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When Should You Change Your Job: 6 Signs

When Should You Change Your Job: 6 Signs

Considering whether you should stay at your job or make a move? Here are 6 signs that you might ready for a change of scenery.


A job should be more than a paycheck. If you’re spending 40 hours each week (or a whole lot more, in plenty of cases) doing something, shouldn’t that something make you feel like you have a sense of purpose? If logging on or heading to the office no longer gives you a reason to smile, it’s time to think about making a career change.

Signs it’s time to change jobs

1. You feel stressed all the time

Do you cringe every time you hear a Slack notification from your current employer? Does your heart start racing when you see another bold message in your inbox? Are you struggling to sleep at night as you think about everything you have to do in the morning? If your current job is taking a toll on your mental health and physical well-being, these are signs you need to make a move. A new job may be the ticket to finding your inner zen.

2. Your work-life balance is totally off

When 5 p.m. arrives, do you feel like you can log off and enjoy your personal life? If the answer is no, it might be time to start your job search. Your job shouldn’t stand in the way of spending time with your family or pursuing your personal passions. Plus, it’s important to recognize that spending too many hours working can literally kill you: Research from the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization shows that working 55 hours or more each week can increase your risk of heart disease and having a stroke.

3. Your current role feels like a dead end

If you feel stuck without any opportunities to climb higher up the ladder at your job, you’re not alone: A recent survey conducted by revealed that 34 percent of employees believe that there is no room to grow in their current jobs. Ask your manager about what’s next for you at the company, and make it clear that you are concerned about your career path. If there is no chance for a promotion from your current position, it’s time to find a new place that recognizes your full potential.

4. You’re in a toxic work environment

Do you struggle to trust your colleagues? Does your boss make inappropriate comments? Do you feel like your company’s cutthroat culture is making you a worse person? According to research at MIT, around 10 percent of people believe they are in a toxic work environment. The only solution here — other than a complete house cleaning that removes the company’s leadership, which you cannot control — is to find a new position where you can feel valued and happy.

5. You need to make more money

Money isn’t everything, but it’s certainly something. As inflation has made your paycheck feel less valuable, switching jobs might be the only way to give your bank account the boost it needs. Data from the Pew Research Center shows that workers typically get a 10 percent pay bump when switching jobs.

6. You aren’t excited anymore

You know what can be just as satisfying as a paycheck? Satisfying your sense of curiosity. A job should offer new challenges that help you learn new skills. If it doesn’t, you can wind up with a major lack of motivation. If you stare at your to-do list each morning with a sense of boredom, it’s time to add a new item to that list: Look for a new role that will reinvigorate your zest for life.

What to consider when changing jobs

Before you start combing LinkedIn for opportunities and updating your resume, it’s important to think about a few key questions to help guide the decision-making process.

  • How long have you been at your current job? Switching jobs tomorrow might offer the ping of short-term instant gratification, but it’s important to look at the big picture. If you’ve only been at your current company for three months, leaving now isn’t going to be a bright spot on your resume. While there is no magic number of how long you should stay in a job, recruiters will be skeptical of a job-hopping track record. If you haven’t hit the one-year milestone yet, perhaps you should consider finding a career coach who can offer you help comparing new opportunities and navigating the job hunting process.
  • What are the most crucial pieces that will make a new job more appealing? Is making more money at the top of your priority list? Would additional flexibility to work from home make a difference in your life? Are you looking for a work environment that feels more collaborative? Finding a new job is like finding a new house: You’re probably going to have to make some compromises. For example, maybe you’re willing to make $15,000 less each year if you don’t have to travel. Perhaps you’re willing to make a lateral move in exchange for an easier commute. Go into the job search with a clear understanding of your must-haves versus your nice-to-haves.
  • Are you looking to switch jobs or make a major career change? There’s a huge difference between looking for a new position that fits your existing skill set and taking a left turn to do something entirely out of your current comfort zone. Ask yourself a question: Is this what you want to do for the rest of your life?
  • What are your core values? You’re going to comb through a maze of company mission statements loaded with company values. Before you do that, think about your own values. Do you pride yourself on working for an innovative leader that takes risks? Are you focused on working for a company that is committed to doing more to help the world outside of its own profits?
  • How will this move set you up for long-term success? Think about your plans for your next job — and the one after that, too. According to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person holds around 12 different jobs in a lifetime, so your move now will likely be one piece of a longer professional journey. Put together a life plan, and ask yourself whether a change now will accelerate your path toward a more rewarding future.

How to change jobs

Once you’re committed to making a career change, it’s time to put a plan into action. Follow these steps to make a job change.

  1. Make a list of what you love and what you hate about your current job. While you might not have a lot in the “love” column, it’s important to take an inventory of what satisfies you about your current role. This is an exercise that will serve you well in interviews, too, as you’ll be able to tell prospective employers about certain situations where you have felt especially proud about your accomplishments.
  2. Start networking. You can post your resume online and reply to dozens of job searches, but the most effective route to a new job often relies on your network of contacts. Look to former colleagues and friends to see if they have recommendations for your next career move.
  3. Set goals. Your major goal — finding a new job — can be broken down into smaller goals. Set attainable objectives that you can feel good about checking off such as a deadline for revising your resume or a target number of people to email per week.
  4. Ask tough questions. When you start interviewing, you’re going to face plenty of challenging questions about why your experience sets you apart as the right candidate. Don’t be afraid to do some grilling of your own. Be prepared to ask what people find most rewarding and most frustrating about working for the company you’re considering.
  5. Be ready to negotiate. You got the job offer. Congrats! However, it may not be time to celebrate just yet. Whether you’re looking for a higher pay base, additional equity in the company or extra vacation days, negotiating can pay off. According to research from Fidelity Investments, 85 percent of Americans who countered their initial job offers managed to score a better deal.

Trying to find a new job can feel like working another full-time job. However, you don’t have to do it all on your own. Rather than feeling overwhelmed while staring at a mountain of job postings, consider looking for a life coach who can help you evaluate where you are in your career, where you want to go and how to get there. Practice is an intuitive software that some of the best career coaches use to make their sessions more convenient and more valuable. We aren’t just for coaches, though. We’re here to help the players, too. You can explore our blog to find actionable insights for your professional journey.

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