The new year always seems to get people thinking about whether it is time for a change. Did you know that more people resign on 31 January than any other day in the year?
If you are thinking about looking for a new job, I thought I would share my journey with you in case it helps.
How do you know it’s time to go?
There is the standard line, do you find it hard to get up and go to work in the morning? Have you been having lots of “sick days”? However, I find that’s not always the sign that it’s time for a change. Sometimes it’s more subtle.
- Have you lost your passion?
- Are you not trying as hard as you used to? Not giving 100%.
- Are you no longer challenged in what you do? It’s just the same old, same old.
- Feeling a bit snappy and short-tempered with everyone?
It might be a sign, it’s time for a change.
Change is hard, and often we stay at a workplace for longer than we should because we are comfortable. We know the people, we know the job. You feel safe in knowing what you are doing and who you will see every day. We are comfortable, but at some point it becomes not enough.
What about me?
I always said I don’t want to be the person that stayed for too long. You know the type, they end up bitter and twisted, angry at the world, hating on work life. I wanted to leave on a high, leave feeling good about the place and the role I played.
For me, the decision to leave the Clean Energy Regulator was hard. It took almost a year for me to decide to leave. After nearly eight years, I couldn’t picture what life on the outside was like. However, the idea of doing another website build (my third), and another Emissions Reduction Fund auction (my eighth) made me roll my eyes and sigh. I couldn’t see the new things that we should be doing. I wasn’t bringing a fresh perspective. I felt as though I had done it all before. I was losing my patience at things that once hadn’t bothered me. The team needed new leadership to take them into a new phase of the agency. I knew deep down that person wasn’t me. I knew it was time to go.
Obviously, I chose a non-traditional path. I didn’t move to another similar role or a different government department. I decided to go out on my own. Part of that was because I really needed a change. I didn’t want to go into another team or another agency and have the same battles, I knew I needed a complete change in my life.
Is leaving the only option?
If leaving your job isn’t really an option, or if you are in for a long wait before you find a new role, there are other options for keeping you motivated in the meantime. You know the saying ‘a change is as good as a holiday’, sometimes a small shift in your work life can reinvigorate you.
- Could you ask to work on a new project – something completely outside of your comfort zone. This might be in addition to your BAU role or a step sideways.
- Move into a new team. Ask to act in someone’s role, is there a short-term taskforce you could join? Ask to swap roles with a colleague for a month or two. If you don’t ask, don’t put yourself forward, how will you know.
- Book a holiday! Even if it’s just a week at home, or even better head to the South Coast #emptyesky! Knowing you have a holiday booked in, something to look forward to can give you a little boost.
As scary as it seems I would recommend talking to your boss. Tell them you feel like your time is coming to an end and you want to look at your options. A good leader will support you, help you to work out what your next steps should be and find a good option for you in the meantime.