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CIO - Working as an IT professional is a demanding and competitive role, and like anything in life has its ups and downs. How many employers does the average IT pro work for in his or her career? It seems like a straight-forward question, but the answer is surprisingly complex because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't track this data. Even if it did, you'd have to ask what constitutes a career change? Suffice to say the average IT pro will at least change employers a few times over a 20-30 year career.
Most experienced IT professionals can relate to having worked too long in at least one job over the course of his career. It's amazing how sometimes a great job can seemingly change overnight into a caustic situation. Other times, the epiphany is more of a slow burn that builds up over time.
Moving on can be necessary at times for professional development, financial or even health reasons. So how can you tell whether that feeling is all in your head or whether it really is time to look for greener pastures?
CIO.com spoke with industry professionals to help spot the warning signs that indicate it may be time to quit your day job.
1. The Numbers Don't Add Up
This can be a number of things: Perhaps you notice vendor bills that are normally paid on time aren't any longer or maybe you notice the stock price tumbling. "While one bad quarter does not make a bad company, if you are seeing quarter over quarter trending downward, that is a compelling sign that the company may be in trouble and your job may be at risk," says Dave Sanford, executive vice president at WinterWyman, a career management and transition services consulting firm.
2. Where's My Money?
If you aren't getting paid on time, it's likely your company is navigating some dangerous financial straits. Dusting off your resume and preparing for the worst can only be in your best interest.
3. Your Company Doesn't Invest in Its Employees
When you feel like there is room for advancement and your company is supportive when it comes to professional development, it shows in your work. You are compelled to do your best. The opposite is true for companies that don't create clear advancement paths or don't help their employees grow professionally.
4. You Dread Going to Work Each Day
If your passion is gone, this is an obvious sign that something is wrong. Whether it's long bouts of boredom or a boss from hell, working in a situation like this is not good for you professionally or for your health.
If going to work ties you up in a knot or you're losing sleep thinking about work, this is a strong indicator that it may be time to start looking. "Everyone deserves to find a job that meets their values, the opportunity to use and excel in your top skill set and doing something that you love. Once your ability to get a solid night's sleep doesn't occur, you are not performing at your best," says Jayne Mattson, senior vice president at Keystone Associates, a company that specializes in helping mid-to-senior level individuals in new career exploration, networking strategies and career decisions.