On the sixth installment of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder of Byrd Career Consulting, shares five signs that tell us it’s time to leave our job, and she lets us know that the right opportunity is out there for us – we just cannot settle.
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Latesha: What’s up, everyone? Welcome to The Link Up with Latesha. I am your host, Latesha Byrd, and this podcast is for young professionals that need some real deal advice, tips, and resources to navigate corporate America and dominate their career. So if you’re looking to upgrade your brand, get the knowledge you need to level up professionally for your future, you’re in the right place. I am here with Living Corporate, and today we are talking about “Make a Move: 5 Signs That It’s Time to Leave Your Job.” This is an extremely important topic, because as a career coach, I talk to people every single day that are extremely unhappy with their jobs. Either they’re not passionate about the work that they’re doing, they feel that they are not in the best environment that suits, you know, their own professional needs, maybe they don’t like their boss. It really just comes down to they don’t like the work. They don’t like the work they’re doing. They don’t like the company they work for. And that can present a lot of challenges, not just in the professional life, but also in the personal, especially for those that are working in fields where they feel like their life is just passing them by and they’re just going with the day-to-day. That’s not healthy, you know? That’s not okay, and I want you all to know that the right opportunity is out there for you. You just cannot settle. We spend, on average, over 90,000 hours at work. That is a long time. I mean, that’s a lot of hours, and we spend a third of our lives at work, right? There’s 24 hours in a day. If we’re working 8 hours a day, okay, that’s one-third. A lot of us don’t even work just 8 hours a day. So essentially you probably are spending more time at work than you are with friends, than you are with spouses, with your children. And if you’re unhappy with your career and the way that it’s going, that’s going to spill over into your personal life, into your relationships with your spouse, with your children, with your friends. I see it every day. I have a lot of folks that I have spoken with where their unhappiness at work has led to anxiety, it’s led to depression. Again, you’re never stuck, all right? So if you have been on the fence about looking for a job, if you’re not sure if you’re doing what you are destined to do, I’m gonna give you some things to think about today so you can actually go out and realize that “You know what? Maybe it’s time for me to make a move.” I’ve been there. If you have followed my story or if you’ve heard anything about my past, I did not just jump into entrepreneurship. I did not just become a career coach and have been doing that forever. In my former life, I was in accounting. I worked in auditing for a public accounting firm, a Big Four public accounting firm. No shade to anyone that is in public accounting or working with the Big Four. It really is a wonderful, wonderful industry to be in with a lot of opportunity. It just wasn’t for me. As an auditor, you know, I kind of felt like the IRS, you know? My clients didn’t love seeing me. Whenever I asked them for some type of documentation, they were like, “What do you need this for? Why do you need it?” You know? [laughs] So it was not just that. It was just a challenge for me, because I am a people person. I love helping people, and I felt that every time I talked to my clients I felt like I was just bothering them, you know? And then on top of that, you know, looking on my computer, looking at numbers all day, like, my brain would literally be fried. Now, I’m so thankful for that experience, because, you know, I do believe that accounting is the language of business, so it has allowed me to be very numbers, metrics-focused. That just has helped me so much in my career, even in working through helping my clients think about tangible results and many, many, many other things. So again, just know that everything that you’ve done up to this point in your career, I’m sure that it has a purpose and a meaning and it’s going to be a part of your story and your testimony one day, but you are not stuck. You are never stuck, and it really saddens me that I see so many talented individuals that, you know, are unhappy. You have so much potential. You have so much life. You have so much purpose within you that not only are you setting yourself back by saying or feeling stuck, but think about the many lives that you could impact and that you could change if you were to step out on faith, all right, and really offer those contributions to the world that you’re meant to based on your passion, your skills, the things that you care about, the things that you love. So let’s go ahead and get into some of the things to think about when it is time to make a move. #1 – you aren’t feeling challenged by the work at your job. You aren’t feeling challenged by the work at your job. Simply put, you’re bored. [laughs] You’re bored. Maybe the work is too easy. Again, you want to make sure that you are in a position where you’re able to do your job well, but not to the point where you are just kind of twiddling your thumbs and you’re uninterested in the work. Being challenged at work is healthy, just from a mental perspective. Now, when I say challenged, I mean challenged to the point where, you know, you are excited to learn something new. You’re excited to develop a particular skill set or to learn more about a particular topic – with the adequate training though. I don’t mean challenge meaning that you are set to do something that is literally impossible, but having a good balance or a healthy level of challenge is definitely going to just allow you to grow professionally. #2 – if you are unsatisfied with your company’s work environment, it’s time to make a move. If you are in a toxic environment, meaning that, you know, people are yelling at each other, you have been yelled at at work, you’ve been called names. There’s a lot of gossip going around. People don’t respect you. They don’t respect each other. The other thing you want to think about too is all right, maybe no one is saying anything to your face, but if you are around a bunch of other coworkers that are talking about each other to you, I promise you they’re probably talking about you, just not to your face. So I could go on and on and on about this, because I know we have all dealt with some type of toxic work environment. I just want you to know that that’s not normal, that that’s not healthy, and that’s not safe. When you are in a toxic work environment, that can lead to anxiety. That