Making a career move can be a big decision, and there are many things to consider before changing jobs. Before you do, ask yourself these five questions to determine why you're considering a change and if now is the right time.
1. are you just experiencing the normal ups and downs?
Everyone experiences periods of downtime at their job. If you're feeling apathetic about the work you're doing, consider asking your boss for a new big project before moving on. You might just need something new and exciting to get back in the groove. If that doesn't work, it could be a sign you're in need of a more long-term career change.
2. is it the right time at home?
If you have other obligations to consider - namely a spouse or children to care for - consider how much this decision will impact them and whether the time is right to change jobs for you as a family. This is especially important if a salary adjustment, move or different hours will result from your career change. Same goes for financial obligations - such as a mortgage – which you’ll want to take into consideration.
3. are you fulfilled?
If you aren't feeling fulfilled, that can be a big sign it's time to try something different. Before you switch jobs, try getting involved in a new networking organization or completing some continuing education courses to boost your energy and re-motivate you.
4. is there room to grow within the company?
If professional fulfillment is the problem, it might be time to ask your boss about a promotion. You may have simply outgrown your current position and need bigger challenges and responsibilities to keep you motivated. If there isn't room to grow and you don't see yourself being happy long-term, consider looking into jobs elsewhere that will be more fulfilling.
5. are you respected and appreciated?
If the answer to this question is no, you may have a bigger issue on your hands. This is likely a sign of a cultural misfit and might not be something you can control. Consider jobs at other companies that will respect and appreciate the work you do.
Before you make a career change, be sure to identify what your motivation is. If it's something that can be changed, a move may not be necessary to re-energize yourself at work. However, if there's a deeper issue, it could be time to move on to a different job.