Ellie Strejlau

When is it Time to Move On?

Just like deciding on whether or not to start over, sometimes it's time to leave.
722 words — Approx. 4 minutes
Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash — (The sunset metaphor is a tad morbid, but I thought it was the most fitting here. Plus, I love a beautiful sunset photo.)

I want to discuss some symptoms of when it’s time to make a change in your work life. If you know in your heart that staying where you are is better, then absolutely stay! Only you know what’s best for you. These are some of the reasons why I start looking.

  • Sleeping too much, sleeping in, or just generally dreading going to work. This is a major reason why I’ve left jobs in the past. Issues that either I couldn’t change or are just too daunting to change by myself ended up wearing on me over time, causing me to sleep a lot more.
  • No friends left at work and you are not interested in making new ones. This seems pretty obvious to me, but I’m adding it anyway. If you don’t feel comfortable enough at work to make new friends or you feel like suddenly you don’t fit in anymore, perhaps you should go somewhere where that you will.
  • Multiple burnouts, including a possible one right now. Some of the symptoms of burnout—similar to depression—include irritability, physical pain, feeling down, withdrawing from activities you would normally enjoy doing, and sleeping a lot.
  • The weekends are no longer long enough to properly recharge. I’ve heard that some companies have leave or sabbatical programs that may help with burnout.
  • The work is not enough of a challenge anymore. Contrary to popular belief, you can absolutely burn out from being bored at work too. And what is work if it’s not fulfilling?

    If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. — Confucius

  • There’s no upward mobility. If you’re feeling like you’re not being challenged, you can absolutely decide to speak with your manager about getting more responsibilities.
  • You haven’t gotten a merit increase commensurate with the work you’ve put in. This is especially painful over the last year and doesn’t necessarily mean you should leave right away. Decide what your number is. If your current company can’t meet it, then it might be time to move on.
  • Improper recognition or reward for your work. People who feel like they’re not being fulfilled by their work alone need other forms of reward.
  • You daydream or procrastinate on your work. Jessica Hische coined the term “procrastiworking” a while back, and sells a beautiful poster that I desperately want in my office.

    The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life. — Jessica Hische

  • You don’t feel well supported anymore. A lot of people are changing jobs right now because their needs have changed significantly since last March. Companies have also been working to change their policies and benefits packages to better support working parents.
  • You’ve already begun looking around. My last, but quite possibly most obvious point. If you’re already looking around, you know that something should change.

Wait. Why this topic all of a sudden?

I decided this winter that my time at Phase2 Technology must come to an end. I’ve been here for 4 ½ years, which is technically a long time to spend in one place in the tech industry. This will be a difficult change for me because of how much I love the folks at Phase2. I’ve learned so much from that crew and I have already thanked them profusely for making me a better programmer and person. If you’re looking for work in the web development consulting space, I highly recommend applying.

One of the reasons why this entry is later than usual is because I’ve been doing non-stop coding tests for the last month, working on improving my software development skills and trying to finish up my current project at Phase2. It’s been a long year so far.

On March 1, 2021, I will be a Senior Frontend Engineer at Goldbelly. I’ve been trying for years to secure a spot on a product team. This will be my first real shot at that and I’m beyond pumped about it, especially because I freaking love food and am already a customer of Goldbelly’s. With new employment—and new working processes—comes new issues, all of which I’m prepared to tackle as soon as I get there.

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