The Best Time to Switch Jobs: 5 signs it's Time to Move on

September 15, 2023
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Finding a fulfilling career can be a long, incremental journey. Many times, only a few people enter the workforce knowing exactly what they want to do. In fact, by age 50, the average person has held 12 different jobs in an effort to find the “right fit.” For many, this requires changing careers completely. If you’re confident you want to switch, it can be an exciting, defining time in your life. But what should you look for before changing your career completely? What signs are there that it’s time to move on?

Why People Switch Jobs

For people changing careers, a number of things affect whether a transition is appropriate or not. One of the most common reasons people switch careers is because they were in the wrong job or industry altogether. If you’ve felt unfulfilled in your work and believe you’re ready for a new challenge, a new industry, or a new company, there’s one question you should ask yourself: What reasons do I have to move? Here are five potential reasons you might want to move to another company or another industry:

When to Consider Switching Jobs

To determine the best time to switch careers, we need to understand the signs it’s time to move on. The following eight signs are often the telling signs that it’s time to jump ship.

1. Is Your Salary Strikingly Unbearably Low? Changing careers can mean living below your means. This can be especially true if your salary is stuck in the middle of the pack, such as one that’s just above or below the poverty line. The average yearly wage for a worker in America is $40,403. For some workers, salaries vary widely. One individual may make as little as $19,000. In the event that you’re underpaid, switch careers to land one that better fits your budget.

2. Is it time to change Careers because your stake in your Industry is up for grabs? Do you feel like you're gradually losing your spot in your company? And you're certain you have the skills required yet sidelined, then looking for a new place and another challenge might be what you need to bring your sauce back.

3. Has your Company Become Less Relevant? If your company has fallen behind in terms of productivity, you may want to leave your role. You may have a hard time believing that your current employer is relevant, but there are examples of companies that survived more than a century, but were only around in the 20th century. In addition, many companies are often only as good as their competition. While it is always important to stay on top of industry trends, you need to realize when you need to update your skillset. Before jumping ship, take the time to research your industry and industry trends.

4. You’re still unhappy with your work environment. Even if you’re happy with the company and the work you do. If you’re not fully engaged in the work and your boss, you may want to change careers. In fact, a research study found that happy workers tend to work longer hours, which can be exhausting.

5. You’re wasting time at your current job. There is a huge difference between day-to-day activities and more meaningful work. For example, you might be as skilled at creating Excel spreadsheets as you are at writing poetry. The difference is, which brings fulfillment?

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How to Prepare for a Career Change

Before you embark on a career change, consider these factors: You may be approaching your mid-30s and feel a sense of time running out. In many professions, hiring cycles are shortening, so if you wait too long, your age will be the deciding factor. You’ve hit a crossroads in your life. You may have gotten married, had kids, or have decent savings. You may have been in a “comfort zone” for some time, but now you’re feeling ready to make a change. You can get all the advice in the world from the Internet, but nothing helps prepare you for the realities of how your career choice will affect your family life. Whatever the reason, the time is now to move on to something better. If you’re not feeling fulfilled, it’s probably time to move on. Prepare your mind ahead for the challenges that may occur, but ensure your eyes are fixed on the prize.

The Pros and Cons of Changing Careers

A new job may take away the feeling of tiredness, sadness, and unfulfillment that you have felt for a while. You might get a pay raise, and excellent co-workers. However, there are obvious risks.

If you don’t like your newly found job, you may have to spend time, effort and money to look for another one. If you like it, though, it’s like starting over, which might be easier than you think.

Get prepared before you start looking for your new job

Even though there are a plethora of resources out there, it can be difficult to really get a handle on the ins and outs of finding a new career. Make sure you take the time to prepare before you get out there. Whether you know your dream job and are looking to pursue that dream job, or are just not entirely sure what you want to do, take a moment to brainstorm your next steps. There are a few signs that it might be time to make a major career change: You’re afraid to take the leap.

There’s nothing that can be scarier than the prospect of taking the step into the unknown, especially when you’re worried that it might not be a good move. However, it’s so important to do what makes you feel happy and comfortable.

Before you start your career, consider the market and your specific skills. Are you a certified electrician? How about a coder? Or an executive recruiter? Once you find a company in your field, it’s time to research what they’re looking for.


Of course, this process can be stressful and confusing. Many people feel they have reached the point where they have gone as far as they can. At this point, some consider quitting and starting a new career. So how can you determine whether it is time to quit your current career and get a new one? For most people, the best time to switch careers is when your current career is leaving you unhappy and unfulfilled. It might not be the best time to switch careers when your current career is letting you explore a new area of interest. By the way, the time to switch careers might be sooner than you think. According to a study, 52% of Americans have experienced a career change in the last 10 years. However, most of the people who changed careers didn’t do it for their career’s sake.

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