What is your boredom point?  This is a question that I raise with many of my mentees when we talk about their career progression or when they raise feelings of dissatisfaction with their role. 

The boredom point is when you are no longer challenged or satisfied with your role.  Look at your resume and work out the average time you stay in a role. 

Looking back at my corporate career, I realised that my boredom point was around 12 to 18 months.  I felt comfortable and confident in my role, that my feet were firmly planted under the desk and that I was building or perfecting knowledge and skills.  I also knew that this is when I needed to start looking for another role as it wouldn’t be long before I started to get bored.  For me, it was a gut feeling and following my initiative ensured I maintained my engagement level for each of my roles.

So how do you know when it is time to move on?  Here are some key things to ask yourself when considering a job change.

  • Do you feel stressed and tired?  Have your family or friends commented on your mood?
  • Are you finding that your values and the companies’ / departments’ values do not mesh anymore?
  • Do you count the hours till the end of the day, or do you dread going to work?
  • Do you no longer enjoy what you do?
  • Are your opinions and contributions going unnoticed?

It is also important to consider the perception of a future employer and the time you have already invested in your employer when considering changing companies. 

If you are at the beginning of your career, you are establishing yourself and there is some understanding that you are finding out what you enjoy, what you are good at and learning from these experiences.

For those in more established careers, there are expectations that you will meet long-term objectives and provide return of investment to the organisation.

To ensure that you are not setting a perception of a lack of commitment or inability to deliver, ensure that you are able to explain what you achieved in each role.  You want to state hard numbers aligning them to the organisations strategic goals to showcase your achievements (e.g., achieve 150% of revenue target).

If you are working for a large organisation and you are looking for a new challenge, consider what other roles are available where your skills can be utilised or perhaps identify a skills gap that you could fill.  It takes time to learn the language, processes, and bureaucratic workings within an organisation, and to build your internal network.  Moving to another organisation will require you to put in some hard yards to build your networking and understanding again.

If you are feeling lethargic, disengaged, frustrated, your overall confidence has decreased and you no longer “fit” with the organisation, then it may be time to look outside.  As a mentor, I have seen many people overstay in a role.  Everything in life naturally comes to an end and we need to learn the skills to spot when it is time to change roles or the company before we have worn out our welcome.

What is your boredom point?  Do you see moving regularly is a negative in your career journey?

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