Career management also means knowing when it’s time to move on

By Eileen Jacob

Are you thinking it might be time for a new job? We've got tips from the MBA career coaches at Berkeley Haas on managing your career in pursuit of more meaningful work, along with questions to ask yourself—all in our new free ebook.

You've probably heard that timing is everything. And it's true that when it comes to many decisions in life, whether it's to get married, buy a house, get your MBA, or pursue more meaningful work—timing is an important factor.
But relying on this old axiom isn't enough when it comes to career management—you've got to dig a little deeper to determine whether the time is right.

Fortunately, you don't have to leave this to a gut feeling; you can ask yourself the right questions, evaluate your current position thoughtfully, or speak with an advisor, like those in the Career Management Group who support Berkeley MBA students. Here are a few tips on deciding if it's time to make your move. 

Ask the right questions

To gain some meaningful insight on whether you're happy, challenged, and fulfilled in your current job, it's important to ask yourself pointed questions, like "What do I love most about my job?" and "What do I take the most pride in in my role?" If what you love most about your job is your lunch break, or the occasional free baked goods, it's probably time to consider a change.

Evaluate your environment

Take all the ingredients of your office or organization and consider how satisfied you are with them. The important ones, like your boss and your coworkers, should rate high on your satisfaction scale. If the high point of your environment is the office patio, that should be a red flag.

Consider your growth

While most people aspire to move up in their companies, it's also important to reflect on the growth you've experienced thus far. Have you been given more responsibility throughout your tenure? Do your current projects challenge you? Have you been able to explore topics that genuinely interest you? Don't stay in a role that's not challenging you, helping you grow, or letting you explore different interests.

Assess what you like—and what you don't

This is an important step for a few reasons: assessing what you enjoy about your position will give you something to focus on until you're able to leave, and it will help you depart on a good note. Plus, when you determine what you don't like about your current job, you'll know what you don't want to repeat in a new role.

There are plenty of ways to approach career management effectively, and you can find all of them in the Berkeley MBA free ebook, Finding More Meaningful Work: Five Steps to Making Your Next Move.

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Posted on December 20, 2016
Themes: MBA Benefits
Eileen Jacob
Eileen was Senior Assistant Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals from 2017-2019. She enjoyed meeting prospective students and helping them explore the benefits of an MBA, and hopes these blog posts provide valuable insight into the Berkeley MBA experience.