Dear Dawn… Ready For A Change – The Answer
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Dear Dawn… Ready For A Change – The Answer

Dear Dawn… Ready For A Change – The Answer

Gulf Business’ leadership expert, Dawn Metcalfe, answers the fifth question in the series.


After another week of discussion and comments the Gulf Business agony aunt Dawn Metcalfe gives her expert opinion on the latest question in the series.

The query last week was:

Dear Dawn,

I’ve been in my current role for 3 years. I make good money, work for a nice enough company and don’t actively dislike any of my colleagues. But I am bored. I get contacted by search companies every so often – should I start listening to what they tell me?


Ready for a Change

And here is Dawn’s expert opinion:

Dear Ready For A Change,

If you’re not thrilled with your present job, you’re not alone. Quitting is a major decision and I recommend you read some of the incisive comments made by fellow readers last week before making the jump. However, sometimes you’ve done everything you can and staying is not an option. The decision is not one anyone else can take for you but below I’ve set out 10 signs that it might be time to move on. Not all of these will relate to you of course but I hope they’ll be of use.

1. Your work is affecting your health
If work is affecting your sleep or appetite, if you start using drugs or alcohol to get through the day (including legal ones like nicotine, caffeine, ibuprofen, cough syrup and antacids) or if your mood is unpredictable then you have to consider your options. You know it is time to move on when you can’t get out of bed in the mornings or have trouble falling asleep at night. No job is worth making yourself sick over.

2. You are miserable
What is the best part of your day? If it is lunchtime or fantasizing about co-worker misfortune and disfigurement, it might be time to start researching the next move. While our job will always be “work,” it should also be something we enjoy doing. If you dread work, then it’s time for a new job – a minimum of a third of every day is a long time to be unhappy.

3. You are marginalised
Your boss has stopped including you in meetings and doesn’t ask your opinion and your responsibilities have been taken away. You should, of course, discuss this with your boss but be aware it might be a hint and you might want to take it.

4. You have a better offer
Congratulations! Now ask yourself what you mean by “better”? Candidly assess what motivates you and what you really want and need, whether it is money, power, independence, a shorter commute or more time at home. If the new job gives you that, don’t be afraid to go for it.

5. You can’t move up
You’ve outgrown your current job and there is no room for you to be promoted or take on more responsibility. This is not a good place to be in for long. A job that is not challenging you and allowing you to use the skills you’ve developed may be a hindrance in the long-term.

6. You’re not learning any more
In the 21st century you are unlikely to stay with any employer for years so you must constantly be learning new skills and developing yourself. If you don’t have the opportunity to do that it may be time to seek out a new job.

7. You’re been promoted away from what you love
Perhaps you were a great sales guy and so were promoted into management. You do not really hate your job or employer, but you get very little satisfaction from it compared to when you started your career. If this is the case for you, it might be time to refocus your career path and find a job that goes back to your passion.

8. You see the writing on the wall
The company you work for is in trouble and you are worried about being downsized. Now is a good time to start looking (not on your company’s time of course) whilst you still have some leverage.

9. You don’t fit in
Maybe your company provides products or services you don’t believe in or exaggerates their value or quality to customers. Perhaps the company is very hierarchical and you want to be somewhere more egalitarian. If your values are at odds with the culture of the organization then you are unlikely to be happy or successful.

10. You’ve burned your bridges
Many disagreements can be resolved, but if your relationship with your boss and/or coworkers has been irreparably damaged and your reputation shattered, it may be time to leave. Just be sure that whatever caused the difficulty isn’t repeated in your new environment.

If you do decide to explore some opportunities with a search company then just remember that, like everyone, they have an agenda and get recommendations where possible. Then invest time in getting to know the individual and being clear on what they’ll provide. Some will work closely with you and tell you things you need to hear e.g. about your CV, your online presence, interview technique. Others don’t and you should consider getting some professional help in that case – getting a job should be approached as a job. Good luck whatever your decision!



The next professional query for week six is now live and open for comment and debate. Follow the link here to participate.

Send your questions for Dawn anonymously to [email protected] and see them answered here next time.

Dawn Metcalfe is the managing director of Performance Development Services (PDS). Find out more at


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