In 2021, economists and employers started noticing a trend: employees voluntarily quit their jobs in unprecedented numbers. Dubbed The Great Resignation, this movement has seen people of all ages and demographics critically re-evaluate their job satisfaction and opt to strive for something better.
The drivers of this phenomenon are as diverse as the employees themselves. Still, they tend to fall into one of the following categories: a desire for better work-life balance, the need for personal growth and a new challenge, wanting work that better aligns with one’s lifestyle, feeling undervalued at work, and seeing new opportunities emerge.
If you have seen reports of The Great Resignation and felt envious of those people seeking new opportunities, it might be a clear sign it’s time for a career change. Here are five signs it is time to find a new job:
1. You want a better work-life balance
Most of us spend most of our waking week at work or commuting to and from the workplace. Subtract the time you spend sleeping, commuting, and working from the hours in a day, and how much is left? When your work days are unsatisfying, prevent you from enjoying your life outside of work, or result in job stress, it can significantly and negatively impact one’s mental health and overall quality of life.
Elevated stress levels and low job satisfaction can make it difficult to fully engage in one’s life outside the work environment. Alternatively, the right job can reinvigorate you and deepen your enjoyment of your life outside the workplace. Certainly, we all have occasional bad days at work, but if you have more bad days than good and consistently return home from work feeling drained, it might be time for a job change.
2. You want a new challenge
Professional growth is important for good mental health. The satisfaction from becoming more than we have been in the past is essential to a fulfilling life. We all need to learn new things, grow as individuals, and have a pathway towards career advancement to remain stimulated and excited about our lives.
Certainly, it feels good to achieve mastery of one’s job. But if you are sleepwalking through your workday doing tasks on autopilot, it is clear you are capable of more. When your current role has you feeling stagnated and bored or doesn’t allow you to learn new skills or grow, it might be the right time to test the job market and seek out a new position that will allow for career advancement and personal growth that comes with it.
3. You want a job that fits your lifestyle
If your current role does not accommodate the lifestyle you want, it might be time to find a new role. Perhaps you have activities you cannot pursue based on the time demands of your current role, or maybe your life circumstances have changed, such as a new addition to the family. Whatever the cause, some jobs just don’t align with your life outside of work.
We all want a career that fits with the lifestyle we desire. By conducting a job search that factors in this need, finding a new employer that offers a better fit for your chosen lifestyle is possible.
4. You feel undervalued in your current role
Every person needs to feel appreciated and valued in their work environment. Indeed, studies have shown this is a key component of a fulfilling life. Being adequately appreciated by one’s employer boosts morale and improves the quality of one’s work. If your current job does not make you feel valued, the quality of your work will start to decrease, as will your mental and even physical health.
You can start by talking to your boss to explore new opportunities for career growth, new projects that allow you to learn new skills, or new responsibilities that open pathways to career advancement within your current position. If this does not lead to the professional growth you seek, this is a good reason to seek out new opportunities.
5. You have new opportunities available to you
The Great Resignation has changed the landscape of the job market. People are changing jobs at unprecedented rates, leaving behind all sorts of job vacancies and opening up new possibilities for you. Maybe you have been assessing the job market by scanning job boards or have even been conducting an active job search and are seeing career opportunities that interest you. If you are spending your work days dreaming of something better, this might be the best time to leap.
A new job can offer the opportunity for career growth, improved earnings, new skills, and greater personal fulfillment. If you have already found a new opportunity that you find compelling, take this as a sign that it might be time to talk with your boss and leave your current role on good terms.
Change your job, change your life.
Life is short. It is too short to spend your work day staring at the clock, counting the seconds until the workday is over. If you spend Sundays dreading the Mondays to follow, this is a clear sign it is time for a new job. Fortunately, opportunities for career change are more abundant than they have been in a long time.
Instead of wishing the days away, take the steps needed to improve your life. Familiarize yourself with the job market by searching the job boards to identify new opportunities. Reach out to friends, family, and even former employers to enlist their help and seek their guidance. Connect with recruiters to get expert help to identify pathways to career advancement.
Most of all, listen to the signs, take the plunge, and take charge of your destiny — the time is right to get the job and the life you want.