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VOL. 41 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 08, 2017

Pay attention to signs it’s time to go

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Job seekers often struggle with the idea of when to leave. We may feel that it makes no sense to leave one good job for another, and this can make sense in certain situations.

However, it’s best to pay attention when the writing is on the wall.

We can create a tough situation for ourselves if we wait too long. We may feel helpless and at the whim of our company or our boss. We may feel like we have few choices when looking for a new job.

We also might be quick to take a job that pays less or doesn’t fall in line with our career goals.

But if we’re proactive, this is a pitfall we can avoid (or make less painful).

The first step is to pay attention to the signs. If your manager is unhappy with your performance and begins to document their complaints, that’s a sign.

Do your best to correct any issues. But pay attention if the manager doesn’t seem interested in pleased. Documentation is one way managers are able to justify firing an employee.

If your job function is becoming outdated, pay attention.

It can also be a bad sign if there are more people entering your field than necessary.

Another bad sign is if technology or workers from other countries are replacing workers.

Also watch for larger industry trends. If your industry is doing poorly due to external factors, watch how your company and its competitors are reacting.

If your company is restructuring frequently or turning over top-level management, watch closely.

If you sit and wait to become outdated, you will. But you don’t have to. If you monitor changes in your company and industry, you will know when to prepare for the future.

You may wonder what to do if you’ve noticed these changes. First, look for other industries that might be able to use your skills and are doing better than your industry.

Begin reading job descriptions for alternative jobs that have requirements similar to your qualifications. And if you have to, look at other cities near you where the job market is healthier. In other words, do research.

At the same time, take stock of your professional network. Think about how many contacts you have outside of your current company or industry.

If your company went under, do you have people you could call who aren’t co-workers? If the answer is no, it’s time to start reaching out.

Networking, though not always fun, has become a way of life and a necessary part of surviving in today’s job market.

All of these suggestions are about taking control of your future. Stop waiting to see what will happen to you.

Instead, begin making small steps toward a future that you choose. You’re more likely to find something you’ll want to stick with for years to come.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.