Is it time to find a new job?
“Should I move on?” If you’re a middle manager asking yourself this question, you are certainly not alone. Based on over 35 years of experience with hundreds of middle managers, I can confidently say that about 80% of middle managers are contemplating this question as you read this - and so statistically, you are probably one of them. There are basically three categories as to why you might want to leave your job: your intrinsic satisfaction, the organizational environment, and your need to develop. In this series of three posts, I’ll address each category, as they are essential to career goals for managers.
When examining your intrinsic satisfaction, if you are wondering whether it is indeed time to find a better place for you, here are some signs that might point to a “yes”:
No more spark
Remember when you’d spend your Sunday evenings making a game plan for the next week? Everyone else around you was complaining that “Monday mornings always get them down”, when you actually looked forward to the challenges awaiting you at work. Getting up Monday (and every other) morning was no problem at all. Armed with a coffee and upbeat outlook, there wasn’t anything that you couldn’t tackle. But now, this seems like a memory - a not too distant memory - yet a memory. Have you lost that spark? Do you find yourself wishing that the weekend would last just one more day? Would you rather take the morning off - than going to work? It’s not that work has become unbearable, but it doesn’t seem very enjoyable either. You just don’t get a kick out of it anymore, which is so necessary for career goals for managers. Do you need something new?
You just don’t feel well
We all know that there’s a connection between negative emotions and physical well-being. It wasn’t too long ago that you bragged to your friends and co-workers that you hadn’t taken a sick day for two years straight. Even when you did feel a little under the weather, you gulped down a pain reliever and carried on. Your symptoms would subside and you would head back for the grindstone, feeling just fine. But lately, you find yourself more affected by common colds, headaches, and stomach aches. While you try your best to minimize their effect on your work, you really feel that you do need to take a sick day every once in awhile to reset and re-energize. Is this just aging? Perhaps. But could it also be a sign that your unhappiness at work is affecting your health?
The grass is greener
Not very long ago, you were very proud to tell your friends and family how awesome your job was. Even when they tried to convince you that their careers were more promising, more lucrative, more interesting...you knew inside that you had it the best. But now when you hear about people’s success in other organizations, you begin to wonder if your career is as great as you’ve been saying it is. Are you missing out on great things happening outside of your organizations? Are you selling yourself short by remaining in this job? Maybe you’re not giving yourself the credit you deserve.
My experience has shown that these three reasons are pretty accurate indicators of your need to begin looking elsewhere. But if you’ve read any of my other posts about deciding whether to call it quits, you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of suddenly jumping ship - at least without some serious research as to whether such a move would boost or derail your career. Whatever you decide, I wish you a successful journey towards the corner office.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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