When's the right time to leave your job and move to a new company?

Leaving a job or company is always trick, but read our guide on how you can tell when it's the right time for a fresh start (and when it's not).

When's the right time to leave a job or company?« Back to Articles

Leaving a job and a company that you’ve been working for, no matter how long for, can always be tricky. The longer you’ve been working for a company, the harder it becomes. But as the career climate we’re in is promoting change and fresh-starts more than ever before, it’s now more important than ever to evaluate your position, the company you’re working for and where the best opportunities may lie. Now, we’re not saying that moving a company will always improve the number of opportunities – far from it (and, in fact, in some cases the reverse may be true). However, exploring your options is always healthy and stagnation is not.

First and foremost, consider whether you are fulfilled and satisfied in your job. A great starting point is to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I enjoy the environment I am working in?
  2. Do I get on well with my colleagues and have a healthy working relationship?
  3. Do I look forward to going into work each day?*
  4. Am I being challenged often enough in my role?
*It’s worth noting that we all have down days – the important thing here is to make sure that, largely speaking, you enjoy going int work.

If, from the above question, the answer to even one of those, is no, then the chances are that you are ready for a change of scene. Now that you’ve established that, there are a few points to rule out. Firstly, are you sure it’s the company causing you to answer the questions the way you have? Make sure it isn’t the role because if you are enjoying the company, but not the role, then moving to another company with that same role will cause the same problems. Secondly, do you feel you have explored all options within the existing company? Employers are keen on staff retention. The cost of re-hiring and replacing an employee is often vast. So, if you’re having problems at work, it’s always best to try and address them head-on before looking to move to a new company. After all, it’s a lot easier to try and resolve problems with a current role than it is to move to a new company. If you feel certain that it’s the company that’s the problem and the issues are unresolvable within the current company, then, it’s time to leave. But, how?

Leaving a company can be a delicate balance of honesty, sensitivity and awareness. Don’t let it scare you though! Millions of people across the world leave jobs and start new jobs, every single year. And employers aren’t oblivious to the fact that it happens. The chances are that if you have reached the stage where you have decided to leave, then your employer probably suspects it is coming too. Often, an employee handing in their notice is expected. But even if you feel like it isn’t something they are expecting, don’t panic. You have the right to leave and you don’t have to justify it either. It is polite and fair to let your employers know the reasons for your leaving – and it will be one of the first questions they ask – so be prepared for it. But don’t let it worry you. Be straightforward, direct but be polite. Leaving your current employer on a high-note counts for a lot. Whether or not you need a reference from them and whether or not you feel they’ve treated you right, it’s far better to leave an employer on good terms. You never know when paths may cross again. And, after all, they have employed you, put their trust in you and paid you for your services too.

When shouldn’t you leave a company?
We would never recommend leaving a position without having a new and secured role to step into. It’s far easier to find a replacement job when you are already employed and for the sake of job security, leaving without having a replacement role can be extremely risky. So, make sure you get apply for jobs, go for interviews and get a job offer, in writing and sign the contracts before handing in your notice.

If you’re still struggling to work out whether leaving your current company is the right thing to do, then we would recommend finding a professional mentor who you can discuss your options with. Having an experienced professional who you can talk through your situation with and who can guide you on the possible options, is always a great way of deciding the best approach to take. Need a professional mentor? PushFar can help. Click here to pre-register today for our career progression and mentoring platform.
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