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10 Questions To See If You Need To Make A Career Move

10 Questions To See If You Need To Make A Career Move

Use these questions as part of a daily career habit. Take one question a day and reflect on your answer for just a few minutes. You might need to do some longer research-based consideration on the initial thoughts you have. But hopefully, most of the time, your gut reaction to these questions will reaffirm that you are exactly where you need to be.

Have there been changes in your industry? Media giants are grappling with the shift from print to digital. Financial services firms are consolidating. When there are big shifts happening in your industry, this doesn’t necessarily mean your job is in danger, but you want to stay on top of how the changes will change your job.

Have there been changes in your company? New management often likes to bring in their own people. A change in strategic direction could mean your area becomes a lower priority. Or changes might also work in your favor to raise the profile of your group. Know which way the wind is blowing.

Have there been changes in your department? It’s not just the C-level team bringing in their own favorites. A new department head might also shift your role to accommodate a former team.

Are your performance reviews still strong? In my former life in HR, I’ve seen many managers avoid giving negative feedback at all costs. When they finally get around to it, it’s often times when they’ve just had it and are laying the groundwork for termination. Listen closely to any negative feedback to have as much time as possible to turn things around.

Are you getting good assignments? You want to be indispensable or at the very least relevant. Make sure you are assigned to clients and projects that matter to the firm. If you are working on things management doesn’t care about, then they are less inclined to care about you.

Does your boss act differently towards you? Remember that managers dread giving feedback. If you sense your boss is avoiding you, don’t assume things will just get better on their own.

Do your colleagues act differently towards you? Sometimes the office grapevine moves faster than official communication. This is another reason why networking is so powerful. You can’t be everywhere, but maybe someone else looking out for you can fill you in when they hear something you should know.

Are you learning or challenged in any way? Again, you want to be indispensable. This is not just your boss’ responsibility to give you the right work. Make sure you are raising your hand and going after stretch roles.

Are you contributing to the bottom line? Part of being indispensable is making sure your work matters. Directly or indirectly you need to be adding revenue, cutting costs, or increasing profits.

Are you happy? Work is not about being fulfilled 100% of the time. There are ups and downs. But if you can’t remember any recent ups, this is a signal you don’t want to ignore. Even if the above questions don’t raise a red flag, don’t discount the importance of liking what you do.


Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career and business coach with SixFigureStart®. She has worked with executives from Amazon, American Express, Condé Nast, Gilt, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, and other leading firms. Follow Caroline’s weekly leadership column on Forbes (where this post originally appeared).

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