Time to Walk Away? Five Signs It's Time for a New Job

Fatimah Gilliam Founder, and CEO The Azara Group

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Sometimes an environment is too toxic, broken, or unfixable, or the writing's on the wall. This is when you should cut your losses and look for a new job. How can you tell when the time is right to make that scary leap? When should you start laying the foundation to move on and embark on a new professional chapter?

Here are five signs to consider when determining if you need to leave your company and get a new job.

1. No Mentors or Sponsors: Poor Cultural Fit

If you do not have strong supporters and advisors, it is hard to advance. If you have already implemented strategic steps to develop relationships with people who could positively guide you (e.g., mentors) or advocate for or provide you with opportunities for promotion (e.g., sponsors), then you may be working in the wrong environment. To excel, you need a workplace that sets you up for success and provides chances for increased responsibilities.

If you are continually pushing a rock uphill alone and lack allies, this could be a sign that the job or company is not a cultural fit. You may need to find a different environment that allows you to flourish and develop the right kinds of relationships.

2. You Hate Going to Work

This might be obvious, but if you loathe going to work, your colleagues irritate you, or you are overcome with heavy feelings of dread when you think about your employer or boss, then it is time to move on! If you do not see ways to improve your attitude or your work environment, then the only way to change how you feel about your career is to remove yourself from the equation. If a particular person is the cause of your misery, and he or she is not leaving anytime soon, then you should work on your exit strategy.

3. You Are the Odd Person Out

If you think you are not in the "inner circle," then you are probably right. If people dismiss your ideas in meetings, you are excluded from critical discussions that impact your work, or your responsibilities are being scaled back, then you may be in a precarious position on your team. It is possible others do not respect the value you bring. If this is the case, then it is time to look for another job or to transition into a new division.

4. You Have Received Poor Performance Reviews

If you have received mediocre feedback on your work or have been placed on a remediation or improvement plan, then your chances for advancement might be limited. While one bad performance review is not the end of the world, receiving less than stellar feedback on a consistent basis is a red flag. Maybe you will do better elsewhere. However, you should move on before your reputation is tarnished or you are fired. Remember that it is always easier to find a job when you already have one.

5. A Reorganization is Coming & There is Uncertainty

When companies go through difficult financial times or merge, it is a sign that inevitable layoffs might be looming. If you have seen signs that your division or job is in jeopardy, you should start looking for a new job, especially if instability is too stressful or you have significant financial obligations at home. While layoffs could translate into receiving a severance package, you should weigh the timing of your departure. The best scenario would be to secure a new job and receive a package. However, this might not be realistic, and it may be wise to leave before the bloodbath starts.

Final Thoughts

While many people want to make things work and fix a bad situation, not everything is worth saving. Take an honest look at your future with your current employer, and decide if you would be better off in a new environment. If so, then start networking, update your resume, and develop a plan with timelines and goals to help you land your next big role.

Just because things didn't work out in one position does not mean you cannot flourish elsewhere. People need the right level of support and opportunities to excel and develop new skills. When these are missing, you should consider conquering your fears of the unknown. Find a place where you can advance in a better role that is suited for your unique skills. Also, evaluate what type of corporate culture is better suited for your working style and what you have to offer.


The Azara Group (TAG) is a consulting firm that promotes the development of leaders in an increasingly competitive and diverse marketplace—providing strategy consulting services and leadership training services to advance professional and life success. TAG leverages expertise in career strategy, diversity, negotiation skills, and business acumen to provide strategic advice and consulting services to help people and organizations get what they want, achieve their goals, and advance their business and career objectives. TAG also helps companies better attract, retain, and promote diverse talent, and develop robust diversity platforms and strategies to create a more inclusive workplace.

The Azara Group welcomes your direct comments and feedback. We do not post comments on our site at this time, but we value hearing from our readers. We invite you to share your thoughts with us. You can contact us directly at info@theazaragroup.com.


Originally posted on The Azara Group.

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