can lead to depression. That can feel like you aren’t good enough, when it’s really not you, it’s them making you feel that way, and if you stay in that type of environment for long enough you may start to internalize some of the messaging that you are receiving. If you’re getting blamed for things that you have no control over, that you are not a part of, again, that is a toxic work environment. #3 – if you aren’t satisfied with your salary or your pay, it’s time to make a move. We don’t have time to, you know, just sit around, hoping that more money’s gonna fall out of the sky. Now, let’s say that you have had conversations with your manager, right? And that’s what I recommend. Let’s say you’re not satisfied, okay? So you talk to management and you say, “Hey, look, I have been working my ass off here.” You know, you go run them through your brag sheet. You tell them how you’ve been able to add value and that you’re looking for–you’d like to discuss the opportunity for a raise or a promotion, and that conversation was a year ago or two years ago and you haven’t heard anything, and whenever you do bring it up again they kind of brush it off like, “Okay, let’s talk in the next six months.” “Oh, well, we have a lot of things going on here internally at the company, so let’s hold that thought.” Again, listen, that money is not going to fall out of the sky, so you may want to look for a job that’s actually going to pay you what you deserve. The cost of living is not going down, right? But your skills, your experience, your expertise, that value is going to continue to go up as you continue to work and lead new projects and work with new initiatives and new clients. So you need to make sure that you are being compensated fairly and adequately for what you are offering back to them. This kind of goes along–#4 kind of goes along with #3. If there are no opportunities to move up in your company, it may be time to make a move. Now, again, let’s say that you’ve had these conversations with your manager about wanting to move up, and they brush you off, right? Or let’s say you don’t even have a level or a position at your current company that you aspire to. Maybe you do see some folks that are in a management role, but you don’t want that. You don’t want that type of management role. It’s going to take you realizing that, “Okay, I don’t want to move up here,” but you want to continue to move up in your field. You’ve got to get out. Try another company, all right? #5 – oh, and the other thing I want to say about #4, [laughs]–I had a friend I had reach out to me about this, but she had a conversation with her manager, and her manager–well, she told the manager, like, “Hey, what does my future look like here at this company?” And the manager said, “Oh, just keep doing what you’re doing. Yeah, just keep right on. Keep doing that thing.” That is a sign that you need to make a move, because if your company is not invested in your growth or not invested with your future moving up in that company, then you gotta go, you know? And the other thing that I would say too–’cause I have some clients that are going through this right now–maybe there’s not an opportunity for you to move up at the company, but you still want to just kind of diversity your skill set a little bit as you continue to look for opportunities. Maybe try a lateral move. Maybe try a transition into a new group, a new department, something new, just to, again, make sure you are being challenged, stimulated professionally from a mental perspective as you continue to look for opportunities. #5 – let’s say the company’s values are unaligned with your own. It is time to make a move. If your company is doing some type of unethical practices–maybe they’re treating consumers, clients, even employees ways that you think are a little bit unfair and you have this uneasy feeling about it. You may want to think about making a move. I just did a presentation on working with millennials in Generation Z in the workplace, and through my research I’ve found that that is something that millennials and Gen Z really look for, is finding a company that has strong ethical practices and that they have values that are aligned with their own. Think about that. Think about that, because the company that you work for, that is most definitely a part of your brand, and if you don’t feel comfortable, you know, really repping for your company, that just is definitely something to think about. Why would you want to continue to stay there to help that company grow when you aren’t sure that they are, you know, doing work in an ethical fashion? So those are my five things. I could go on and on and on about this, but the other thing I wanted to say here is just trust your gut. Trust your gut. You are not stuck. Don’t play it safe. That is self-defeat. There are a lot of other companies that would be more than happy to hire you. Again, you are skilled, you are qualified, and the other thing is that it doesn’t hurt. Like, it really doesn’t hurt to just look and see what’s out there, you know? It doesn’t hurt to apply and interview every six months just to kind of see “Do I still got it?” You know, just to kind of see what these other companies have to offer you. The grass may not always be greener on the other side, but you won’t know unless you jump the fence or unless you peek through the gate, right? And I kind of see staying in a not-so-great work environment the same way that we talk about staying in a relationship. It can be emotionally, even physically, abusive, right? You might be losing sleep over not loving your job. Sometimes, you know, in those relationships, your partner may have you thinking, “You’re not gonna find anything better than me. You’re gonna be single forever,” right? I’m not saying that companies are saying that, but I’m sure you all can relate to hearing something or thinking something very similar or even witnessing that. So again, don’t let that self-defeat take over. Just see what’s out there. Just because you’re looking at jobs, just because you’re applying, doesn’t mean that the company’s gonna call you tomorrow and say, “Hey, we got this offer for you, and we’re ready for you to start. Can you start right now?” That’s not how it works. It definitely takes time, but you’re gonna have to push yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone to get there. So I hope that these tips are helpful. I want you all to be happy and passionate and just love the work that you do every day. I know I do, and I wish everyone in the world could feel that feeling that I feel. So if you have any other questions for me, feel free to reach out to me. I am on Instagram and Twitter @Latesha_Byrd – L-A-T-E-S-H-A underscore Byrd, B-Y-R-D. So hit me up. I hope these tips were helpful, and I want you all to just have a great day. Thanks.