DEV Community

Sloan the DEV Moderator
Sloan the DEV Moderator

Posted on

How do you know it’s the right time to leave a company?

This is an anonymous post sent in by a member who does not want their name disclosed. Please be thoughtful with your responses, as these are usually tough posts to write. Email if you'd like to leave an anonymous comment or if you want to ask your own anonymous question.

Lately, I've been feeling like I should move on to other opportunities, but I can't quite figure out if now is a good time, or if I should wait. Should I make a list of the reasons why? Interview at other companies before I leave? Give my current company plenty of notice before my hypothetical departure? How do I know that it's the right time to leave at all? I'd love to hear any opinion and guidance on this!

Top comments (13)

jeoxs profile image
José Aponte • Edited

From my experience, I can tell you the following:

There's only two things that will tell you when it's a good time to leave a company:

  • Well-being
  • Money

Yes! you read it here first, folks! Well-being: If you're unhappy (or miserable) at your job, then it's a good idea to search other opportunities. You kind of lose the game if you get depressed. Being depressed will not only affect your professional life, but also your personal life. So, if you don't feel comfortable at your job and cannot do anything to improve that, then you got your first sign.

Money: Let's face it, we need money to survive in this society, unless you want to live like Heidi's granpa on the mountains. If you feel you're not earning enough and you cannot get a raise, then you got another sign. Search for better opportunities and compare salaries.

When is Not a good time to switch jobs (leave a company)?:
If you're living an economical/social/political crisis on your country and you want stability, then it might be a good idea to hold your plans and stay on your company until the situation resolves.

Basically, stability will be a good factor (From money and well-being) because if you leave the company (for whatever reason) then you'll lose stability. And you'll recover it after working some months at your new post.

Hope you the best. I'm sorry that I cannot give you a more precise answer. Best of luck!

yangjaixi profile image

Totally agree.

gualtierofr profile image
Gualtiero Frigerio

Next month I'm leaving my company after more than 10 years. I can tell you that once you start thinking about leaving a job, it is the right time to interview. I was about to quit the company 3 years ago, then they convinced me to stay and it felt good for a few months, then I started to regret my decision.
I put my job search on hold during the first year of the pandemic as I didn't feel like living a stable job during a period of uncertainty. Then, about 6 months ago, I started answering to recruiters and interviewing. I found a great opportunity in March and gave them 3 months notice. I feel sad about leaving the team, as some of the people have worked with me for a decade, but I think I made the right choice for my career.

Best of luck!

gualtierofr profile image
Gualtiero Frigerio

I guess it depends on the company and on how big the team is, and even the seniority. I gave my company 3 months, but I'm the sole mobile developer left so they need to hire someone to do maintenance for the apps and they were relieved once they found out they had plenty of time.
I felt good too, it is always nice to leave a company on good terms.

jamesthomson profile image
James Thomson

Also, don't take this personally. A lot of companies immediately remove departing employees due to security risk. Your interests are no longer vested in the company and you could become a threat for IP loss (among other things such as poaching, negatively inflicting company culture, etc.).

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Somewhat related, I just read a really cool post by @grahammorby👇 who recently made the decision to leave their job and work solo. It's a good reminder that you don't have to "go it alone" alone... there's lots of folks out there making moves to leave their companies, and some with no intention of going to another company, but instead looking to do their own thing.

andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Make a list of your pros and cons and then you should have a better idea if it's time to find some greener grass. I have been in a similar situation a few times. If your passion for the job is gone and you dread working there then its time to move on.

On a few occasions I started to get tension headaches from the stress and started to feel burned out. Those are the red flags thats its not going well and you should consider moving on.

sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

When you tell a random recruiter a salary expectation that is 70% than your current salary and he tells you that it's reasonable... then you should probably think about leaving!

bradtaniguchi profile image

I'd do two things.

  1. Identify what you want out of a company (current or hypothetical) and how that fits with your overall goals in life.
  2. Identify why you'd want to stay at the current company relative to what you identified in #1.

You'd want to identify what your actual goals are in life to help you make a decision you'd be comfortable with. If your life goals are just to get paid and die, then leaving your current company would go against these goals. Obviously your goals are probably more finesse then just get paid. You might want more out of your job that your current position doesn't provide. It's up to you to decide what you want, and actually need.

Once you identify what you want out of life, and how your job impacts those wants, then you can make a better more specific decision about "when" and "how" to do what you need to do, and what to look for in a new position.

If you noticed I skipped over the part of "when", "how" and "why", as there isn't a perfectly right answer. Ultimately 2 weeks notice should work for most jobs that aren't critical where you leave on the spot. Its also usually recommended to always have a new job lined up when you give that notice so you aren't unexpectedly unemployed and stressing about getting a job.

Beyond that,
no you don't need to give reasons
no you don't need to give more than 2 weeks (its a standard you can stick to it)
no there isn't a "right time" to leave a company that is standardized across all jobs.

It's ultimately up to you and your goals. Its possible your goals don't even conflict with any reason/timing of why you want to leave your current job, so I'd just stick with the "standards" for each of them and do what you gotta do.

rebaiahmed profile image
Ahmed Rebai

When you feel no more growth can the company provides for you in the future, you feel repeatitive tasks and same routine every day, nor more technilcal challenges
Also it can be when the atmoshpre not good, a lot of stress and no big team collaboration
3r reason wehn your effort not appreciated by your Manager

jeoxs profile image
José Aponte

wow! That is heavy! I mean, as you said, we need to understand the treatment and feedback your supervisor will give you. I started to hope for the best and expect the worst.