It is not always easy to know when the time is right to quit your job. Be alert for danger signals and learn to anticipate layoffs or other career problems. Here are five signs it may be time to consider finding a new job.
Reduced Hours or Duties at Work
Are you suddenly scheduled for fewer hours or for less desirable hours than usual? Is your inbox not as full as it once was? This can be a sign your company is experiencing hard times. If others are maintaining their old schedules while you are not, it may also be a sign that your boss is not entirely pleased with you. If you think there is some misunderstanding between you and your boss, try to clear the air. If you think the company may be trying to get you to look for a new job, don’t disappoint them; go find a new job before you are laid off.
Are managers meeting behind closed doors for hours, then emerging with grim faces? Is there reluctance on the part of management to communicate with you? If you are no longer asked to participate in regular team meetings or conference calls, or if you are out of the loop when it comes to e-mails or memos, ask yourself what the reason may be. Unusual visits from regional or national managers might mean your office is in for changes, so consider whether those changes are likely to enhance or threaten your career.
While rumors should not be the sole basis for any major career decision, they can be clues that corroborate other signs of trouble. If the same rumor comes from several independent sources, both inside and outside the company, check for more concrete signs to confirm the rumor. If you network with others in your profession at different companies, they may hear news of mergers or other shake-ups before you do.
If your company is reorganizing, you must decide whether the new structure makes you redundant or irrelevant. If reorganization is caused by merger with another firm, the firm that bought your company might want to “clean house” and replace you with people of their own choosing. Look at other signs, as mentioned above, to help determine if reorganization is to your benefit or is a reason to look elsewhere.
Loss of Enthusiasm
While the four reasons above are external events, a loss of enthusiasm is an internal, personal reason to look for a new job. Perhaps your company has not changed, but you have. If you are in a rut and feel a need for a job that is more challenging, more relaxed, or just different, start exploring other possibilities.
None of these reasons alone is necessarily reason to quit your job; however, if you notice more than one of these signs, it is time to do some serious thinking about your future. Be proactive and know when the time is right to move on for the sake of your own career.