Career Talk 30.01.18

7 signs that it’s time to move on from your first job

The dream doesn't last forever. One day, you'll have to make the tough decision to move on from your first job. These are the signs.
Kim Connor Streich
Kim Connor Streich

Getting your first job after graduating university is a life-making experience. It’s a time where you feel like you’ve finally arrived, you’ve grown up and everything you’ve learned up to this point has finally paid off. It’s a giddy feeling. What no-one ever talks about is what happens when the dream is over, and it’s time to move on from your first job.

There’s no right answer for when to leave a job – you could be there 6 weeks or 6 months. But when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. You’ll know when something’s not right, and when the feeling’s there, don’t ignore it. Confront it and see if it’s worth considering a change of scenery. Not sure what signs you should be looking for? Here are a few things to give you an idea.

You’re not being challenged

Hey, at the end of the day a graduate job is not supposed to be a breeze. It’s not supposed to be so hard that it crushes you either. But if you’re not using any of your ample brainpower, honey wyd? Your job should provide you with the opportunity to think and find creative solutions to problems. Finding an answer is satisfying and affirming; if your job is too easy, you’re denying yourself that affirmation.

You don’t know what’s going on

move on from your job

Some companies are run in a way that’s quite opaque. Sometimes that’s fine, after all, not everything that concerns upper management concerns you too. It’s when decisions are being made that affect you and you haven’t been asked your thoughts on anything that you need to worry. It might suggest that they don’t value you enough to have an opinion regarding how you’re managed or how the company is run.

There’s nowhere to progress to

Everybody wants to move quickly up the career ladder, but its a different situation when the ladder doesn’t lead anywhere. Some companies have very rigid structures that don’t allow for you to get promoted easily. In addition, they often lack clear career paths which can make it hard to stay motivated. After all, what are you doing it for?

People leave often

move on from your job

Is the front door of your office building a revolving door? That right there is a pretty good warning sign. If people leave the company often after being there for a short time, that may indicate that something is awry behind the scenes. If you suspect this might be the case, don’t stick around and let it happen to you.

You’re not being trained properly

The best employers should want to upskill you and teach you new things that you can use day-to-day. There’s an element of being thrown in the deep-end and learning on the fly in any graduate job, but if the resources to better yourself aren’t there, that’s a problem.

It’s a toxic environment

move on from your job

This is probably the most obvious sign there is. You can’t work in an office that maintains an air of professionalism and yet, people are at each others throats behind the scenes. Or expects you to work overtime without being paid. Or somewhere that tells you that your achievements are worthless and your hard work doesn’t matter. If any of those signs are there, get out immediately.

You find it hard to come to work

At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone else. Do some deep reflection and you’ll find it in yourself whether your job is right. Motivation and mental health are both supremely important in decisions like this. There’s nothing wrong with leaving because you just don’t feel it any more. It’s not the end of the story, just a new chapter.

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