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Is it Time to Look for a New Job?

8 June 2019

It’s not easy to know if it’s the right time to look for a new job. Here are some helpful factors to consider in your decision-making process.

Time is your most precious asset. You can save and spend more money, but the weeks and months of your life just tick forward in one direction.

Your job is where you develop your skills, so you need to know when to hunker down in your job and when to fire up LinkedIn and start looking. Top stock traders say their most important trade decisions are picking the right time to “sell.” The same is true in your career.  

The decision to look isn’t easy. You need to balance the danger of inertia with the distraction of always looking for the next best thing.

This article is designed to help you through this critical decision-making process by providing insights on signs to look for, questions to ask yourself, and how hiring companies perceive your moves. At the end, we also provide a link to a tool which will take you through a few questions and assess if it’s your time to move.

5 Signs It’s Time to Move

  1. Your learning curve has flattened, you feel like you are optimizing more than innovating, and you’re not truly moving the needle.
  2. Good people are leaving the company, and the culture is deteriorating.
  3. That opportunity to expand your role or start managing more people has been “next quarter” for a long time now.
  4. Management does not value or fully understand your role or initiatives.
  5. Investing another precious year in the same place is starting to feel “riskier” than moving somewhere and tackling new challenges.

Questions to Ask Yourself

The above questions help drive a rational evaluation, but it’s ok to give your gut a vote too — it can be a good overall indicator.

How Your Moves Look to the Market

You should focus your thinking around the internal factors above, but we also wanted to give you some perspective on how hiring managers and recruiters view work experience and tenure.

As a specialized marketing recruiting firm, we have a window into how these factors impact hiring decisions for our clients. The market looks with skepticism at someone who changes companies every year or two. Conversely, someone with very long stints at just one or two companies may raise questions around breadth of experience, ambition, and flexibility.

These evaluations aren’t always relevant (or fair), but here are the initial impressions we hear from hiring managers around these two extremes.

How Hiring Managers See Candidates — The 2 Extremes

“The Lifer”

Long stints at just one or two companies

  • Do they have enough diversity of experience to learn from different types of problems and multiple cultures and orgs?
  • Do they lack curiosity or scrappiness?
  • Was there strong progression within the tenure?
  • For long stints at larger companies, are they too comfortable with a big company structure and pace?
  • Did they exhibit a capacity to grow and reinvent themselves within that company?

“The Jumper”

Switches companies every year or two

  • Are they getting fired repeatedly? 
  • Are they missing the grit to work through tough times?
  • Is there a lack of commitment to a mission & team?
  • Is there a possible lack of earned progression?
  • Have they had an opportunity to put a plan in place and then learn from and live with the results?

In Summary

You should make this decision for the right reasons. You don’t want inertia, laziness, or tunnel vision in your current role to prevent you from picking your head up and being strategic. On the other hand, you don’t want to be distracted from performing well in your current role because you’re spending too much time looking around. You also shouldn’t jump ship too quickly because of a temporary bad stretch at work or baseless hopes that “the grass is always greener” in a different role. 

As a benchmark, 2-3 years is a good standard for each “tour of duty.” After that, the burden of proof shifts to making sure you are still growing in your current role and if you’re not, you might want to consider changing roles within your company or moving somewhere new. 

Self Assessment Tool

RevelOne Time To Move ToolThe RevelOne Time to Move Tool can help you think about your progress. After answering a few pivotal questions about your career trajectory, you will be given a score with actionable advice.

People tell us this tool helped them consider the most important factors in deciding if it was time to make a move.

Explore Time to Move Tool

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