We all know that feeling of nervous excitement on the first day of a new job. There’s so much potential ahead of you: to grow, to learn, to be part of a workplace, to make new friends.
But not every job is supposed to last forever, and some have a shorter timespan than others. In recent years, we saw what was called the “great resignation”, but sometimes you just get the sense that you’ve done all you can in a role, and it’s time to move on. So how can you tell if you’re at that point? Here are some signs that can guide you.
1. Lack of excitement
No one bounds into their office like Tigger every day. But there should always be projects, teamwork and future goals in your role that get you excited. Maybe it’s your work with one client in particular that keeps you motivated, or knowing you’re part of a team working for a common purpose.
When there’s nothing in work you feel any excitement about, nothing in the future that lights a fire under you, and no potential work that you feel would be invigorating, then it’s time to ask if you’ve achieved all you can in your current role.
2. Feeling stagnant
Feeling stagnant, like there’s just nothing left to learn in your role? This can be a sign you’ve outgrown where you are.
Like a plant, workers need to be nurtured. But if a plant’s roots are bursting out of the pot, then it’s time for them to move to somewhere bigger, which can give them space to grow.
Otherwise, they won’t keep growing and blossoming at the pace they once were. It’s hard to leave a role where you’re part of the team — but by changing things up, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your capabilities in the process.
3. Challenge-free zone
The right role challenges you to a level you enjoy being challenged. For some, that means a high-pressure day’s work fielding calls, requests and demands. For others, the challenge is minimal — but it’s enough to help them know they’re growing.
When you can’t find any challenges left in your working day (or week, month, or year) it can be a sign you’ve outgrown where you are. Without challenges, your learning will slow down.
It’s scary to think of leaping into a brand new role, which will undoubtedly bring challenges by the bucketload early on, but you’ll also be opening the door to discovering what you’re made of.
4. Jealous of others
When a friend announces they have a new role, do you start to feel a bit jealous? Jealousy and envy can point us towards what we truly desire in our work lives, offering us the opportunity to daydream about trying something fresh.
These emotions can also help when looking for new roles: which ones would you feel envious about if you knew someone else ultimately got them? Maybe that someone should be you.
5. No room for progress
When you’ve reached as far as you can literally go in your workplace, it’s time to ask: do I want to progress further, and can I do that elsewhere?
Even if you’re not the CEO, you might find that there’s no room for immediate progression — not unless your manager takes early retirement, or they create a new role for you. If neither of those is possible, your best bet for progression is to look further afield.
6. Feeling undervalued
You might enjoy your job, but do you feel your workplace values you? If you’re starting to feel undervalued, or like your work just doesn’t have impact, it may be because you’ve outgrown where you are.
Conversely, is it you who isn’t invested in the job? If your investment is low, it could be time for someone with fresh ideas to step up, and for you to move somewhere new.
Thinking you might have outgrown your workplace? Here are three roles currently hiring on the House of Talent Job Board.
DevOps Engineer, Metaverse, Improbable, London
Future-focused DevOps Engineers will be very interested in this role at British metaverse technology company Improbable. It includes heavy involvement in creating development processes, C1 pipelines and workflows focused on game engines and their components, and can even be worked remotely, in office or in a hybrid fashion. Find out more here.
M&A Business Strategy Consultant, Accenture, Amsterdam
This M&A Business Strategy Consultant role is for a person who wants to serve clients across industries and geographies, taking part in projects in both the pre-deal and post-deal phases. The ideal hire will work with consultants in Strategy & Consulting, and be willing to travel in Europe. For more on this role, see here.
Senior Software Engineer, Fashion Store, Zalando, Berlin
Retail company Zalando is looking for a Senior Software Engineer to work on its platform which enables fashion brands to run advertising campaigns. This is a role that will involve collaborating with the team and “shaping the future of fashion advertising”, says the company. Find the full details here.