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T.I.M.E. T.O. L.E.A.V.E. - How To Recognize When It’s Time To Leave Your Job

Is it Time to Leave Your Job?  How do you know?

Are you considering whether it’s time to leave your current position?  If you have asked yourself this question, it’s highly likely that there are internal or external indicators bringing this thought to the forefront of your mind.  Don’t disregard why you are suddenly raising the question. You may well need to consider if it is time to begin making the transition to something different. Here are some signs that it may be  T.I.M.E  T.O. L.E.A.V.E your current role, employer, or even make a career change.  

T – Time

Over the past few years most have come to accept that work/life balance  is not just a “ benefit “ or “nice to have” for employees  but rather a necessity.  Experiencing a healthy work/life balance means that you have time to do your job well, but also that you have sufficient time away from work.  If you are finding that the amount of time you are spending at work is impacting your work/life balance in a way that is causing undue stress, it may be time to consider alternative employment options.  

I –  Invested

Are you the first to volunteer? The first to offer suggestions for improvement? The first in the office and last to leave? If you feel heavily invested in your role, your organization, and your career but do not  see that reciprocity in how your organization treats  you, that is a sign that the organization may not be fully invested in you.   You may want to consider other employers where you are valued for the work that you do.

M- Money

Being appropriately compensated for the job that you perform is important.  If you feel you have hit a wall as it relates to salary growth, or that your current employer simply cannot or will not provide competitive compensation (of course this includes benefits and other intangibles) then it may be time to exit.  Don’t however let your exit be based solely on money.  There are absolutely multiple intangibles that make up your total compensation package.  However, money does matter and if money is always on your mind, you may want to begin planning your exit strategy.

E –  Ennui

I have always loved this fancy word for boredom.  In every job, there are tasks that create boredom.  However, if you find yourself approaching the entirety of your job with apathy or if the processes and outputs are of no interest, take that as a valid sign of discontent and potential need for a change.

T – Talent

You bring your unique talents to any organization you join no matter what your role or level.  If you do not believe those talents are being utilized you have a decision to make about your career aspirations and how you want to explore and utilize your talents and skills.  You know your strengths and are best able to assess if your current organization has the potential to leverage and grow those skills so that both you and the organization can benefit.

O – Options/Opportunity

 Most individuals expect career progression and growth over time.  What progress looks like differs from organization to organization.   Is there opportunity for lateral or upward mobility? The answer to this question is key in determining if it is time to leave.  

L –  Leadership (or lack thereof)

If your leadership (direct or indirect) is not strong, the impact to you and your career can be huge.  This is especially true if your direct reporting relationship is contentious or lacks open communication.  If daily interactions with your supervisor or others in senior positions cause stress or becomes completely unpalatable, the writing is on the wall.

E –  Engagement

It is important to be interested and engaged not only in the work that you do individually, but also in the work that the organization does.  If you find yourself feeling disengaged due to lack of challenge, burnout, or for a variety of other reasons, you may be better off elsewhere.  Don’t wait to become indifferent to try something different.

A – Authenticity

If you are carefully weighing your words before you speak or find yourself spending excess time crafting emails for fear of how they will be received, your “authentic self” may no longer fit with the culture of your current employer.

V – Volatility

If your organization has recently downsized several roles or shows indication that layoffs are in the near future, you may want to consider your options sooner rather than later.

E – Exhaustion

If you feel weary and drained in a variety of ways (emotionally, mentally, physically), on a daily basis your current role may be causing stress which could lead to very real health concerns.   Prioritize your health and consider if now is a good time to make that jump.  

I’ve listed just a few areas of job discontentment that indicate that it’s  T.I.M.E  T.O. L.E.A.V.E  If you have been experiencing multiple instances of this for an extended time, you should seriously consider a change.    It may be difficult to start anew, but replacing dissatisfaction with a  better environment is necessary not only for your piece of mind, but also for your health.  And ultimately you deserve to enjoy your job, career, and organization.  After all, if you are going to dedicate your time and self to your work and organization, you ( and that organization) deserve all of the benefits and rewards that come with job satisfaction.


Courtney is a successful blogger and executive leader.  She is a multi-industry Human Capital executive with extensive global and regional experience having served in various roles within large and small organizations.  She has successfully driven enterprise-wide initiatives and is continuing to learn and grow with each new opportunity.  Her blog: Goals, Gaps, and Growth shares some tips and tricks she's learned along the way. 

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