Reasons For A Job Change: Top Signs You Should Change Jobs

Man Walking to New Job

Changing jobs can be a great way to develop your career and find fulfilling work you love. It can also be a terrible mistake. Quitting can have implications concerning your resume, your professional reputation, and, ultimately, how employable you are. So, how can you be confident it's the right reason to make a job change?

More often than not, money isn’t the reason why people are unhappy with their employment situation. Unpleasant coworkers, a lack of purpose, a lack of autonomy, and similar quality-of-life concerns are usually to blame. When choosing between two jobs you’re equally interested in, money is a great tiebreaker. However, since we all value our health and well-being, it’s our day-to-day quality of life that tends to matter most when it comes to work.

People spend about one third of their lives at work. You don’t have to love every aspect of your job, but it shouldn’t make you miserable.

  • If you find yourself in a persistently bad mood because of your workplace, it may be in your best interests to find a new job. Those feelings are often the result of a toxic work environment.
  • But it doesn’t take unpleasant people to make your job unpleasant. People are often dissatisfied with their work simply because it doesn’t suit their personality!

And there are purely practical reasons for a job change:

  • You may feel stuck at your job.
  • You may not be using the skills you were hired to use
  • Feeling bored at work
  • You want to take on more challenging tasks

In either case, if you’re not developing the skills you want to develop, and that can cause your career to be as stagnant as it feels. These can be clear signs you need a new job.

But before you make any big decisions, make sure it’s your work that’s the source of your foul mood. Do you spend lots of time venting about work? Do you feel like your work-life balance is sorely lopsided? These are some of the most common signs you should quit your job.

What To Do Before You Decide To Quit a Job

Before you make such a big decision, consider talking about the problem with a manager within your company. Smart companies try to retain valued employees. You may be able to work out a way to resolve office conflicts, find new challenges, and keep you in your current job. Even if you can’t find a resolution, your employer will appreciate you kept them in the loop, which may help you in the future. Before leaving a job, also prepare by looking into informational interviews to see if there is a different job opportunity you’d like to explore.

But if the problem proves insurmountable, you’ll probably want to move on. Wondering what other career paths are out there? Take a look at our Career Wizard to learn about what kind of new career tracks might suit you.

Tips For When To Leave Your Job

Leaving a Job After One Year

It’s natural to feel anxious about changing jobs, especially if you’re thinking of leaving within a year. Short job stints can raise questions about your resume. For decades, conventional wisdom has held a person who frequently changes employment becomes less employable.

Leaving a Job After Six Months or Less

Leaving a job after six months or less has been particularly stigmatizing, however, there are very good reasons for leaving a job after a shorter stint. And attitudes of prospective employers toward “job hoppers” have changed for the better in recent years.

A Clean, Professional Break

The best time to leave a company is rarely during a large project, or in the middle of their peak season. Creating an inconvenient absence may salt the earth for you at that company, which is far more likely to damage your career than a short stint of employment on your resume.

The Pros and Cons of Job-Hopping

While that may have been true in past economies, quickly moving between jobs isn’t as frowned upon as it once was. A third of employers expect job-hopping, many of which consider it advantageous if an applicant has a broad background of experience. Job-hoppers are often perceived as having a better learning curve. But it’s not all about your resume:

  • Over the span of a 10-year career, people who stay with the same company for more than two years earn less than their job-jumping counterparts.
  • In the long term, job switchers are believed to earn about 1% more annually.
  • Furthermore, the average raise people receive from leaving their job is between 10% and 20%. It’s easy to compare that to the 2-3% annual raise a job-keeper might earn.

Short job stints raise questions, but those questions have simple answers. Sometimes you need to relocate or take care of a family member. Sometimes you simply realize a job isn’t for you. But sticking it out for the sake of your resume is typically a mistake. People who switch jobs are more likely to find positions to match their talents. And at the end of the day, that’s what we’re all looking for.