First, let me say that I am currently extremely happy, professionally speaking (personally I am quite happy as well, if you’re wondering, dearest reader). I am not currently actively pursuing a new role or anything of that nature. With this said, I do often wonder when someone knows it is the right time to start looking for something else in their professional world. Whether it is a promotion within an organization or a new gig with a new crew, it can be really tough and stressful when thinking about or trying to make a career move.
While I may not have all of the answers in this regard, after all, one must follow their heart, I do have context as someone who has worn many professional hats and has pivoted from non profit to the corporate sector in my career journey. That is, I have spent a lot of time pondering the question, “how do I know when it’s the right time to look for and/or accept a new role?”
You are never ready you cocky son of a gun…Yet. Someone once told me that even when folks are indeed ready to take on new roles and responsibilities, that it is very natural to feel that you are not ready. The same person argued that it was exactly the mindset of not feeling ready with a growth and learning mentality that made it the right time for me, and others, to make a move. You may not feel ready, but be ready to learn and you will become that person, if given the opportunity. Trust your skills to learn, you are not an old dog.
Are you burned out? If you feel really burned out from doing the same gig for an extended period of time then it may be time to seek a different role. Truly, feeling burnout could be an indicator that the role and position that you are in is not for you, and it is time to move on. While looking for and accepting a new role is pretty scary, living a life in a job where you do not feel empowered really sucks. If you are one of the lucky ones and have a choice in your career path takes you then empower yourself and go somewhere to find better professional happiness.
While a lot of us may peak in high school, for many others we peak in roles in our professional lives. When you have peaked out in a role, and there is nothing else to learn the role can, for some, become tedious or boring. Again, if you are one of the lucky ones that has a choice in this regard empower yourself to find work that is more stimulating to who you are as a person.
Thinking about looking for or accepting a new role is terrifying for a lot of us. Fear of rejection, job security, benefits, and other considerations are extremely important to the decision. However, if you are, again, one of the lucky few in the world that has some choice in his or her career path then you should leverage that power that you hold. You have worked too hard for that privilege (with some luck) to not leverage it. You deserve professionally happiness.