When is it time to leave your job?
I had an interesting conversation in a group chat with some of my friends about jobs. One of my friends was frustrated with her internship and everyone else in the group was telling her that maybe its time to leave. That got me thinking. How many times did I think about leaving my job before I actually did? Why did I wait so long? How can you know when it’s the “right time” to leave a job/internship? So, I gathered some ideas and I thought I would talk about it today. These are from my own personal experience.
The first thing to look at is are you still learning? I like to think about jobs as learning experiences. Yes, you go there to get a particular task done but you are also there to learn. These are more with strategic jobs that you are at because you want to work in that field. I’m not talking about those dead-end jobs that you take just to pay the bills. Not a whole lot to learn in that case. If you are not learning anything new, maybe its time to look elsewhere. Jobs should be bettering your skills. So, if you have stopped learning, then you have stopped growing and it’s time to move on.
Do you see a future there? I used to always want to work for this one company my whole life. I got a job there and eventually, my dreams changed. I no longer aspired to work for this company forever. I had to take a hard look and decide if I should really be investing my time in a place that had no future for me. Even if you are starting out at the lowest level in the company, if you see yourself moving up and staying with that company, then it is worth your time. If you don’t see yourself staying there, why would you stay any longer then you have to?
Are you being taken advantage of? I find that this can be a difficult one for people to determine. There comes a point in some jobs where your skills are above and beyond your station. Maybe you are already at the highest level that they have available, but your skills are still far beyond your paygrade. I think the biggest issue is that we don’t value our individual set of skills enough to see this. We need to realize our worth. If we feel like we are worth more then the job we are doing, it’s time to leave.
The overall message I want to get across here is that we should be treating jobs like a learning experience. If we aren’t learning, then we aren’t growing. Life is all about growing and becoming even better then we were yesterday. Notice how none of these points talk about if you are financially ready to leave. That’s because if we wait until we think we are “financially ready,” none of us would ever leave our jobs. You need to trust in yourself that you are making a good decision. Yes, it is going to be difficult at first, but in the long run think of all the benefits.