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Should you stay or should you go? There's no surefire sign that it's time to look for greener professional pastures. But there are a few clear reasons that could signal it's time to change jobs.
First, ask yourself if there is a culture clash. Is your entrepreneurial nature always at odds with the collaborative style of your co-workers? Do you need a social, mobile work environment to keep your creative juices flowing, while your office is neatly divided up into closed office spaces? A company's core culture isn't likely to change over night, so if you're not happy, it might be time to look elsewhere.
Another sign that a job change might be in order is a lack of performance-based rewards. Maybe you've received the standard raise yet again, but weren't awarded a new title. Or you consistently exceed the limits of a company's bonus structure. Most employees need incentives and rewards to feel valued, and if you're not getting them, it might be time to dust off that resume.
Signs of financial stress at your company are another red flag. If vendors are starting to complain about late payments, or one of your own paychecks bounces (or you hear that a coworker's did), you may want to proactively protect yourself by launching a job search.
If you decide that it is indeed time to quit and move on, take care when breaking the news to your boss. A poorly executed resignation could come back to haunt you. There may be a time when you need a referral from him or her to help you land a new job. And even after you quit, a merger could potentially reunite you with your former supervisor.
Set up a meeting to announce your plans to quit at least two weeks in advance of your departure. Share the news immediately rather than dance around the subject. Tell your boss you have enjoyed working at the company but don't want to pass up a new, compelling opportunity. Emphasize the lure of the new job rather than the flaws of the old one. Other good reasons to give for leaving include the chance to gain more responsibility, make a bigger impact on an organization or learn new skills.
- Watch for signs of financial stress at your company, or signs that rewards might be curtailed in the near future.
- Try to figure out if your uncertainty is due to a culture clash between your style and the corporate culture. If it is, it might be time to move on.
- Once you do decide to quit, be sure you don't burn any bridges in the process.
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