All good things must come to an end.
And sometimes, that means leaving a job you once loved because it isn’t enough for you anymore.
Perhaps things have gone downhill at your workplace. Or maybe you’ve just grown out of your old role.
Overall, it’s important to listen to yourself, Apryl Zarate Schlueter, author of “Finding Success in Balance: My Journey to The Cheerful Mind,” told Business Insider.
“You have this burning feeling inside that you’re destined for more. A lot of people tend to ignore this voice — my former self included — because of fear, and the inability to see the clear path to what they want,” Schlueter said. “My advice is to listen to that voice.”
But if you need more than guidance from your gut, how can you tell it’s really time to seek better opportunities?
Here are a few indicators it’s time to move on:
This is probably the most obvious sign that your job just isn’t fulfilling anymore.
“You are no longer learning or putting yourself to the test,” said Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.” “You feel stagnant, like a real-life character in the classic movie, ‘Groundhog Day.'”
You’re not simply bored from time to time. Everyone has a mundane day once in a while. This feeling is constant, to the point where you actively dread going to work.
“You feel like your actions could practically be replaced by artificial intelligence, because problem-solving is so routine … and seemingly brainless at times,” Taylor said. “Of course your expertise and skill set has taken a long time to develop, but it doesn’t feel that way, because of the number of times you repeatedly deploy them in the same way.”
Taylor said that perks like raises, bonuses, or a nice office might ease the situation for a time, but ultimately, nothing will help you if you feel like your work is turning your brain to cheese.
“Unfortunately, many people stay with what’s comfortable, and later regret they didn’t make a move earlier,” Taylor said. “Don’t let that be you.”
If there’s an opportunity to improve your role rather than jumping ship entirely, it’s probably worth taking.
Schlueter told Business Insider that people who feel like their job is no longer enough should go through the following exercise. It will help determine whether you’re just in a bad mood, or something is seriously wrong at work:
Outline your dream job based on your current skill set.
Identify in as much detail as possible what that job would look like. That means asking questions like what would the role be? What is the salary? Where would the job be located? How many (if any) people would report in to the role?
Match this ideal role to your current role, identifying the areas where they align, and the gaps that are missing.
Explore the possibility of whether those gaps could be fulfilled in that current role. Schlueter says that if your current role can’t be molded to your desires, then it’s probably time to start transitioning out.
“Love Your Work” author Robert Dickie III told Business Insider that ultimately, if you’re feeling excited to go off and tackle a role at a company you believe in or pursue what you love, then you probably are ready to move on from your job.
“Loving what you do gives you a superpower that others who are just punching a clock won’t have,” he said. “You will have the energy and stamina to gut through long hours or hard work that will come with the territory. Those who hate their job can fake it but during the crutch, their performance will falter or be sub-par while yours will be top notch because it is not work for you. You love it. Passion is hard to contain and it is easy to spot. Those who love their job will do better and rise to the top. They will get more opportunity for success.”
Getting offers from other companies or interest from connections in other industries is a definite sign that you’re an attractive job candidate — and one who’s outgrown their current salary and role.
“Sooner or later everyone grows out of a job,” said Taylor. “In the course of your career, you may realize that getting a promotion at your current employer seems like a distant dream — or it might even seem unappealing, based on your current experiences.”
Taylor said that if you feel like your job isn’t enough for you anymore and you’re not getting offers elsewhere, it’s time to start conducting a discreet job search. The key thing is balancing your search with maintaining your productivity at your current job.
“There will always be jobs on the market that allow you to better expand upon your skills and responsibilities,” she said. “Get out of your comfort zone and take risks. It’s where real growth begins. ”