For me, when the new year comes around it’s a reminder that it’s time for a bit of career introspection. If you’re lucky enough to have some time off during the holidays, they provide the perfect space for that.
About ten years ago, though, that voice in my head that said “It’s time to make a move,” started screaming at me, and with each passing year it got louder and more constant. And I made a move. But I still had a feeling that I’d waited too long, and it led me to a practice I’ve instituted to help me avoid another situation where I looked back with that kind of regret.
Is it time to move on?
Here are the ten questions I came up with several years ago to help me, and later my clients, figure out if it was time to look for a new job. Answer each question and add the points for each “no” as indicated. (Notice the questions are weighted and some “no’s” are worth more than others).
- Do I have the resources to get my job done with excellence? This means looking at technology, staffing & budget. (No = 10)
- Do I have good relations with my co-workers within my organization? This means looking at who you work with and whether you have support for accomplishing your work objectives. (No = 10)
- Do I have at least one champion? This means identifying someone or two people within your organization who believe in you and your work. They are your advocates; they back you up and help you rise. (No = 15)
- Does my work have an impact that is measurable? If you can’t measure your contribution to the organization and the difference you make as it relates to the bottom line, that’s a red flag. It’s a tough question to ask and answer objectively, but if your role was eliminated, would it matter? (No = 10)
- How does my work contribute to the core mission of the organization? If your role isn’t directly connected to the core mission of the business that’s okay, but you should have certainty that it is valued as important to achieving corporate goals. (No = 5)
- Are my personal values and the corporate mission aligned? If not, you may find yourself uncomfortable and at odds with decisions you don’t control. (No = 5)
- Do I have friends here? This factor has been found by the Gallup Organization’s Employee Engagement Survey to be critical to our job satisfaction. (No = 5)
- Can I get help when I have a problem? Do you feel you are working in a vacuum, or do you have people you can call on when you get stuck? (No = 10)
- Am I challenged and continuing to develop new skills? Do you have opportunities to learn and grow? It’s critical that you keep your skills up-to-date, not just for yourself, but so you can offer exceptional performance for your employer. (No = 15)
- How do I feel about coming to work every day? What is your gut saying? This gets at the impact of a negative work environment, a bad boss, or unpleasant coworkers. Don’t ignore this! (No = 15)
What’s your total?
0-30: You are very likely in good shape, unless of course, you are unhappy. If you’re unhappy, make a move. You’re worth it.
30-50: There are some red flags here. You can choose to address some of these issues, to the extent they are under your control, and turn some “nos” into “yesses.” If you can’t do that, your best option is to move. Look back at those questions. These are the things that are needed for successful performance and a secure career. If you don’t have them, and you don’t move, you are volunteering for trouble down the road.
Above 50: It’s hard to say, and I know it’s harder to hear, but you must make a move and quickly.
If you’d like to discuss your plans with someone who can point you in the right direction, schedule a complimentary consultation today.
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