All careers, without exception, are exercises in enduring phases of learning and acclimation.
Many times, our careers teach us both skills and life lessons. And sometimes when we master them, it is time to move on.
But I know what you’re thinking: But when?!
Many of you are facing a crossroad in your career and you are conflicted on when to quit your job.
Now, there’s a growing tendency to jump ship as soon as the conditions at work become unfavorable. However, unfavorable circumstances aren’t necessarily a signal that it is time to leave your job. Do you know how many unfavorable situations I had to endure on my way to the career I have today? If I had quit when things didn’t go my way, I could never have hoped to be where I am now.
But, sometimes there is a right time to move on. And in my career, I have done that too.
It is not an easy decision but here are some indicators that may help you figure out when it is time to take a new path in your career.
1. Have you been asked to compromise your values?
Don’t compromise your values no matter how much pressure you’re under.
In the Bible, Daniel 1 tells the story of the Israelites. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were given internships in Babylon. These young men were fit, healthy, handsome, and quick studies. They were the best of what Israel had to offer. But as they began to serve in Babylon, they were met with serious conflict: the king had assigned them a diet that did not align with their Hebrew beliefs.
But the young men did not compromise what they believed in to fit into their new careers and as a result, they maintained their diet according to their beliefs and became ten times healthier than their peers.
This story teaches us to never compromise our values. In fact, adhering to your spiritual beliefs powers your secular ascent.
Every time I’ve been asked to waive my Sabbath observance for work, I pray and then stand firm on my conviction, refusing to bow to pressure or compromise.
If your career is forcing you to turn your back on your values, stand your ground or move on.
And don’t worry. You will find a career that reflects who you are. Your values are like magnets that attract people who will be compelled to help you because of your convictions. These are the people you want on your team!
2. Have you been “stuck” in the same position regardless of the effort you’ve put into being promoted?
If you’ve been doing exemplary work year after year at your workplace and serving at your highest ability with humility, and new opportunities still aren’t coming your way, it may be time to move on.
Value yourself and your talent highly, and at the right time, ask for the opportunities you’ve earned. If your boss isn’t listening, don’t be afraid to head for the door.
Service is not a blank check. You are carrying that other person’s crown for a reason because it’s key to your advancement. If you’re in that position long enough, there will come a time when you’ve learned everything you can at that level and need to move up or move on.
3. Have you been offered a new position elsewhere? Or faced with a chance to go back to school? Or presented with an opportunity to do something you are more passionate about?
These opportunities are not just a coincidence; they may be God showing you that He has something else set up for you.
And when God says move, move! God doesn’t hold windows open for you forever. There’s a timeliness to moving on whatever He has put in your gut; if you hesitate for too long what He has in mind can disappear.
The scariest part about quitting is the uncertainty that comes with it. Most times people stay on a job because of security. But don’t let fear dictate the direction of your life! Be bold and pursue your purpose, not comfort.
If you answered yes to these questions and more importantly, if you feel in your gut that it is time to move on, then I want to encourage you to do so!
God rarely asks us to act in ways that we find comfortable. When He speaks to your gut, He’s going to push you in directions that take you out of your comfort zone: moving to a new city, breaking up with someone, standing up for yourself, and yes, even leaving your job.
Now that you have the blueprint to figuring out when to move on in your career, it’s time to take action! In the comments below, let me know if you feel like God is telling you to quit and what are the signs. If you quit a job in the past, how did you know it was time to move on?