Jorg Stegemann, a headhunter and career blogger, has a guest post over at Forbes that examines this very problem.
"In this environment, many people hang onto a not-so-good thing, even once their careers are at a standstill," Stegemann writes. "Though no one wants to be known as a quitter, sticking to a job that hinders you can sometimes be worse than leaving."
He advises people who are considering a change to think about six factors:
1. Has the job cycle run its course? If the honeymoon stage is far behind you, and you're feeling burned out, it might be time to leave.
2. Have you been in the job more than three to five years? The days of retiring after 50 years and getting a gold watch are far behind us. Most jobs have lifecycles of five years, max. Stay longer than that, Stegemann says, and you risk looking unambitious.
3. Is your boss cold to you for no reason? Sometimes, managers are short-tempered because of personal problems or pressure from above. Sometimes, however, they're unsatisfied with your work. If your manager starts behaving differently toward you, ask yourself why.
4. Is your industry as solid as it used to be? If the best folks are jumping ship, and competitors are talking about tightening their belts, consider whether or not things are as stable as you think.
5. Is your company making money? No profits = no money for your salary.
6. Is your job just a job? If you're not getting any personal satisfaction out of your work, think about whether it's time to make a change.
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