Jobs are like marriages: They don’t always work out. It’s a comparison that career coach and NK Webb Group founder Nicole Webb finds quite useful, and in a Black Enterprise post titled “Five Signs It’s Time to ‘Divorce’ Your Employer,” she shares some excellent tips for deciding when it’s time to split.
First up: “lack of growth opportunities.” This situation could arise through no fault of the company’s, Webb points out, since employers are more concerned with their own needs than the personal fulfillment of their workers. Perhaps you like your coworkers and respect your managers but have simply climbed as high as you’re going to go. If so — it’s time to go.
Next on Webb’s list: The employer is engaging in shady business. If there are illegal or unethical things going on, they’re probably not isolated incidents. Typically, she writes, these types of practices “are used to cover up a number of problems that have existed for a long time,” and that means you’ll be better off finding an employer that’s transparent, and that maintains a code of conduct in line with your own beliefs.
Third on the list is incompatibility with company culture. If you work in a toxic, drama-filled environment, and you’re constantly stressed out and frustrated, it’s probably time for a change. As you search for new opportunities, contact people who work for prospective employers — or who have worked there in the past — and ask questions about company culture. What are the common complaints? What do people like about working there?
From incompatibility, Webb moves to incompetence — not on your part, but rather on the part of your boss. If you find yourself constantly doing your manager’s work, you’re being taken advantage of, and due to your contract, which likely says something about how you “may be tasked with performing other duties as assigned by management,” the unfair treatment is bound to continue. Unless you get out, that is.
Lastly, Webb recommends leaving when “you’re ready to transition from employee to employer.” Are you “mentally cheating” on your job and fantasizing about what you’d do if you could be your own boss? Perhaps it’s time to take the plunge and start your own business.