When is the right time to move(from a job)?

7 years into this trade, I have had my share of employment changes. Below is the framework I use to assess if it is time to move. Add a bit of salt and pepper as per your preference before you use it.

I try to asses how I feel about the job by asking these three questions -

  • Am I being paid at-par market rates or better?
  • Am I being challenged enough? Does my work present me opportunities to upskill and stay relevant?
  • Do I get opportunities to meet and socialise (learn) with people who I look up to or are smarter than me?

If the answer to the above is yes to at least 2 off the 3 questions, I will generally stick around. I feel money, opportunity and networking are great metrics to assess if you are ready for the next move. In case you got all 3, you are in a great job already. If you have got 2 off the 3 options in your current position, you can make up for the one you are missing out -

  • Money - You can freelance, be an educator or conduct trainings on the side. The benefit that you get from learnings at job and networking is very intangible. This is specially applicable if you are in early years of your career.
  • Learning - Either outsource it via online classes / executive education programs OR do side projects. Contribution to open source is a another way of keeping your axe sharp. You will have your pocket full and you are meeting new people which enhances your network.
  • Networking - This is easier of a problem to mitigate than the above two. Since you are making good money and learning at the same time, you can do things to fill in the gaps. Use the free time to talk at conferences, meetups to share your learnings (if you feel like it) or just be at them as participant and socialise. If you are an introvert, you can be a part of bunch of communities online and get to expand your reach.

If the answer is yes to one or zero of the above questions, its a clear indication for me to move on to the next thing.

Always remember, to not burn bridges while you move. Do not do any shady stuff while on notice. You never know when you will stumble on your ex-colleagues in the future.

Hope this helps! Cheers!

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