Leaving your job is a huge decision. But staying in a job that's getting you nowhere can have a lasting negative impact on your career.
Bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch agrees: "Of all the debates in our head, deciding if it's time to quit is one of the hardest."
She tells CNBC Make It there are four "surefire signs" that will let you know it's time to look for the exits:
Are you finding there's no way to move up in your current company? Welch says this is one of the top signs that it's time to move on.
Maybe you're at a company, for example, where, "there's someone above you who's never going to leave the organization. Maybe it's the boss's daughter or son. Maybe it's the superstar employee. It doesn't matter.
"The facts are, you can't move up, or maybe even sideways, because no one is moving out."
If you don't leave, she says, "you'll never grow."
Another good reason to leave is what Welch calls an "embedded reputation."
"Say you started out as an assistant. Some people will never see you as anything but. Or maybe you were part of a project that tanked. Failure can cling to you, even when it's not your fault."
Regardless, she says, factors like these can leave you with an "un-promotable" or "damaged goods" vibe. And when that happens, she says, "you must go find a place to start again."
If you feel "meh" about your company's product or service, Welch says that's a clear sign that it's time to quit.
"Life is short and precious," she says. "Don't spend 40 or 50 hours a week working to advance something you don't believe in."
Instead, she says, "find a company that makes you proud to say, 'I work here.'"
"If you're being called morning, noon and night to do your own thing," then chances are it may be time for you to quit your job. But, she says, before putting in your two weeks, you have to be certain that you're ready for entrepreneurship.
"Just remember this," she says, "wanting to be your own boss doesn't cut it unless you have an amazing idea. If you do, go build it! If not, maybe wait to leave until you do, OK?"
Welch emphasizes that "no job is perfect, and we all have times when we think about leaving." But, she says, "don't leap without looking for these signs and knowing at least one of them is looking back at you."
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video by Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo
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