04 September 2013
It’s a question we’ve all wondered at some point. When is it okay to leave a job? While you don’t want to switch roles too often, and run the risk of looking flaky and unreliable, if you’re truly unhappy, you never want to stay at a job for the sake of building your resume. Good news! While “job hopping” was once seen as taboo, it is now much more common, if not a sign of ambition and growth. “Job hopper” is industry vernacular for a worker with a vast history of short periods of employment in many positions. In this day and age, average is defined as 4.6 years, according to an Economic News Release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is important to note that, though this number isn’t a set standard, and in an ideal world you want to settle into a position and limit job hopping to an as-needed basis, circumstances change, and you may find yourself considering your employment options sooner than you expected. So, how can you judge when the right time is to move? If a job is disrupting your work-life balance, or has become unfulfilling, it might be time to think about your options. Before giving your two weeks notice, carefully consider these questions: Are you leaving for good reasons, such as a better job, more money, or more flexibility? Are you prepared to discuss with future employers the reasons why you chose to leave? If you feel now isn’t the right time to shift careers or change jobs, is there anything that can be done to improve the situation at your current job? Do you feel like you’re consistently underperforming? If so, do you think you would do better in a different role or industry? Do you find yourself at odds with your company’s culture? Are you annoyed by your colleagues, and find yourself consistently watching the clock until you can leave work? Can you no longer find meaning in your work? Is stress taking a toll on your mental health? Are you frustrated with the direction of the company? Do you find yourself being constantly passed up for high-visibility assignments? If you said yes to many of the above questions, chances are, it’s time for you to pursue other opportunities. Make a list of the current benefits of your job and weigh them against what’s pushing you to leave. Be honest with yourself. Ultimately, when it comes time to decide if you should leave, the key is balance. Ask yourself what motivation you have for leaving your current role, and whether or not, in the long-run, it is worth it to begin exploring new opportunities.