Have you ever invited a friend over for dinner the night before you have to wake up super early the next day...and that friend refuses to pick up on the social cues that it's getting too late and it's time to go home? So you start to get fidgety and send "it's time to go home" hints, hoping that your friend picks up on it?
Yup, overstaying your welcome in any scenario is never a good idea, and your job should be no exception.
Similar to our example above, when you overstay your welcome anywhere, you start to get hints and nudges that it's maybe time to make a move. These hints and nudges are often triggered by moments of despair or overwhelming pressure, especially when consumed by an overwhelming feeling of failure, self-doubt, or even a health crisis.
Those moments of questioning are usually the moments we start to realize that maybe we have been going through the motions to survive, "are we really where we need or desire to be?" - is it time we pick up on the cues and make a move?
I keep using the word "we" because I think we can all, to some degree, relate! I know I can. I've overstayed my welcome in a few jobs and I've learned that the universe has its ways of reminding us, at the right moment, that we could and should do better.
If you are at a point where you feel you are overstaying your welcome in your current role, here are 3 considerations I'd like to share with you:
1. If it no longer serves you, then how can you serve it?
If you no longer feel a sense of reward or inclusion, then how are you willing to operate at your best and contribute at your highest level? Don't get me wrong, there is a natural grind that comes with every career choice, there is a learning curve that's meant to challenge and push us - that is not what we are addressing here. We are addressing burnout - lack of inspiration - feeling unappreciated - hitting a plateau - staying underneath that glass ceiling we create for ourselves because we are afraid of the other side.
Learn to use this time as a way to pivot:
Expand your network
Update your resume
Re-engineer your career
Don’t dwell on why you are feeling ‘blue,’ instead, think strategically.
Start by researching and understanding your:
Academic and on-the-job versatility
External/internal mobility options
The top item on your agenda should be to find a place where you feel there is a mutual employee-employer benefit factor. Remember, feeling a sense of purpose is a great way to fuel your desire to conquer your goals. The next job must be the proper role and in the correct environment. No more settling! Remember always to balance your eagerness to contribute with your eagerness to replenish yourself (self-care). You matter.
2. When one door closes, many others open or find an open window.
Didn't get that raise your boss promised you? Didn't get that promotion you deserved? Had to watch that colleague you know is not as qualified as you get that promotion instead?
Take power from the institution and carve out your destiny. Don’t get paralyzed by questioning why you have not received or why ‘they’ did not value you and give you that deserved promotion, raise, or opportunity.
Use that energy to be bold and to reach for higher. Surround yourself with a strong circle of supporters and start applying to other jobs internally and externally. Test the market, find out your worth, and commit to higher standards. Start that side hustle! Use your time wisely as you prepare to make the next move. There are many factors at play in the corporate arena. Perhaps it’s not your boss, but the lack of availability or disposition of the corporate culture in providing these options. Buy yourself time and continue to deliver at work while securing your next move.
3. When we stay put for too long without being challenged (this can vary by career or industry), our knowledge can become stale.
You start to show up differently. You lose a sense of proactiveness. You lose the desire to go above and beyond. Our stamina to keep up with the pack loses its competitive essence. If you start to feel any of these symptoms - it's time to make a move. In some sense, it's corporate lethargy! Take that as a cue that it's time to refresh your repertoire. It's time to adjust to new trends and leverage resources to elevate your craft.
Examples that can be of immense help are LinkedIn, Teachable, Audible, etc. Don’t rely on your company to invest in your development if you are not implementing that same practice. Whether you realize it or not, you could be losing your gravitas and your voice because you are not operating at your highest level. Always think of up-skilling and re-skilling to stay on top.
Take control of your career and your future. You are in the pilot seat of your career destination!
Keep in mind that the world continues to evolve. People change roles. People move away—life happens. While you have been sitting and wondering what could have been—others are making their power moves. Stop looking and expecting approval and commendations from others. When you no longer feel seen or heard and valued, IT IS TIME TO GO. There is no need to wait for this to take a turn for the worse before looking out for yourself. You are your biggest priority.
New jobs come with a sense of purpose, belonging, pride, and all of the other non-negotiables that your last job was lacking. A new work environment can offer a better corporate culture, lessen meritocracy, and more benefits. Trust the process, know your potential and never sway from your conviction. Those that persevere; conquer.
Identify those ‘red flags’ in time to pave a new way on your terms. It’s time to move on! You got this, and you know it!
Written by: Ingrid X. Garcia, MBA
Talent and Culture Corporate Leader
Human Resources Professional
1. Allison Green, 2014. US News. How to Know It's Time to Leave Your Job.
2. Drew Anne Scarantino, 2013. Forbes. Career Clinic: Have You Overstayed Your (Job) Welcome? (Career Clinic: Have You Overstayed Your (Job) Welcome? (forbes.com))
3. Molly Triffin, 2015. Fast Company. 4 Ways To Tell If It’s Time To Quit Your Job. (4 Ways To Tell If It’s Time To Quit Your Job (fastcompany.com))