Career changes happen, and they hardly ever come out of the blue.
Most of the time, especially when looking back, you notice there’s a buildup of events and feelings of dissatisfaction that ultimately lead a person to spearheading a new job search or outright resignation.
Rather than finding yourself at the short end of the stick when your job really has come to its tipping point, pay attention to the different signs your subconscious might be telling you about the timing of taking a step forward in your career.
Effectively reading these signs early on can give you the time you need to start a new job search or train for a more advanced position before you find yourself totally miserable.
1. You’ve already started daydreaming
Whether your new dream position is in a clearly defined role in a specific company, daydreaming in general offers insight to your innermost desires. And daydreaming about a professional change can signal your desire to rise above certain frustrations and gain success, however you define it.
2. You can do your job in your sleep
Within your current position and level of responsibility, there’s no need for you to stretch yourself or even attempt to learn more to stay on top of your game.
You’ve either been in this role so long that you operate on auto-pilot, or your skills and potential are being vastly undervalued.
3. There’s no room for growth
Chances are, unless you’re getting close to retirement, this isn’t the job you’ll want to have for your entire career.
If you feel like you’ve maxed out this position’s learning potential but don’t see opportunity or possibility to advance in your current company, it might be time to look for a new one.
4. You’re only in it for the money
If you’ve thought long and hard about why you’re staying in your current position and the answer is for a paycheck, think again about staying there for another year.
There are plenty of sources of regular paychecks, so you might as well exchange your time for money in a more enjoyable position or better office environment.
5. You’re not developing a well-defined, marketable skill set
If you have too many responsibilities that are all over the place, it could be hard to develop a marketable skill set you can use to boost yourself for a promotion or a better job somewhere down the line.
These hodgepodge responsibilities are fine for interns who just want industry experience, but an established professional on a career path needs to have a clear path so he or she can plan for specific advancements.
6. You catch yourself complaining about your company or position
This doesn’t mean complaining about your manager or a certain co-worker—you don’t want to let one person make or break this stage of your career.
But frequent complaints about the overall situation are clues to your dissatisfaction and internal desire for more.
7. You’re not getting paid enough
You certainly don’t need to be the highest-paid person in your city with your job title, but you don’t want to be the lowest-paid person either.
You can get a rough estimate of the salary range for your position in your area to see if your pay is in a range you’re comfortable with. You need to make sure you’re being adequately compensated for the work you do, and if that’s not the case, it might be time to advance to a company that will pay you what you’re worth.
8. There’s software coming out that could replace you
As technology advances, a lot of the lower-level tech job roles become obsolete because those skill sets, which are usually more basic, have been engineered in a way that can be automated by computers.
If you see technology encroaching on your position or similar ones, you might want to look into education programs now so you can advance into a higher position sooner rather than later.
Taking the First Step Towards a Career Advancement
If you have the desire to move forward in your career but not the educational background to support what your next position would require, take a course. (You can find out if you need more education for your ideal IT job here.)
Courses can be completed quickly, and because they aren’t hosted in a typical university, they focus on accommodating schedules for full-time workers and covering the material as quickly as possible so you can move on to a cool new position asap.