years, until there is little point attempting them anymore.
Not being challenged
Finally, one of the worst things you can experience in your professional life is boredom. It might not seem that bad, but being consistently bored at work is a short, steep slope that leads to hating your job, as well as being symptomatic of other problems.
If your job seems dull or tedious, it is usually because you are not being challenged. Many people wish their jobs were easy, but in actual fact a simple job is generally a boring one. Challenge is what makes a career interesting.
It also gives you an opportunity to learn new things. If you are only ever faced with the same problems, you never have to try to learn new skills or think outside the box. A boring job can very easily lead to stagnation, which is rarely what you want out of a career.
If you consistently find yourself bored at work, then maybe it is time to look for a career that will challenge you and reignite your passion for work. Some people find this in a new industry, while others are happier being self-employed. Whatever makes you excited to get up in the morning and go to your job.
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