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3 questions to ask before you quit your job


The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you know it’s the right time to switch jobs? is written by Kirsten Helvey, senior vice president of global client success at Cornerstone OnDemand.

Often times the desire to figure out the next step in your career can lead to an exercise of self-reflection: Are you on a path to achieving your lifelong personal and professional goals? Over the course of my career there have definitely been times where I‘ve contemplated and experienced job and career changes. While the factors that contribute to making a change can vary for everyone, I believe that regardless of your personal journey, it ultimately boils down to a combination of the following: (a) Are you still learning in your current role? (b) Are you still on a path to achieving the level of personal success I was destined for? and (c) How will a potential next step impact your personal life?

If your intellectual curiosity is no longer being met, the first step is to understand why that is the case. Once you gain a better understanding of whether the issue is your motivation or your environment, it’s easier to determine next steps. As part of my current role, I‘ve meet with many HR executives that share stories of how their employees seldom know about growth opportunities within their organization simply because they don’t ask about them. If you are passionate about the company you work for but need a new challenge — ask for it. If at that point your ambition is stunted, then it’s probably time to move on.

See also: How long you should really stay at a job you hate

Next, examine the place you work and determine if it fosters career mobility. Mobility in an organization is critical to employees as well as to the company. Providing career mobility allows an individual to realize their potential and achieve their professional goals, and ultimately, the company benefits from retaining these employees. Some individuals are lucky enough to work at companies that stress the use of operational tools to assess, track and manage skillsets, making it easy to identify and leverage your skills. However, this isn’t always the case. At the start of any new job, I always ask employees to write up two lists. The first is a list of where they see themselves in one, five, 10 and 20 years. The other is a list of what they are specifically looking to get out of their current position, which usually ladders up to those longer term goals. Every year, I encourage employees to pull out these lists and ask themselves if they are still on track to reaching their goals. If the answer is no, then it’s probably time to move on.

Personal goals can also play a major impact in deciding when it’s time to switch jobs or careers. For some it may be geographical , although with the conveniences of technology, remote employees are increasingly common. For others, it could be a life–changing event, like starting a family or tending to a sick parent. In some circumstances, it could be the opportunity to experience a better work-life balance. Whatever the case may be, this definitely plays a role in mapping out your career path. If you find that the other two criteria I previously mentioned are met, but your current role or one you are considering doesn’t fit in with your personal life, then it’s probably time to move on.

At the end of the day, only you are responsible for your career; find ways to keep the fire inside you burning.

Real all responses to the Leadership Insider question: How do you know it’s the right time to switch jobs?

When this happens, you know it’s time for a new job by Paul Sallomi, U.S. and global technology sector leader at Deloitte LLP.

3 signs your job is in serious danger by Matt Mickiewicz, co-founder of Hired.

This is how long it should take to gain new opportunities at work by Adam Ochstein, founder and CEO of StratEx.

Here’s how to tell if your job is at risk by Chris Perry, chief digital officer at Weber Shandwick.

What a failed negotiation could mean for your career by Shadan Deleveaux, co-founder of Technology For Families in Need.

Why a low paycheck isn’t enough to leave a job by Mike Guerchon, chief people officer at Okta.

This is how long you should wait before quitting a job by Edward Fleischman, chairman and CEO of The Execu|Search Group.

3 signs it’s time to switch jobs by Karen Appleton, SVP of industry at Box.