Oct 7, 2008

You know you have to start looking out when....

Colleen from Hindustan Times asked me what would be the 5 signs that signal to professionals that it’s time to look for another job.

So here's what I wrote back to her (and apparently this was already featured in HT 7th Sept issue) about when you should start looking for another job, not looking at the mostly obvious reasons:
1. You don't have friends at work : For a lot of people work is a social process. Being in a workplace where people do not connect with you is a warning sign, even if the money is great and work is challenging. It is the signal that the value system that people share might be very different from yours.
2. You are only contributing but not developing: This might not seem like a big reason, but means that you'll soon get stuck and not rise up the ladder. Beware the organization that rewards you for your current achievements but does not prepare you for growth.
3. Processes never outlast people - This means that work is chaotic and you will always be called back to take care of what you did earlier - lack of process orientation shows an organization that wants to look professional but is always ad hoc in reality. It will never scale up. Don't hitch your wagon to an organization like this. It will only go down.
4. Your pace is not in tune with your organization's. This can work either way. You do a good job, but your organization expects you to grow and contribute more and faster. Or vice versa. In either case it shows you are not going to last long. Start looking for a role with pace that suits your comfort
5. You do a lot of stuff, but don't make an impact. It might seem like an absraction, but impact would be defined by the amount of difference you make in your organization's work. Or what management jargon calls 'value add'. Not everyone can do it in all organizations. It can be tough to discover an organization where your strengths can make an impact. Take the advice from a mentor/coach on how to make an impact. Sometimes you lack certain skills that really count in an organization. No use trying to develop that. It would be better to search your own pitch where your skills would be suited better.

What do you think? Care to add more to the list?