To Leave Or Not To Leave?

Today I have an excerpt from Compliance Search Group’s book Dirty Little Recruiting Secrets, with a post about deciding whether or not to leave your current job.

There are many reasons why people decide to leave their jobs. Some of the most common reasons we have seen through the years include:

• You Are Being Overlooked: You are not being fairly compensated and the firm’s executive management and/or your immediate boss is not mentoring you. Also, the firm is not properly financially rewarding you and unfortunately you see no increases in raises or bonuses coming in the foreseeable future.

• No Growth Potential: You want to move forward in your career with your current organization but feel a lack of growth within the company. The company is bringing in new people from the outside instead of promoting from within. During the annual review, you feel like you are being undervalued.

• Feel Stagnant: You feel that you are not being intellectually challenged and will be unable to reach your full potential with this job.

Deciding when and why to leave your current job and look for a new one is not a scientific process; rather, it’s based on feeling, intuition and gut instinct. However, there are some very poignant signs to look out for that can aid your decision. If you can check off most of the following, it’s a good telling sign that it’s time to pursue other opportunities.

1.You Have a Mean, Vindictive, Jealous and/or Narcissistic Boss: Dealing with someone like this day in and day out will not only drain your spirits, but also your work productivity. You may feel resentful or angry at your boss on a regular basis, which will prevent you from communicating well and doing your best. You shouldn’t have to report to someone who isn’t respectful and makes life miserable for you.

2. Management Doesn’t Care About Your Division: This doesn’t bode well for your personal sense of value or your job’s security. As soon as profits go down, you and/or your department are in the crossfire. Additionally, if management isn’t on board with your suggestions, you may feel that your job lacks meaning or that you are not afforded the opportunity to make any difference. Not only do you deserve to feel important and valued; it’s necessary for your financial security as well.

3. No Raise/Bonus for Two Consecutive Years and/or No Discussion of Promotions: One of the aspects of a good job is that you feel there are opportunities to move up the ladder and take on new challenges. If this is not the case, your professional growth may be stunted, and it might not be worth your while to stay. If you get no raise for one year, fine, maybe there was a good reason. But two years in a row gives you the right to wonder whether you’re being treated well enough and whether your job is as valued as it should be.

4. Few Internal Promotions for Key Roles: If management is always hiring new people from the outside for the top jobs, you may feel perplexed as to why they didn’t choose you or a great colleague you work with. This point is particularly important when the firm didn’t even interview or consider you or your colleagues for the role. This is a sign that it might not be a place that sufficiently rewards company personnel.

5. The Firm is engaged in Unethical Activities: You may object to this on a moral level and feel uncomfortable working with and for the people around you. And if your firm gets caught, you all could be out of a job.

6. Other People Leave and Aren’t Replaced: This is a sign that the firm is looking to shed people it deems as unnecessary expenses. Beware.

7. You Are Given More and More Work Without Recognition: You might not want to spend much longer at a place that overloads you with tons of thankless work. Career satisfaction demands recognition of hard work.

8. Absence of Camaraderie and Company Spirit: If no one at your firm talks to each other, likes each other, or is excited to be there, work will feel like drudgery every day. This will negatively affect both your happiness and work productivity (as well as everyone else’s). The day-to-day spirit of a company is more important than many people think.

9. Lack of Collaboration with Other Divisions: The future of work involves collaborations. If you’re not making connections and learning how to work with other areas, you might not be getting the training you want from your workplace.

10. Excessive Politics/Infighting: This makes the workplace feel tense and possibly terrifying. If you’re not already in the muck of it, be prepared to be dragged down.

11. No Meaningful Work: It’s hard to sustain yourself day in and day out when you find your work empty. Passion is what drives greatness, and if you don’t have passion you will be lost.

12. You See No Light At The End Of The Tunnel: If you don’t feel that you’re growing and you can’t see your job changing in the next few years or how your job is going to lead you to your next step…it’s probably time to leave. You don’t want to stall and get older and more cynical; because taking the next step will be even harder.


Here is a list of self-assessment questions you should ask yourself while you are interviewing to figure out if the opportunity is right for you. (Remember, the best thing you can do is be honest with yourself ):

• Are you looking at this role just for the money? Obviously, we all want to get paid very well, but there is more to the job than the salary. If it is only about the money, you are not going to be happy.

• Are you doing it to get away from where you are? What good is just running away and escaping from where you are at now if it means that you will have to leave again because there is no future with the next job?

• Is there growth opportunity? Did you feel during the interview that people advance or are they stuck where they are?

• How well can you work with your co-workers? You want to make sure you can get along with everyone. How is the camaraderie? Do people like and respect each other? Does management respect everyone?

• Will you be happy? This is very important. Over years of recruiting I have noticed the common thread for people who are successful is that they enjoy and have fun with what they do.

• Are they going to pay you what you’re worth? Don’t sell yourself short.

• Is there a work-life balance? Does the company and your prospective manager expect you to come in early and stay very late and also work weekends? Can you live with the long hours?

• Are you coming in with the right level of experience? Are you selling yourself short or are you coming into a role that is too senior? Can you fulfill the role’s requirements?

• Are they going to give you the right power and authority to get the job done? Will someone be looking over your shoulder every five minutes?

• How does your family feel about this? Let’s say there are a lot of hours and stress. Is your family going to be behind you, support you and want to help you out?

• How long is the commute? Are you going to a place where there is a ridiculous commute that will lead to resentment and ultimately burnout?

• Do you have to relocate? Are your kids, wife or husband okay with the move?

• What kind of stress is going to be involved? Could you accept the stress levels associated with the role?

Now, take that step back. Don’t wait for the end of the interview process to do it. Ask yourself these questions along the way. You owe it to yourself to take time to think and analyze the situation so you can really feel comfortable that you are heading in the right direction.

At the end of the day, you have to follow your dream, passion and goals. Before sending out your resume or meeting with recruiters, have a heart-to-heart conversation with yourself or someone close to you to make sure that the reasons for looking elsewhere are valid.

Have you exhausted every avenue internally to make sure your position has no growth, future, money, or opportunity? After much deliberation, if you still feel your reasons are valid then that’s it, time to get started in your search.

Article by STACY CHERIFF, Exec Recruiter- Financial Services/Legal & Compliance
Published on April 29, 2015