How do you know when you have outgrown your job?
It’s a feeling that can creep up on you. It can be somewhat ambiguous and hard to explain. Outgrowing your job is the most common reason people feel the need to move on. Sure, sometimes we are in a job where we hate our job, our managers or a toxic environment. But sometimes career change is triggered from outgrowing your current situation, because it is different to being pushed from a role.
Whilst it can feel uncertain, the first main point to note is that this is completely normal.
- You can do your job with your eyes closed
The learning model of competence takes us from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence. The thing is when we get to this stage of conscious competence it becomes a mechanism, and whilst this is great from a competency perspective, it can become boring. Not being challenged or having anything more to learn in your role is a key sign you need to move on.
- Your job no longer intellectually stimulates you in a challenging way
Regardless of competence, is the subject matter still interesting to you. Do you care about the topic at hand and want to care about the topic? Even if you have areas of development, if the subject matter, be it the job role, industry, product or service simply no longer interests you or feels fun and challenging to you then maybe this is a sign you need to move on.
- You have mutual respect with your peers but no one that truly inspires you
The people around you no longer challenge you. Maybe you have worked with them for a really long time, you have learnt all the lessons and heard all of their inspiration, formal trainings, and desktop nuggets of advice. However, there is something to be said about being inspired or motivated by the people around you. As they say you are the product of the people you spend your time with. So outgrowing your job can look like there is nothing more you can get from the people you are surrounded by. After a while you end up an echo chamber of opinions, best practice and habits.
- You’re not as driven by being top of the leaderboard
Once upon a time there was no greater achievement than getting recognition for your efforts. Whether that looked like star of the week, employee of the month, or top of the leaderboard, but now that ambition doesn’t get you going anymore. This can show up in two ways. It’s particularly common for those that feel this kind of recognition is far out of reach. It’s also common for those who regularly achieve the recognition but it doesn’t really do much for them anymore.
- You have reached the top of the salary banding
Salaries are determined by two things, the value you bring to the role and the value the company places on a role. The minute your personal value exceeds the value the company will pay for these skills, it’s time to move on. This is why understanding your career plan is key. Because when your skills, experience value exceeds the needs of the role, you need to know where both within the organisation and outside the organisation you can continue to develop.