how to tell if you’ve outgrown your job

Are you getting the feeling that your job is no longer the right fit for you? Whether you’re feeling a lack of growth, or like the culture isn’t right for you, here are some signs that it’s time for you to move on to greener pastures. Even if you’re not quite ready to move on, at the very least, you should have a frank discussion with your manager about what’s next for your career.

have you outgrown your job

you no longer have goals

Having goals gives you something to work towards. In a healthy workplace you should have a mix of both short and long-term goals, and be actively taking steps to achieve them. If you have set goals for yourself but find yourself thinking they’re impossible and more like wishful thinking, consider sitting down with your boss to determine if there are smaller, realistic steps you can work on to help you get to where you want to be.

the company’s values don’t align with yours

We get it; sometimes the cultural fit in a company just isn’t right. If you’re working somewhere that’s all about the work, work, work, even if it means staying late, and it seems like everyone else is on board except you, it might be that the company’s values just aren’t right for you. Sometimes office culture shifts over time (as do you!). So don’t think that just because you were drinking the company kool aid a few years ago, that it’s still the perfect place for you today. Important values to consider when deciding if the culture is still right for you include: work-life balance, job security, work flexibility and company values and priorities, among many others. 

too much of your work is tedious or below your skill level

Now we’re not saying that 100% of your work should be happy fun times. We all have those less-than-fun administrative tasks we have to do because they’re a part of our job. The issue arises when these tasks start clouding your day and wreaking havoc on your productivity and motivation. A good rule of thumb to live by is the 70/30 rule. If more than 30% of your time is being taken up by tedious, repetitive tasks, it might be time to consider your career options and whether you’ve outgrown your job.

there are no opportunities to learn

For many of us, fulfilling work involves opportunities to keep learning. Work that’s engaging here and now is important, but so is work that opens up new opportunities for the future. This might mean attending training or development sessions to learn new skills, or taking on new and challenging projects that push your limits. Expand your repertoire and push yourself to try things that are out of your comfort zone to keep your career trajectory moving forward. If your career has hit a plateau, it might be time to ask your manager about opportunities to take on new responsibilities and projects that are a little bit outside your current scope.

you aren’t motivated

You know that slight feeling of dread you have before doing something you really don’t want to do? If that feeling underlines the majority of your pre-work routine, you, my friend, are feeling unmotivated. You dread coming into work and putting in another 8 hours doing whatever it is you’re doing. When you’re at work you’re not focused or engaged and it’s probably affecting your productivity. Your lack of motivation might even be a response to one of the other things on this list.

your salary has dipped below market-value

If your salary hasn’t been keeping up with the market-rate for your job title and years of experience, it’s time to explore what other opportunities are out there. Historically, new job opportunities offer your best chance at a significant salary bump. You’re likely to get a 15-20% salary increase by changing jobs. Raises, on the other hand, tend to fall in the 2-10% range. Not sure what salary is fair? Check out Randstad’s salary guides to find out what you should be making.

you find yourself counting minutes

Do you find yourself watching the clock and praying that time would move just a little bit quicker? Does 20 minutes seem like an hour as the clock ticks close to 5? If you find yourself often dismayed at how little time has passed when you glance at the clock, it’s sign you’re not being engaged at your job.

you get burnt out often

It’s only natural to find you’re a little burnt out after a long, intensive project that requires your full attention and dedication. It happens to the best of us. We all need to take some time away to refresh and get back in the right mindset once in a while – that’s what vacation is for! The problem arises when you’re feeling this way more often than not. If you’re getting burnt out frequently and find you need breaks from work on a regular basis, it might be your job that’s the culprit, not your mental state.

there are no opportunities to advance

Advancement and opportunities for promotion are more important to some people than others. If you’re finding that you feel ‘stuck’ because of the lack of opportunities to take on new responsibilities or management tasks, it might be time to look outside your organization and see what opportunities exist elsewhere. Some organizations are better than others at promoting their staff from within. If you’re in a relatively flat organization without much hierarchy, you might find opportunities to advance are few and far between.

 

If you’re feeling stuck in your job, it’s a sign that something isn’t right. Don’t ignore the feeling and push it under the rug. Listen to your instincts and find a path forward. Whether that means having an open conversation with your manager or searching out new opportunities to expand your horizons, you have options!

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