If you’ve been in the workforce for a while now, you’ve likely experienced a range of workplace cultures. You probably have experienced workplaces from the “meh” to the toxic, and maybe even a great one or two.
Workplace culture is not static; it ebbs and flows in response to external pressures and new or changing leadership. Workplaces that once were steeped in dysfunctional conflict can learn how to become functional, maybe even inspiring, again. Conversely, workplaces that worked for you at the beginning of your tenure may no longer work for you later.
If the latter is your situation, how do you know when it’s time to leave and forge your own path?
If we can’t be the leader we want to be in an organization, sometimes we have to take things into our own hands. Sometimes the best leadership journey is the one we create for ourselves. If changing jobs or striking out on your own is luring you, here are some things you may want to consider:
Have you communicated what you need and want to your teams and/or key colleagues who can help you get there? If the actions you’ve taken are going nowhere, these may be signs that you are better served moving on.
Be Open to Learning
Are you still growing in your current role? What opportunities do you have to grow in the ways you want? Are they more abundant than you thought? Or are they limited or even non-existent?
Know Your Habitual Patterns
Do you tend to stay with things that are no longer serving you because of a sense of loyalty or obligation? Do you tend to choose the well-worn path because it’s familiar (even if unfulfilling)?
If you find yourself asking, “Is this as good as it gets?” the answer is probably no. This is the time to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone.
Know Your Non-Negotiables
What do you need now, and can you get it? Are your interpersonal relationships at work past the point of remedy? Are you too burned out to bounce back in this job?
Get Clear About How What’s Next Aligns with Your Values and Needs
Have you always had an inkling that you would be much happier as your own boss? Are you emotionally and financially able to ride the waves of being an entrepreneur, or is working in another organization the route for you?
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Support
Who do you know who has made the leap into owning their own business or transitioning into a different career? Who do you see as a trusted advisor? Might you want a coach as your guide for deeper insight into what’s next for you?
Listen to Your Inner Knowing
There are times when our choice to stay or leave becomes crystal clear. There is an inner part of us that knows deep down what we really want. The question is, how long will it take you to get there?