When to Make Your Next Career Move

7 mins

It goes without saying that no one knows when they should make their next career move until ...

It goes without saying that no one knows when they should make their next career move until the exact moment that it creeps up on them. Chances are, there comes a time when you'll realise that your current role isn't right for you.

And to be perfectly honest, there could be a multitude of reasons why you may want to move and the best way to approach this is to weigh your decisions as clearly and as objectively as possible. The first step in this process is to evaluate your current situation in your job and think of the bigger picture for your career as a whole.

Now it's not always easy to differentiate if you're just experiencing a low point in your career with a particular organisation and that it may pass or, if it is a longer-term issue at hand and that a career move is necessary. For those uncertain if it's the former or the latter, here are five unmistakable signs that it's time for a career change:

#1 You’re not happy with your job

According to the UK’s Office of National Statistics, the average working week for full-time workers are 37.5 hours and, when you factor in typical commuting times, it amounts to a significant proportion of your week – roughly totalling up to anywhere between 40-47 hours per week.

Given the portion of time spent doing work or performing work-related activities (travelling and etc.), you'll be spending a large part of your life being miserable if you’re unhappy with your job for whatever reason.

While the cause of your unhappiness can be due to many different factors as it is highly unlikely that it's down to one single reason, the time spent being unhappy on your job certainly isn't helping. Ask yourself this:

- are you bored with your current role?

- do you wish you have more responsibilities?

- are you frustrated with the lack of progressions with your career?

- does the idea of going into work every morning stress you out even more than it should?

If you've answered yes to any of those then clearly, your job is making you unhappy. And if so, consider putting in some effort to try to rectify and change the circumstances at work. Try applying for internal promotions or switching teams. A change in scenery, team members or responsibilities can typically help to motivate and energise your outlook in the workplace.

If not then the other option is to leave the organisation that you're currently working for and find a new job in a brand new environment but make sure you spend the time to evaluate the root of your unhappiness and demotivation.

#2 The organisation you’re working for is struggling

This is out of your control but, if you happen to work in a struggling or slow-growing company then, you're probably frustrated with the lack of rewards or satisfaction from your job. If they are actively downsizing, it's also likely that they are struggling with profits and it's probably in your best interest to start looking elsewhere for a role. Put it this way: if you don't and the company were to go out of business then, you'll be putting yourself under immense pressure to find another role at short notice.

#3 You’ve been approached for another role

It could be that you've been approached with a new offer by an organisation or a recruitment consultancy. And whether or not it's a permanent, freelance or contract role, this could be the opportunity for you to make your next career move.

This sudden offer has probably made you re-evaluate your role in your current organisation and, the truth is if you are considering it then, it's a pretty clear sign that you're ready for a move. Just make sure that you take the time to understand all the details of the job on offer, your market value and circle back with a counteroffer with your desired package and benefits.

#4 Your pay and benefits have flatlined

If you're steadily delivering and outperforming everyone at work then but not getting the recognition you deserve, there's a chance that your boss or employer are taking you for granted. One way to know this is by examining your current pay and rewards package and comparing it to when you first started – has it remained unchanged despite your consistent effort?

The longer you go without a positive change in your pay and benefits, the likely it is that you will or are already being underpaid as the cost of living throughout the world inevitably rises. Now if you're contempt with the situation at hand and you're not proactively seeking for more then it's unlikely that anything is going to change. So why not consider taking the initiative to ask for a better package based on your performance or even look elsewhere that can offer you more?

#5 You only have one professional life

Work takes up a large part of our lives so, it's imperative that we receive some form of satisfaction in the work that we do. Whether it's a sense of fulfilment, pride or joy, our careers should be a positive drive and experience no matter the industry or job. Everyone has the skills and talent to do well but, what differentiates the best among the rest is ambition and drive.

If you find yourself tackling an average job when you really could be doing more, just know that you owe it yourself to make the most out of your career. And whether or not you stay with your current employer, you should be actively looking for a better opportunity that will challenge and improve your skills. After all, you only have one professional life so, make sure you choose the best and make the most out of it.

Trust your instincts, evaluate your situation objectively and do some research on what the job market is like in your industry sector if you’re thinking of making a career move.

If you’re ready to start writing your CV then make sure you read our 6 CV Tips To Help You Land Your Dream Job and 23 CV Mistakes You Need to Avoid.