Do you need to make a career change? Sometimes it can be hard to really see that it’s time to look for a new job because you might be complacent in your current position. On top of that, inertia ensures that it’s easier to just keep with the same old routine, rather than break away and begin the job search.

However, there are some signs that it really is time for you to consider changing things up a bit in your career, and look for a new job:

1. Your Job Feels Like…A Job

new-job-ahead-signWhat are the words you use to describe your job? Do you just talk about your job, rather than referring to your career, or to your life’s work? In most cases, a job is something that you have to do. It’s not something that you particularly enjoy, nor is it something that allows you to feel as though you are making a difference.

A career, or work, is different. Your career is something that defines you, and that you are glad is a part of you. If you have work, you feel as though you are doing something worthwhile and productive. A job offers none of these things. If your position feels like nothing more than a job, it might be time to move — especially if you are looking for a challenge.

2. No Hope of Advancement

One of the hallmarks of being stuck in a job is the fact that there is very little room for advancement. This might be because there just aren’t the openings available for you, or because there isn’t a lot of upward movement in the company. It could also be due to the fact that you don’t have an “in” with the boss. Sometimes, it really is about who you know. If you feel as though you don’t have a chance  to improve your situation, and you want that chance, move on.

3. Problems with Management

Are you concerned about the company’s future? If you think that the company is mismanaged, whether it’s mediocre middle managers or incompetent folks at the top, that usually means that things are likely to go bad at some point. If there isn’t a good corporate culture at the company, consider moving on. Not only can issues with management cause you more stress in your own work, it can also be a sign that things are on the verge of falling apart. You don’t want to be stuck when that happens.

4. It’s Interfering Too Much with Your “Real” Life

Take a look at your life, and how your job fits in. While you can enjoy a good career, and a good family life and healthy relationships, you can’t let your job interfere too much with your actual life. If your job is increasingly demanding, requiring long hours, it might be time to move on.

Additionally, consider how much stress your job is adding to your life. If you are constantly on edge with your loved ones, and if regularly complain about work and the way it intrudes on your life, then it might be time to look for a job that fits your need for work/life balance a little bit better. Don’t be afraid to put your relationships and your life ahead of working endlessly for your boss.

5. Unfair Compensation

Do you find yourself unhappy about your compensation? While it’s good to remember that compensation is about more than just money, you also need to feel as though you are being fairly paid. Look at your entire package. Do the benefits you receive make up for a lower salary? If so, and if you enjoy your work, there’s no reason to leave.

However, if you think that you could better utilize your skills and receive better payment for them elsewhere, consider moving on. Compare you compensation to similar positions in your area and industry. Sites like and can help you identify comparable salaries.

Take a look at your job situation. If you realize that it’s just not working out for you, it’s important to spruce up your resume, reach out to your network, and begin the job search.



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.