Explore your options if you know your job is going nowhere


While you may feel like you are in a dead end job, in many cases the decision to move on has nothing to do with your performance or your bosses’ lack of communication towards you, but rather by an organization that is paralyzed by change.

Just three years ago and fresh out of college, a marketing graduate accepted a position at a large accounting firm where he could grow his career and develop his business skills. He joined a newly formed team with an assignment to help expand financial products to untapped markets.

The challenge of building new contacts and having a seat at the senior management table gave him a boost of confidence with exposure to different leaders. He seemed to be viewed as a high-potential employee with a long future ahead of him and was told that often from his boss.

It wasn’t until one year later that his team started to feel the effects of a product that was not meeting the company’s expectations. The hopes of expanding financial products was dwindling and rather than having a jammed packed schedule he found himself competing with other team members in staying busy.

About the same time he also noticed a change in how his boss was communicating with him. Instead of his boss inviting him to meetings he felt as though he was slowly being removed from the decision process and into a more mundane role.  In looking back he realized there were subtle hints that his role was changing such as the lack of growth and interest from his boss as well as the loss in revenue the company was experiencing. He started to doubt the future of his team and noticed his enthusiasm was dwindling.

As with all good intentions, things happen in life and business beyond your control such as the economy; however, pay attention to what you can control. A part of your career growth will always be one of adjusting to the demands of the market in staying flexible to changing directions and strategies. At the same token, pay attention to what you can control in your career and cues that could affect your job over time.

How do you know you are in a job that is going nowhere and should you stay?
Naturally everyone has to decide for themselves when it’s time to move on especially when you are just starting your career and need the work experience. Most people tend to grin and bear it until things change but you might be short changing yourself by waiting around too long.

Here are some key signs that it might be time to move on:

• Your performance reviews are taken lightly with no real feedback for growth and while you are rated average you honestly feel you should have received higher marks.
• Promotions are not an option and you have been shifted from a visible position to one behind the scenes.
• You are not receiving relevant information from inside sources rather your information is coming from rumor mill.
• Positions that would be beneficial to your career are being filled by external candidates.
• Important assignments and increased responsibility are going to others in your team.
• Inside politics create an atmosphere of survival rather than a thriving environment where you feel appreciated and your thoughts matter.

While you may feel like you are in a dead-end job, in many cases the decision to move on has nothing to do with your performance or your bosses’ lack of communication towards you, but rather by  an organization that is paralyzed by change.
You could really like your colleagues, your boss and the work itself, but if the company is going nowhere it’s likely your career is headed for a turn.

Even if you have all the signs that your job is going nowhere don’t be so quick to jump ship, rather evaluate different options within the company. It could be that additional training and new goals would re-energize your career. Take the time to develop a plan B for the next steps, it gives you a sense of direction and is much better strategy than just quitting without a new place to land.

After you have exhausted all of your options and still find your enthusiasm fading, it might be time to move on toward the future.

When did you know it was time to move on?


Kim Thompson