For better or for worse, there comes a time when your current position will no longer be right for you. It could be that the job no longer fits your career trajectory, doesn’t align with your values, or a variety of other reasons that cause a need to part ways.
Sometimes the hardest thing about it is realizing when you’ve outgrown a position entirely. Here are a few signs to look out for.
You’re no longer learning anything new
At the end of every week, it’s a good practice to ask yourself: “What did I learn this week?”
By doing this, you’ll let the lessons sink into your memory and you’ll quickly realize when you aren’t learning anything new. You’ll also notice when day-to-day tasks start to feel mundane, and your position starts to feel like a never-ending cycle of the same tasks.
This can be a result of a limited role, inexperienced team, or lack of opportunity.
You’re completing tasks above and outside your job position
It can be a pretty great feeling when you start to step up in a position and go outside your job description. It feels like you can take on the world, and nobody is going to stop you.
Eventually, you start to realize you shouldn’t be responsible for these tasks and that it might be more impactful to have someone with true, narrowed expertise handling these responsibilities. Once your role starts expanding, it means you’re not pre-occupied enough with your prescribed duties, and the job is not challenging you in a way that it should.
It can also be a red flag if the company starts to expect you to go above and beyond with no clear plan to expand your job role or provide compensation for the additional tasks being covered. If this happens, it’s probably best to consider moving on.
Your team relies heavily on you for decisions
If you’re near the start of your career and already the final voice in every decision, you’ve outgrown your position. You want to be in a role where you can aspire to grow, to work your way up. If you’ve already made it to the top, whether it’s official or not, you are not in an environment that will nurture your career.
In order for us to grow, we need to experience both ends of the hierarchy around us, and we need to have others who offer a perspective we’ve yet to consider. If this isn’t something your organization can offer due to its size, push yourself to find connections and mentorship outside of the office with those in similar or higher roles at other organizations in your area.
There’s no longer room for growth
Understanding how your company is structured can be more complicated than looking at an org chart. Some companies prefer to promote from within a department, while others cross-promote from different branches of the organization or hire an external candidate when a new position opens up.
It may seem like there’s room to grow when you first sign onto a position, but politics, individual seniority, and company policies may create unforeseen obstacles. Reflect on past hiring decisions to make sure you’re not stuck in your current role for life.
You can’t focus on the work you’re doing
Minutes feeling like hours and days feeling like weeks is one of the more obvious signs that you’ve outgrown your position. We can convince ourselves that boredom is common across workplaces, and it can be to a certain degree, but when it drags from one week into the next, you’re bored because you’re ready for more.
Acknowledge your feeling of boredom, and identify it for what it is. If you have a slow week, it happens. If every week feels like the last four, it’s time to start looking for the next learning experience.
You find yourself browsing alternatives
When you’re not entirely satisfied with your current position, you might find yourself browsing job boards or paying more attention to LinkedIn’s Recommend Jobs for You. This is a great idea whenever you’re employed, so you can keep on top of what’s new in the industry, what future jobs are looking for, or what the competitive rate may be.
Reflect on why it is you’re browsing, and acknowledge if this browsing is a tiny, internal attempt to escape your current position. While this can be an indication of outgrowing your position, give your employer a chance before jumping ship. Let them know what it is that’s intriguing you in other job descriptions, and see if there’s any opportunity to explore a role expansion.
Everything (and everyone) is telling you to move on
If you’re in a position where friends, family, or even co-workers are saying they think it’s time for you to move on, you should probably stop and listen. While these comments may be flattering, they are also important indicators that you’ve outgrown your current position.
While the people closest to us could be the ones to say it, you may also find signs through your own actions that are begging you to move on: caring less about the work itself, dreading the office, or even just a gut feeling.
Saying goodbye isn’t easy
Knowing it’s time to move on doesn’t always make it easier to do so. Try taking some interviews and really digging into your research to find out what else is out there for you before taking the plunge. Keep working hard while you search for your next step, but avoid paralyzing your growth with excuses for each new opportunity that arises.
Leaving a job before the experience has expired entirely can be one of the best ways to make sure you leave on a positive note and full of fond memories.
Ready to grow with a new challenge? See the best jobs for web creators at Authentic Jobs.