How to know when it is time to move on from your workplace

from a Software Engineer perspective

Time is a friend when we use it for good by acting, not for evil by letting it slip away.

No matter how much you love your job, there always comes a time when you have to move on. You may get promoted and given a bigger role or responsibility, or the company may be downsizing. Whatever the reason for moving on, making that decision can be hard. It's never easy to leave your comfort zone. But with these tips that will help you know when it is time to move on from your workplace, this will be easier than you think.

The work no longer interests you

This is very important. The work that you do should stimulate you, make you look forward to going to work and make you feel as though you are establishing something. If you feel dread every morning, have zero motivation to do your tasks, the projects that you are currently working on no longer interest you or you are completely switched off then maybe it is time to dust off your C.V and start looking elsewhere.

There is no room for progression

This is the number 1 reason I have accumulated many job roles in the past fourteen years. What is the point of staying if there is no room for progression? Some might say that they are too comfortable and cannot be bothered to go through the interview process again. I say stuff that! The main reason why people work is to make money so that they can buy food, pay bills and sometimes enjoy the finer things in life. We work to live, not live to work.

If you have been at a company for many years (2/3 years) and are still in the position as you were when you first join then maybe you could do the following:

  1. Book a meeting with your direct report
  2. Explain to them that you are interested in moving on to the next level and find out what it is that you need to do to get there and make a plan!
  3. Execute, execute, execute! Make sure you left no stone unturned for them to give you an excuse for not giving you that pay rise or a promotion.
  4. Every time you achieve something, albeit if it was small or not, make a note of it and the impact it made on the team or for the company.
  5. Book another meeting 6 months after your first performance review, highlighting all achievements you have made so far and why you are ready for a promotion.

If you follow the steps above and still get no outcome then get the hell out! There is no point in staying, the company doesn't value you enough to keep you on, which leads to the next point...

You haven't had a significant pay increase in many years

Let's face it, the number one reason why we go to work is to be paid. To earn money to pay our bills, put food on the table and a roof over our heads and maybe enjoy some finer things in life. With the current financial situation, national insurance increase, energy bill crisis, food prices going up and the cost of living going up, it is more important than before that you are getting paid your worth. Currently, the job market for Software Engineers is booming and the pay reflects it. If you are not sure that you are getting paid the industry average, take a look at places like Glassdoor

Your workplace environment has become too hostile to continue working

Many studies have proven that workplace hostility is significantly related to higher turnover. Furthermore, if there is no employee support the number of employee attrition increases significantly. Continuing to work in a hostile workplace will not only affect your performance but also your mental health. That is why it is important when looking for a new job that the compensation reflects your skill set and that the team and the company's culture fits your needs.

There are many other reasons why people decide to leave their jobs; the reasons above are just a few. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to know that you are a human being, work should not be your identity nor should you feel as though you owe your workplace anything. For every employer who is looking for every employee and every job that fits perfectly, many more positions remain available and untouched. So as a potential candidate, always keep your options open.

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