There will likely come a day in your career when you start to wonder if it’s time to move on from your job to something new. For example, at some point or another, you could be passed over for a raise or promotion. Hopefully, you’ll set a goal to actually start strategizing about your future BEFORE an unfortunate event occurs.
Perhaps part of the reason why some men make more than some women is because men are more aggressive in having compensation talks with management.
Back when I was working on Wall Street, I made sure I had a very serious heart-to-heart talk every two years with my bosses about compensation and promotion. I very clearly laid out my goals about when I wanted to get promoted, and how much I was looking to make, in a respectful way of course.
Before each sit down, I made sure my performance to date was solid. I included a short five-to-eight page powerpoint presentation to demonstrate the progress of the business under my leadership. The goal was to make it easy for them to pay and promote me, and it worked. By 27 I was promoted to VP and then to Director by 31 where I stayed for three years until I left to focus on writing.
Realizing It’s Time To Move On From Your Job
Towards the end of my career I knew that I would never reach Managing Director.
I would have needed to relocate to Hong Kong or New York, and then prove myself for another three years before getting the nod.
My manager was at least five years older than me based in NY and wasn’t even an MD. How the heck was I ever going to get ahead? I wasn’t.
Once we realize our limitations, we must be happy with what we have or do something. I always like taking action, so I negotiated a severance.
Five Signs That You Should Move On From Your Job
We always feel like we are a valuable part of a company. The truth of the matter is that we are ALL dispensable. Even if you are a rain maker who produces millions of dollars of revenue for the firm, you’re replaceable.
Perhaps your boss simply doesn’t like you or doesn’t think you’re the right age, sex, race, or whatever else his or her bias is. The higher you go up the food chain, the more political everything gets. Below are five sure signs you should move on from your job.
1) Management doesn’t include you in the interview process.
The one great thing about working at my previous two companies was the entire team was always involved in the hiring process. If you’re hiring someone to work with your team for 50-60 hours a week, there should be consensus on the hire. After all, one bad apple spoils the bunch.
We had the most junior to the most senior people interview every candidate to make sure there wasn’t something amiss. It makes for awkward situations if a new person joins a team, and not everybody on the team has met.
If management is not letting you interview a new candidate, watch out. It likely means they don’t trust you or value your judgement. That’s a sure warning sign to move on from your job.
2) You somehow always miss getting the calendar invite.
When management doesn’t care about you, they forget about you. Not getting notified about important meetings, luncheons, happy hour functions, and launches is a bad sign. It means you are definitely not very important to the people who matter.
Maybe you just played a little too dumb to get ahead. It’s the same thing when nobody ever criticizes you anymore. It means they just don’t care. And if they don’t care about you, you should move on from your job to something better.
3) You aren’t cut from the same cloth.
Look around your office and notice the similarities. One female Managing Director I knew hired five consecutive females in a row to work on her team.
People are naturally biased towards people who look, talk, and act like them. Even if you produce nothing and just delegate work, if your image fits what management is looking for, you’ll go much farther than a producer who doesn’t fit the ideal mold.
Some management are very particular about image. They might be so image conscience that they are willing to sacrifice quality to fill a token role. If you are being pushed aside for someone who seems less qualified, know that it might be because of filling a quota for image’s sake.
4) Your boss hires someone to do something very similar to what you are doing already.
If your manager is bringing in someone who has a very similar role you are doing now, alarm bells should be ringing.
Sure, management might say there is always room for the two of you. But, chances are, they are looking to go in a different direction.
It’s pointless to argue with management about why they are making a mistake because they’ve probably thought this through for months. This is a definite warning sign to move on from your job.
5) You haven’t been offered a raise or a promotion in a while.
At my old job, employees were put up for promotion every three years. It was very structured that way. Perhaps the average duration for promotion to the next level is 4 years, but if you haven’t even been given the chance during that first promotion potential year, you’ve got to really wonder.
Figure out what the normal time-table is for getting a promotion at your company and make sure you communicate with your managers quite clearly about your intentions to get promoted, and the steps you’re taking to get there.
Know Your Worth And Never Forget It
Get to know your local labor market. In addition, make sure you figure out if you’re getting fairly compensated in today’s market. If unemployment rates are low or on the decline, don’t settle for a company that doesn’t appreciate you.
Even if the job market is weak, it doesn’t hurt to see what’s out there. If your gut tells you it’s time to move on from your job, brush up your resume and start checking job listings. Continue searching until you find the one who does.
Always keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities. I’m from the old school of thought where company loyalty matters, having worked at my previous firm for 11 consecutive years.
But, things are always changing now and it’s important to be nimble. If the company you are working for is showing any of the above five signs, you should ramp up your search for something better.
Certainly give your existing employer a chance to make things better before you leave. But in the end, you’ve got to look out for yourself if you’re not getting the love. Just don’t forget that you need to make much more as an entrepreneur to replace your day job income if you decide to go that route!
Recommendation For Leaving A Job
If you want to leave a job you no longer enjoy, negotiate a severance instead of quitting. I did so myself back in 2012. By doing so yourself, you can get a severance check and potentially also get subsidized healthcare, deferred compensation, and worker training.
Plus, if you get laid off, you’re also typically eligible for up to ~27 weeks of unemployment benefits. Having a financial runway is huge during a transition period.
Conversely, if you quit your job you get nothing. Check out, How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye, on how to negotiate a severance.
I first published the book in 2012 and have recently updated and expanded it again thanks to tremendous reader feedback and successful case studies.
Suggestions For Starting A Business
Here are some helpful suggestions if you’re sick of the rat race and want to start a business of your own.
Start your own website
Every business needs their own website. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial showing you how. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for starting Financial Samurai in 2009.
I never would have imagined being able to engineer my layoff from a well-paying job in 2012 to just write and be absolutely free. You just never know what might happen if you try.
Back when I started, I had to hire someone for $1,500 to launch FS. Now you can launch your own website in under 30 minutes for less than $50.
Pay Off Your Debt Faster
If you don’t have enough cash, getting a personal loan from Credible is a good place to start.
Personal loan rates have come down significantly in comparison to the average credit card interest rate. Thus, if you have expensive credit card debt, consider consolidating your debt into a lower interest-rate personal loan.
Credible has the most comprehensive marketplace for personal loans. Up to 11 lenders compete for your business to get you the best rate. Get real personal loan quotes in just two minutes after you fill out an application. Check out Credible today and see how much you could save.
For further suggestions on saving money and growing wealth, check out my Top Financial Products page.
In addition, if you enjoyed this article and want to get more personal finance insights and tips, please sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. You’ll get access to exclusive content only available to subscribers.