How Do You Know When it is Time to Change Jobs?

by Ryan Guina

I have been frustrated at work lately. By lately, I mean the last 6-8 months. The trouble I am having in my current role is that I feel I have reached a plateau, and instead of progressing professionally, I feel like I have stagnated. This is a dangerous place for me to be because I have a tendency to become complacent and bored when I am not challenged.

Before anyone says anything, yes, I have approached my team leader, performance rater, and his boss – the man who ultimately holds the responsibility for promoting me or giving me a raise. I have clearly stated my case about my current role. The response I received from each of them was pretty much the company line – “hang in there, and we’ll see what we can do.”

When is it time to change jobs?

When is it time to change jobs?

Unfortunately, I know there isn’t a position available for me to assume (or create) in our current line of work. And unless things change it will stay this way for at least 9 months, which is when our current contract expires. After that, I am not sure what will happen.

There is some good news though – I should be receiving a promotion in a month or two. The bad news is that it will essentially be a paper promotion – one that results in a change of title and salary, but not much in terms of role or responsibility. At least not in my eyes. In my opinion, a lack of opportunity is one of the top 10 signs it is time to change jobs.

When I look at my job situation I realize I am satisfied with my salary, coworkers, hours, commute, and benefits… But I just don’t feel challenged and I don’t have a lot of job satisfaction. I recently had another meeting with my boss and he said he would look at current opportunities within our company. I would be amenable to a change in roles; I do not feel the need to leave my current company to feel satisfied. I just need a new challenge.

In the mean time, I have begun using my network to put out job feelers. This can be a tricky situation though, because I work in a tightly knit professional community. I don’t want to go sneaking around and deceiving anyone, but I don’t want my current company to know I am exploring other opportunities either.

Even though I am dissatisfied with my current job, I plan on thoroughly assessing any job offers I receive before deciding to jump ship. I want to make sure I am going into a new role because the role is the right one for me – not because I am currently unhappy.

This is very new territory for me and if anyone has any tips or ideas about how I can reinvigorate myself in my current role, I am open to suggestions.

Photo credit: The Marmot

Published or updated December 26, 2012.
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

Wow. This post sure hits home. Like you, I’m satisfied with my compensation, hours, benefits, c-workers and work environment, I’m just bored.

I’ve contacted a few executive recruiters and have had a couple of interviews, but nothing has happened so far. I think using an executive recruiter is the way to go. They’re usually professionals, they keep things quiet, and most bill the employer.

I’ll be checking back to see what ideas other have. I could use some help myself.


2 Ryan

Ron, I’m sure there are a lot of people that feel the same way you and I feel about our respective jobs. I just don’t think most people talk about it often because they don’t want to be seen as complainers. I know I am fortunate to have a good job with good compensation, hours, benefits, etc. and I am grateful to be gainfully employed. I am just trying to find something more fulfilling for me.

I haven’t gone through any recruiters at this point, although that may be something I investigate in the future. I’m sure I will write more about my situation as things happen.

Good luck with finding the right position for your situation!


3 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

Sounds like a good blog post, hmmm, How to quietly poke around and find a more fulfilling job! 🙂


4 fathersez

I am also at a crossroads myself.

One of my investments (private company)has secured a good contract with a telco in Indonesia.

We have to set up a team and get the work going.

I have been asked to join in.

THis will be great, a mirror image of my best times in Ghana a few years ago. But there will be a major pay cut.

So thinking and thinking.

I’ll look forward to reading what your readers have to advise.


5 Ryan


It sounds like you have a unique opportunity with a lot of upside – but a lot of downside as well. To be honest, I’m not in any position to offer advice! Writing this article was my way of thinking out loud and forming my opinions about my situation. I wish you and your family the best while you decide what to do in your situation. 🙂


6 deepali

I’m still mulling this over. I am frequently dissatisfied with my job. But everytime I find myself perusing the help wanted ads, I take a long hard look at my life. Often, the dissatisfaction is coming from elsewhere and bleeding into work. I think only once in the past 5 years has it really and truly been a situation of genuine job dissatisfaction with no immediate remediation. I ended up changing departments, and things started looking up again. Now I have a promotion in my sights, so it’s given me reason to stick around at least another year or so. Which is all I need. 🙂

If I didn’t, though, I would definitely be looking elsewhere, at least to know what’s out there…


7 Ryan

deepali, great point. I know happiness, or a lack thereof, can bleed across work/life boundaries. Many times your outlook will heavily influence one or the other aspect of your life. When you think about it, work is essentially half your life during your working years. In my case, I have stepped back and analyzed my situation, and I know I need another professional outlet. Right now my job involves very little creativity or much thought. I like to solve problems, analyze, and create. I need to find an outlet that allows me to do that (outside of my blog of course).


8 Dividends4Life

If you have doubts, it is better to find a position you can be passionate about.

Best Wishes,


9 Ryan

WC, I feel the same way. Thanks for your input. As for my job, my manager pulled me aside the other day and said they “may” have something for me in a couple months. We’ll see. I prefer being proactive and trying to find something new instead of jumping ship the first time I get bored. That isn’t a way to grow your career, and there may have been other (better) options available. It never hurts to look. 🙂


10 Writer's Coin

This is my last week with my current job, as I just found a new one after a very long search (a year or so). During that year though, I pushed the envelope as far as I could at my job. I tried contributing in different areas of the company to see if maybe that would improve how I felt. It didn’t work. After trying every single thing I could do in as proactive a way that I could, it made it easy to decide to leave.

Leave no stone unturned and if that yields nothing, it’ll be easy to move on to the next challenge.


11 Pinyo @ Moolanomy

We have very similar philosophy about career growth. I hate it too when I am no longer challenged.


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