How to Know When the Time is Right To Look For a New Job

By Gerald Walsh ©

Making the decision to look for another job can be disruptive to your career, reputation and personal life. You may lose relationships and income and blemish your resume if you make the wrong career move. But the alternative – staying in your present job because you fear the uncertainty of a move – can be worse. You can quickly become stagnant and reduce your chances of finding a job later on.

So, how do you know when the time is right to start looking for a new job?

I would suggest you take a look at your employer and your current job situation first. There may be no future for you with your current employer if:

  • You’re not being invited to participate in meetings.
  • You are being undervalued and disrespected in the workplace.
  • Your compensation is less than others in similar positions.
  • You have frequent disagreements with your boss and peers.
  • There is no recognition or thanks for your work.
  • Your ideas are not being heard.
  • Your colleagues don’t associate or consult with you.
  • You are being given work that is beneath your abilities.

Even if none of these things exist and your employer is happy with your work, you might consider a change if:

  • There is no obvious role for you to grow into.
  • You have maxed-out your learning in your current job.
  • You have lost your enthusiasm for work.
  • There is an obvious gap between your values and those held by senior management.
  • Your boss changes and she or he does not appreciate your contribution.
  • Your job is so stressful that it is taking a toll on your health and family.

Some people start looking for another job prematurely, such as when they’ve had a bad day or a clash with their boss. Be careful of these situations and don’t act impulsively. Sit back and ask yourself: is this is a one-time occurrence or is this real evidence of a genuine mismatch that is unlikely to change in the future? That answer should help guide your decision.


Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and writer. During a 25+ year career, he has interviewed more than 10,000 job candidates, completed hundreds of successful searches for a range of organizations and guided many individuals – from young professionals to senior executives – to successful career change. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career.” You can follow Gerry on Twitter @@Gerald_Walsh and LinkedIn