Even if we may wish it isn’t, work is a huge part of most of our lives – yet it is rarely a constant. The average person changes employers 6 times in their career, and for millennials, the number is set to be even higher.

There is not some magic sign that appears when it’s time to change jobs. It might happen for reasons outside of our control, such as illness, redundancy or company closures. These are things we just have to learn to roll with the punches on. The area we do have control over is when we progress or move from our existing role into doing something more. There is no direct “career ladder” anymore; people rarely start in the mail room and end up as the CEO. So without these natural stepping stones, how do you know when it’s time to get more information for the next leap?

You Find Yourself Bored and Unchallenged

When we begin a new job, it is terrifying, full of new things to adapt to and new habits to learn. Over time, we begin to learn and feel comfortable in the role. It’s important not to mistake this comfort for boredom, but at the same time, recognize when we’re no longer being challenged. If your work doesn’t occasionally stress you, push you, make you worry about what’s happening, then it might be time to move on. Going through the motions and doing things by rote is a bad sign.

No One Is Talking About Progression

Companies like to hire from within. It is better to go with an employee you know and trust than an unknown quantity employed from outside. If you find roles are opening up and no one is talking to you about them, you may be being overlooked. It’s easy enough to do and is not a reflection on your skills, but just the problem of becoming part of the furniture.

You See Newcomers Being Brought In, For Roles Above You Could Have Taken

While companies might like to promote from within, sometimes, it can post problems. Let’s say that you’re doing your current role well and are appreciated in the role. There might be a temptation in your company to keep you there, because they don’t want to take the risk on anyone else doing the job. If you see higher jobs going to outside sources, then you have to question why. It might be better for your employers to keep you in the position you’re doing well in, but that doesn’t mean it works for you.

You Want To Change

Sometimes, acknowledging this can be the hardest part of all. In uncertain economic times, having a job at all can sometimes feel like a lifeline and you don’t want to risk it. You know you want to move on, but you’re scared of doing so. If this is the case, just think of the opportunities you’re denying yourself. It’s unlikely you can stay in your current role until retirement, so what are you waiting for?

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