Many job seekers struggle with the decision to leave a company. When is the right time? Does it really make sense to leave one good job for another?
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It becomes much easier to make a decision about leaving if you pay attention to the signs.
If you wait too long to leave, you may create a tough situation for yourself. You may end up limiting your choices or taking a job that doesn't pay your worth or align with your career path.
If, on the other hand, you are proactive about leaving, you can avoid these pitfalls. You can only be proactive if you pay attention to the signs.
Is your manager unhappy with your performance? Are they documenting complaints. That's a sign. Do your best to address the issues, but if your manager still isn't pleased, it may be time to start looking elsewhere.
If your job function is growing outdated, pay attention. On the flip side, it can also be a bad sign if more people are entering your field than are necessary. If similar roles are being outsourced or automated, pay attention.
Keep an eye on industry trends, too. If your industry in general is struggling, pay attention to how your employer and its competitors react. If your company is restructuring frequently or turning over top-level management, watch closely.
If you sit and wait to become outdated, you will – but you don't have to. If you monitor changes in your company and industry, you will know when it's time to walk away.
If you've noticed any of the aforementioned signs, you may wonder how to respond.
Start by looking for other industries that may be able to use your skills and are doing better than your industry. Research roles that may require similar skills and qualifications as your current job. Look at other cities where the job market may be healthier.
At the same time, take stock of your professional network. Think about how many contacts you have outside of your current company or industry. If your company went under, do you have people you could call who aren't coworkers? If the answer is "no," it's time to start reaching out. It may not always be fun, but networking is a necessary part of surviving in today's job market.
The point is to take control of your future. Stop waiting to see what will happen. Instead, begin making steps toward a future that you choose. If you do, you're more likely to find something you'll want to stick with for years to come.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.