There was a time when some of us said the following (even in public):
- “This is a great company. I want to retire here!”
“My manager is excellent. This is the right place for me!”
“The benefits here are awesome! I’m so lucky to be a part of this company!”
Unfortunately, this affection for your company will wane, and it can happen for many reasons. Your favorite manager might be transferred to a new department, or even leave the company. The organization might experience downsizing, which results in more work for those still employed. In some cases, you need to take the initiative and look for work elsewhere. Most agree that it is best to depart the company before they give you the pink slip. The point here is that you are more marketable, or have more leverage, when you are currently employed.
I’ve heard that managers often make a decision regarding your caliber as an employee within the first 30 days. The manager may use labels such as these: “top performer,” “average worker,” or a “burden to our department.” You can learn what your manager thinks about you without asking. There are many cues along the way. A quick sign is when your manager no longer assigns you any extra work. Your director feels that the work will either go undone, be of inferior quality, or you are no longer an asset to the department, so why waste time working with you.
You are excited to meet with your boss regarding the performance appraisal. You learn that your work is excellent, and you are ready for new challenges. Your boss, however, informs you that there are no spots open in the promotion ladder. In essence, you have to wait a few years for someone to leave the company. Of course, there are no guarantees you will be assigned the position when and if that happens.
You are fed up with the company and people. It might be the case that this feeling is mutual, and you are no longer wanted. However, let’s focus on you for the sake of this discussion. As you prepare for work, you wonder why you are still working for this company. You are unhappy, and this has led to lower productivity. Even though you are aware of the poor performance, you don’t care. In fact, you don’t care if you get fired.
Know the Signs
There are many other signs, but these tend to be common ones. Before making the decision to find employment elsewhere, make sure you have your ducks in a row. You must avoid going to another organization where the experience will be similar. Determine what type of work and culture makes you happy. With this in mind, the chances you will find an excellent career opportunity will increase immensely.