How do I know when it’s the right time to resign from my job?

Your question:

I’ve worked in the same business for the last 12 years and am now thinking about moving on. My heart tells me it’s time to leave but my head is saying ‘better the devil you know.’ I’ve never been good with change so how do I know for sure that it’s time to take the plunge and resign?

Our answer:

This is a very common challenge that lots of people face, especially anyone who hasn’t experienced working for other businesses. It can be hard to imagine how your skills are transferable or who else would employ you.

Unfortunately, the fear of change or a lack of confidence about selling yourself to another employer, can often lead to years and years feeling trapped in a job you no longer enjoy.

Six signs it’s time to resign

Personally I believe life is too short to be unhappy at work, especially as it can have such a massive impact on our world outside of work. So, here are six sure-fire signs that it’s time for you to move on.

1) You constantly feel stressed, unhappy or demotivated at work

Being stuck in a career rut will drain your energy – both in and outside of work. It can also lead to more serious health problems such as depression or anxiety.

2) You no longer believe in the purpose of your company

Losing faith in your management team or the organisation itself can make it impossible to turn up to work each day with a real sense of enthusiasm and purpose.

3) Your work culture clashes with your personal values

If you place a high importance on values such as trust and integrity and you are working with people who don’t, this incongruence can lead to internal conflict and unhappiness.

4) You have a toxic relationship with your manager or colleagues

Toxic relationships with managers or colleagues will undermine your self-esteem. This is highly destructive in the longer term and ultimately may prevent you from having the confidence to go out and find another role. (Read the seven signs you work for a toxic boss.)

5) Your role isn’t a perfect fit for you

You have ended up in a role that doesn’t play to your strengths, so that work feels like hard work. It is difficult to thrive in a work environment in a role that doesn’t match your skillset – it can leave you feeling under pressure to deliver against the odds.

6) Your job is not aligned to your long term personal or career goals

Perhaps your circumstances have changed and you now have a different career goal such as flexible working hours or a more challenging role. Staying in your job and treading water instead of planning how to move your career forward will leave you feeling frustrated and disheartened.

In my experience as a career coach, the biggest barriers to being able to leave are either a lack of confidence and/or no idea what to do next! If this sounds like you, please get in touch to find out how coaching can help. I offer a free 30 minute consultation for all potential new clients.

Answered by our career agony aunt Fiona Clark from Inspired Mums. If you have a question you’d like Fiona to answer, please email her or call her on 07789 597209. If you feel you’ve lost your sense of career direction or lack confidence, contact Fiona for a FREE 30 minute 1-2-1 consultation. 

Need more advice? Download Inspired Mums’ free e-book For mums stuck in a career rut – 8 steps to finding work you love on their website.You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.