Are You Ready to be a Small Fish in a Big Pond Again?

Written by Rita Tran, Associate Director, Recruitment Strategy at Commongood Careers

We have all been there – that moment when you ask yourself “Have I outgrown my role? Am I ready for the next step?” At every stage of our career, reflection is key to finding the optimal balance between passion, challenge and skill. If you’re wondering if it is time for you to start exploring next steps, here are a few signs:

1. You are crushing all the responsibilities listed on your job description.

It takes at least six to twelve months for a new staff member to learn the ropes of the job. By your second year, you are able to identify ways to do your job more efficiently and effectively and might be taking on new responsibilities.  Dust off the job description you looked at when you originally applied for your role. Have you mastered each responsibility listed? If you can do your job with your eyes closed, then it is time to consider other options.

2. You are no longer growing and have lost sight of your career trajectory.

You’re excelling at your role, taking on new projects but still feel like you’re not learning. You don’t need a ten year plan but each experience should present some new challenge and be a building block in your career journey. If you can no longer envision how your current role fits into your overall goals and trajectory, it is time to go.

3. You just don’t feel the “Oomph”.

You get to work every morning and just go through the motions. In order to feel successful and engaged, you have to enjoy what you do. If you are watching the clock inch towards 5:00pm and work no longer excites you, it is time to go.

4.  You received a message from a recruiter and your gut tells you to explore the opportunity.

If you are reading this article, chances are you are ready to explore a new role. Acknowledging it is a great first step, and there are different paths you can take to move forward. First, consider what growth opportunities could open up within your organization. If you have a good relationship with your manager, talk about your career interests and the fact that you are excited about new opportunities. If you are a high performer, your organization will try to retain you so be open to having that conversation before deciding to transition.  However, if you are not passionate about the mission and culture of your organization and your gut is telling you it might be time to go, start putting out feelers to see what opportunities might exist externally.

Remember to check with yourself regularly to ensure that your needs are being met.  Complacency and fear are the two biggest reasons why employees stay in a role longer than they should. It is vital to take ownership of your professional growth trajectory if you want to continue to feel satisfied, challenged and valued in your role. Adopt the “Year of Yes” mindset and push toward new opportunities, at your current organization or a new one.