Breaking up is hard to do, but every new beginning must start with an end. One of the biggest decisions we face is to leave a job that isn’t working for us. It’s a big step, with risks to take into consideration, and unfortunately not always a choice for some.

Remember the saying “timing is everything” but, have you considered that “everything is timing?”  According to the book ‘When’ by Daniel H Pink – there’s an optimum time for quitting your job.


If you are considering a change in your career here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help you decide.


Do you want to be in this job on your next work anniversary?

People are most likely to leave a job on their one-year-work-anniversary. The second most likely time is their two-year anniversary, and the third, you guessed it, their three-year anniversary and so the pattern continues. If you dread the thought of being at your job on your next anniversary start looking now before your next anniversary comes around.


Is your current job both demanding and in your control?

The most fulfilling jobs share a common trait: They prod us to work at our highest level but in a way that we, not someone else, control. Jobs that are demanding but don’t offer autonomy burn us out. Jobs that offer autonomy, but little challenge bore us. (And jobs that are neither demanding nor in our control are the worst of all.) If your job doesn’t provide both challenge and autonomy, and there’s nothing you can do to make things better consider a move.

Do you have a boss or a Leader?

If your boss has your back, takes responsibility instead of blaming others, encourages your efforts but also gets out of your way, and displays a sense of humour rather than a raging temper, you’re probably in a good place. If your boss is the opposite, watch out – and maybe get out.


Are you outside the three – to – five-year salary bump window?

It’s a known fact that to get that pay increase you need to switch organisations. According to research the best time to switch is often between three and five years after you’ve started. Fewer than three years might be too little time to develop the most marketable skills. More than five years is when employees start becoming tied to their company and moving up its leadership ranks, which makes it more difficult to start somewhere else.


Does your daily work align with your long-term goals?

Research will show that when your individual goals align with those of your organisation, you’re happier and more productive. It could be a good idea to list your top two or three career aspirations for the next 3 years. If your current employer can help you reach them, if not it may be time to consider a change.


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