Questions You Should Ask Yourself One Year Into Your First Job
For many, switching jobs every 1-3 years is the norm. It seems to me that it’s becoming exceedingly rare to meet people who have stayed with one company for most of their professional career. There can be a lot of pressure to stay, or go, depending on who you talk to, but it’s too personal of a choice to let someone else’s opinion sway you one way or the other. Here are the questions you should really be asking yourself as you think about your next move.
Am I being challenged?
I ask myself this question regularly. As I mentioned during my last career post, I learned so much more than I ever could have expected during my first year. Especially when you’re young, you should be taking advantage of the lack of distractions in your life. I’m regularly checking myself to make sure I’m not getting into routines and pushing myself to take on new projects. If those opportunities aren’t available to you, definitely start by asking for them but if you’re still not having any luck it may be time to consider looking elsewhere.
Do my managers believe in and support me?
This is probably the most important thing to me. When you have the right people behind you the opportunities available to you are exponentially greater. It’s true in your personal life and it’s no different when it comes to work. If you have the right people advocating for you that’s so much less energy you have to expend proving yourself, and more time you can spend focusing on your work, so you can keep getting better. This one is also great because if you don’t have those people on your side, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the wrong job, company or industry, it could just mean you have to put a little more effort into finding them within your organization.
Are you working towards a promotion or a career?
It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to move up the corporate ladder. It’s natural to want more money, a more impressive title and better benefits, but there’s a big difference between wanting a promotion because it’s a natural progression, and thinking it’ll change how you feel about your job. Ask yourself if you want that promotion because you’ve spent the past year working towards it and have exceeded expectations. Will a new title make that big of a difference and completely change what you do, or are you pushing yourself because you already want to excel at the work you’re doing? Are you going after opportunities every day or waiting to be pushed into them?
Am I happy?
This one is a little trickier. I absolutely hate getting up in the morning. No matter how much I love my job I don’t think I will ever be excited to get out of bed and get ready for work. It’s just not who I am. That being said, by the time I get to work I’m totally fine. I don’t leave work dreading returning the next day and I don’t dread coming back from vacation. I genuinely enjoy what I do and am able to take pride in my work and there’s something to be said for that.
All this is to say: no one except you can tell you the right time to leave your first job. If you’re contemplating a switch, start here.
Photo: Allie Provost, Pret a Provost