Mentor Monday: How to Know When It’s Time to Look for a New Job with Terri Levine

Wondering if you are on the right track career-wise? Mentor Online Magazine Mentor Expert Terri Levine has a few questions for you to answer to help you understand exactly where you are with your career. It is time for a change? Find out, and let us know at MOM! Thanks, Tamara Patzer, publisher.

How To Know When It’s Time To Look for a New Job

Terri LevineBy Terri Levine

Are you having doubts that the career path you chose is still the right one or is your current employer or job giving you doubts that they’re “keepers”? Unsure?

Take this quiz and find out if you are still on the right track career-wise or whether it’s time for a change. By identifying the warning signs early, you can avoid wasted years in a job that is wrong for you. Obviously, you don’t need a quiz to tell you if you’re happy or not in your job, but sometimes we fool ourselves. We say it’s only a temporary phase, or we believe we can put up with it because the money is good, and meantime, we lose valuable days tolerating that which becomes increasingly harder to tolerate as time marches on.

Answer each question spontaneously – they are not presented in any special order because we don’t want your brain forming patterns and thinking of answers before we’ve asked the question!

1)         How do you greet the end of the working week?  Are you disappointed that the weekend is here already, because you are so engrossed in an exciting work project that you’d have preferred to continue/finish?       YES  NO

2)         When the weekend is over, do you look forward to Mondays and bounce out of bed with enthusiasm?      YES   NO

3)         Are you interested in and do you willingly participate in your Company’s special projects and employee schemes, perhaps even the social club?     YES   NO

4)         Do you skip or ignore the job vacancy sections in newspapers because you’re not interested in other jobs or because you’re not looking to see if a better job exists?   YES  NO

5)         Do you have a career plan in place for your current position? Would you be interested if the company offered it?    YES   NO

6)         Does your current position lend itself to interesting possibilities down the track in the form of promotions within the company, or transfers to other destinations or even to a sister company?   YES  NO

7)         Do you enjoy the specific tasks and responsibilities of your current career?  YES   NO

8)         Does your present job utilize your special talents and abilities, for example:  if you are creative and are good at writing but you work as a clerical officer inputting data on a computer, then you are not utilizing your special talents and abilities.   YES   NO

9)         Are you familiar with and do you care about your company’s Policies and Procedures?  Do you know the background of your CEO and President and key people within the company? (Showing an interest in these things is an indicator.)  YES  N

10)       Do you meet new company initiatives with applause and enthusiasm?  Do you believe those in charge are wise and know what they are doing?   YES NO

11)       Does any aspect of your current job resemble, in any way, the career you dreamed of when you were in high school?  YES  NO

12)       Are you in your present job because it satisfies your personal aspirations, rather than fulfilling your parent’s “dreams” for you, or because it was expected of you? And did you apply for your present job because you were particularly interested in either the job itself, it’s potential, or the company?     YES  NO

13)       Did you willingly go into this career/job/company without any pressure or influence from parents, family or government agencies who wanted to see you “financially self-supporting”? Was getting the job important to you for reasons other than being employed and earning an income?  YES  NO

14)       Do you tackle your work earnestly, happily working overtime if necessary?  Do you approach work projects with gusto and enjoy completing them successfully, maybe even looking for ways to improve the job?  YES  NO

15)       Do you interact positively with your fellow employees?  (You see them as friends and not just faces you run into from Monday to Friday).  Maybe you socialize with them after business hours?   YES  NO

16)       Are you a willing helper/volunteer if someone is burdened with a heavy workload? Do you feel like part of the team?  Is cooperating with your work colleagues easy and enjoyable? YES  NO

17)       Can you or do you see yourself still in this position or within the same company in say, 5 years time?            Do you want to be?  YES  NO

18)       Would you describe yourself now as mostly happy with your life?  Are you feeling enthusiastic, eager, and cheerful?  Is your health good?  Do you sleep well? Do you feel positive?  Are you generally satisfied with your lot in life?  YES  NO

19)       If you have a family, do you find it easy to spend quality time (and weekends) with them away from work without stress or arguments at home or at the office?  YES  NO

20)       Are you so content with your current position that you are mostly unaffected by undue stress or frustrations? Are you happy with the way things are and appear to be headed with your career and/or within your company?  YES  NO

21)       When you talk about your job to friends and family, is it more often upbeat and positive?  Do you find you usually only have great things to say about it?  Are you proud of it?  YES  NO

22)       Are you so enthusiastic about your job that you’d be prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed at it?  Would you take on part-time study?  Travel?  Join Associations?  Do you dream big dreams about it? Does it feature in your future “goals”?  YES  NO

23)       Would you be sad or reluctant to leave your present position if you were put off or needed to leave for any reason?  YES  NO

24)       Do you feel that you and what you do is appreciated and what you do is important?  YES  NO

25)       Are your suggestions and feedback about your role welcomed by the Company?  Does your Company encourage personal growth and offer training schemes to aid advancement, and do you snap up training opportunities?  YES  N

How did you do?

If you answered mostly or all NO’s, you don’t have a job, you have a ‘sentence’. Did you take this job to please other people? Or were you desperate and took the first secure job that came along and you hoped it would grow on you?  Either way this is not a positive sign and you should look for a job that honors who you are, your unique talents and abilities, that complements your life, and that not only provides an income but also provides job satisfaction and fulfills your goals. I know a lawyer who gave it all away to become a florist! You may not be qualified for one of your dream jobs yet but you’d be surprised what is possible if you know where to look and what to look for.  And trust me, you should start looking!

If you answered about half and half Yes and No answers, you should spend some time thinking about where you’re headed. You’re not as happy as you could be. Either the job or the company may not be right for you.  Can you find the same position in another company?  Or can you transfer to a different position or different department that will honor who you are and your special talents and abilities and that will see you bouncing out of bed in the morning, happy to go to work? Is it possible to redefine or modify your present position to better suit you?  If not, start taking more notice of those job columns in the paper!  Life is too short to settle for second best.

If you answered mostly or All Yeses – congratulations! Appears you have found your niche! Just ensure management knows you are eager and you get noticed for all the right reasons!  Just don’t become so engrossed in your job that it becomes your life. There is more to life than work. Maintain a healthy work/life balance that includes outside hobbies and activities, friends, and specially time with your family!  Remember, all work and no play…


Terri Levine Terri Levine, The Business Mentoring Expert, specializes in helping entrepreneur-owned businesses achieve record-breaking growth. Based in Philadelphia, Terri is founder and CEO of Comprehensive Coaching U, Inc., The Professional’s Coach Training Program. She has been featured on ABC, NBC, CNBC and MSNBC, and in more than 1,500 publications. She is the best-selling author of Sell Without Selling, Coaching is for Everyone and Stop Managing Start Coaching. Learn more at Contact Terri at






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