It used to be true that workers started their careers at one company and spent decades there, rising through the ranks until they reached a top spot, where they stayed. Today, climbing the corporate ladder often means changing ladders — jumping from company to company — and workers aren't afraid to go.
But changing jobs when you're higher on the corporate ladder can feel tricky. The higher up you are, you may feel there are fewer comparable positions on the horizon, and you may have been with your current company for a few years.
Sometimes it's hard to know if you've fallen momentarily out of love with your job, or if you're long overdue a new employer. Monster asked the experts to weigh in with examples of signs that it's time you should start looking for a new job.
Dread is your default emotion
When you hate your job, you're not doing yourself or your company any favors. So if going to work fills you with anxiety and dismay, take note and don't write it off as just part of the grind.
"If the dread is only alleviated by the fact that you've got a vacation coming, or that someday you'll be happy in retirement," says Nancy Colasurdo, a writer and life coach in Hoboken, N.J., "that's a flashing neon sign that you're ready for change."
You're the worst version of yourself
Over time, a buildup of work-related stress can lead to behavior you'd rather not exhibit.
"The more frustrated you are in your current role, the shorter your fuse becomes," says Nicole Wood, CEO and co-founder of career coaching company Ama La Vida. "You may find yourself acting in ways that are completely out of character, shocking and embarrassing."
Your values are being compromised
It could be that the company you joined has evolved into a different kind of company since you joined it — or you've evolved into a person with different priorities. If a job conflicts with your core values, the emotional and physical strain are sure to surface.
"If you really value family, but you're in a role that's now demanding for you to travel all the time, and you're missing recitals and holidays, that's going to wear on you," Wood says. "Or if you really value innovation but you work for a company where new ideas really aren't supported, that's going to become frustrating. You're going to feel really stifled."
You've been there more than a decade
"More than 10 years, you really run the risk of being thought of as somewhat stale," says Nancy Halpern, an executive coach with KNH Associates in New York City. "You're too bought into a certain way of doing things."
The other risk of staying too long may be that you feel frozen — your interview and job search skills are rusty, and you feel unable to move on, even if you want to. "Even if you're not miserable, it's a really good time to take stock," Halpern says.
You've hit a ceiling
The onus is on you to own your career and seek out support from your higher-ups. "But if you're feeling that they're not personally invested in you or your growth, or you're not getting support for your initiatives, it's a sign that maybe things are stalled," Wood says. "Or maybe there's just not that next growth opportunity for you to get the success and achievement that you're trying to push for."
The same goes for the situation if your salary has stalled. If you haven't had a raise in 18 to 24 months and there's no raise in your future — or a promotion down the line that would result in a salary bump — you're better off looking elsewhere. New positions often come with pay bumps.
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