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If you don’t feel you’re growing in your job and learning new things, you might be better off at another company. This can be especially true if your job involves some aspect of technology because technology seems to change at the speed of light. If you’re not learning new skills you could quickly find yourself falling behind, which would make it ever harder for you to find a new job. If speed kills, boredom can kill, too. You spend too much time at work to be bored. You’re most engaged and at your most productive when you’re learning and growing. If not, you could become like one of those household plants that just withers away for lack of water.
Your company is falling behind the curve
Take a good, hard look at the technology around you. Is your company still relying on compact discs? Do the computers look as if they hadn't been replaced since the late 1990s? Are most of your coworkers on desktops instead of laptops? These are all signs that your company may be stuck in the Stone Age, which is not a good thing. If your company or its services or products are seen as behind the times this could put your reputation at risk. What this translates into is that you need to begin exploring your options before your qualifications and experience also start to fall behind the curve and become thought of as less relevant.
Your relationship with your boss has been severely damaged
Your relationship with your manager can make the difference between dreading to go to work every day or jumping out of bed excited you get to go to work. If you have to take a healthy swallow of some anti-acid at breakfast to get ready for your day this is a strong signal that it’s time to make a change. If you have a damaged relationship with your manager it can be like a cancer that just grows worse over time. If you don't see any way that you could repair your relationship with your boss – even if it's his or her fault – it's probably time to get your resume updated.
Your company has taken away your desk… and your chair
There have been reported cases were employers took away their workers' desks and chairs without firing them and then forced them to sit in break rooms filling out documents. If this happens to you it might be because your employer is punishing you or maybe it's just a way to make things look busier. In either event, if this happens to you it's a sure sign that you need to start looking for a new job.
You have a job offer
If you've done a good job of managing your career trajectory then you should be totally ready to take the next step well before you see those signs that it's time to move on. In the event that you're waiting for a "sign" this means that you are not doing the optimum job of managing your career so consider that job offer to be that sign and if it's a good one with a company you respect then jump on it.
Don't apply blindly for a new job
If you’ve seen all or most of the signs and understand it's time to look for new job don't just apply blindly online and then sit back hoping for a response. What you need to do instead is focus on identifying companies where you think you’d love to work and then use networking to make connections with people who work there. It's a fact that 80% of jobs come through referrals. One employment expert says, "Your network is your net worth" and this is absolutely true.
How to talk with recruiters
If you've had a toxic manager or, worse yet, a toxic work environment you probably don't want to throw that employer under the bus when talking with recruiters or prospective employers. If your company has a pretty good reputation this would make you look like you might have been a malcontent or just didn’t work hard enough to fit in. If this is the case, it's important that when you talk to recruiters or prospective employers that you take ownership of the situation and explain what you learned from your experiences and how you've grown from them. If you can, be specific in terms of what you would've done differently. Then explain to them how important it is that you find a new job and put all this behind you so you can give your new employer 110%. If you are honest without getting emotional and take ownership of what happened in your job this will show your character without having to poor mouth your former employer.
Blame office politics
There are other experts who say you shouldn't get too specific. Instead you might be able to blame politics saying something like, "I thought that this would be a great job but it turned out that it was a case of constant petty office politics. I just found I could not get along with everyone. So I want to find a job where there's a real team – a place where everyone works together and helps one another become successful." I mean, who wouldn't want to hire that person?
Check out these tips
Finally, here's a video with five great job interview tips to help you get that new dream job.