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07 Oct 2020 Austin Belcak

Do You Need A New Job? (Signs It’s Time To Start Looking)

Do you frequently find yourself feeling bored, stuck, or unmotivated at work?

Well, a new job won’t always be the solution to your problems. But it just might be what you need to reignite a career that’s starting to get stale!

So, in this post, I’m going to share with you the signs that indicate you need to start looking for a new job.

And then, I’m going to show you the best, most effective way you can start your job search today!

How To Know It’s Time You Need A New Job

Unless you’re miserable, it can be difficult to decide to start looking for a new job. You may second guess your motives and fall into the trap of complacency with what you have.

But you know as well as I do that complacency is not what helps you get to a career you love!

You need to feel challenged to learn and improve. You need to feel like there’s room for growth. You need to feel like your job is ultimately leading you to exactly where you want your career to go.

If you’ve been at your current job for a while and still don’t feel any of that, it’s probably time to start looking elsewhere.

Sometimes, though, the feeling of needing a new job is subtle. So, let’s go over some of the signs you can look out for.

9 Signs To Look For:

Watch out for these 9 warning signs that may indicate it's time to start looking for a new job.

#1: You’re always bored

No matter your job, there will be some days that are less exciting than others. But should you feel bored and uninspired day in and day out? No way! Chronic boredom is a sign you’re either no longer feeling challenged, which means you’re no longer growing, or you’re not working on problems that you actually care about.

#2: You’re no longer developing your skills

If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau with your skill acquisition at work, you may need to look for a role that will help you jump to the next level. By remaining comfortable at work now, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not constantly growing — especially in an era where technological innovation will continue to change how we work.

#3: You’re always complaining

No company is going to overhaul their entire way of doing things just because one employee complains. It’s up to you to make a change. And sometimes that means finding a job where your complaints aren’t even an issue in the first place.

#4: You know there’s no chance of promotion

You may feel stuck because you’ve been passed over for a promotion more than once. If you’ve given it your best shot at asking for a promotion and your employer won’t budge, that’s a warning sign. You’re better off looking for a company that will appreciate your value.

#5: You’re not inspired by your boss or co-workers

Have you ever looked around your office and thought, “I hope I never end up like any of you…”? This thought may seem harsh. But as the popular saying goes, “You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And, considering how much time is spent at work, you will become the average of your boss and co-workers. If that bothers you, it’s time to find some place better.

#6: You’ve watched all of your talented co-workers leave

High employee turnover is never a good sign — especially if it’s a frequent occurrence for the company’s most talented employees. If the people you respect most are walking out the door all the time, then by staying, you’re practically agreeing to not work and learn from the best.

#7: You’ve realized you’re on the wrong career path

It often takes time to figure out what you should do with your life. While your current career path might have seemed like a good fit when you were graduating from college, that doesn’t mean it has to still feel like a good fit forever.

#8: You know the company is failing

A slight dip in the company’s performance doesn’t mean you should immediately jump ship. In fact, if you’re working at a new startup, this may just be a slight bump in the road before bouncing back. But if the company is doing so poorly that everyone knows layoffs are imminent, it’s a good idea to start your search for a new job sooner than later.

#9: You’re no longer working on the skills you were hired for

Sometimes external factors change the scope of our jobs. While being a team player and picking up unrelated tasks when needed is a good thing, never getting to use the skills you value most is not. You should find a new job where you can continue to develop your career on the trajectory you want.

woman thinking about finding a new job

The Best Way To Start Looking For A New Job

If your approach to finding a new job starts and ends with online job boards, you’re making a big mistake. Why?

Well, because most jobs never even get posted there! In fact, 40% of hires come from referrals. That means there are many job openings you won’t ever know about if you only apply through online job boards.

So, you need to take a different approach. Here’s a step-by-step method that will get you much better results:

Step #1: Find Someone Who Has Your Desired Role

You should go into your next job search more informed than your last. So, rather than just looking at available jobs online, I want you to instead look for people who already have the type of job you want.

Let’s say you want a job as a UX Engineer at companies like Google, Facebook, or PayPal. Well, this first step is finding the people who can tell you what that job is really like.

Head over to LinkedIn, search for people who have that role or a similar one, go through their profiles and select at least one from each company you can reach out to.

Step #2: Connect with That Person Via Email

Now that you’ve found the people who can give you insights on the job you’d like, it’s time to connect with them. It’s best to make this connection by email rather than LinkedIn, so use our free email finder to get their work email address.

Then, send them a personalized email like this one:

Hi [Contact Name],

My name is [Your Name] and I currently work at [Name of Current Company]. I was browsing through LinkedIn and came across your information – I hope you don’t mind me reaching out of the blue here.

I saw that you have extensive experience in UX Engineering and I’m very interested in learning more about that space. I would love to have the opportunity to run some questions by you, as well as tap into any advice you may have given your knowledge of the industry.

I know that your time is extremely valuable so please don’t feel the need to respond in depth. If you do have 5 minutes to chat, I would really appreciate it.


[Your Name]

The goal is to get on a call with them and conduct an informational interview. That way you can not only ask specific questions but also begin to build a relationship.

Step #3: Gather Insight from Your Contact 

Before your phone call with your new contact, prepare some variation of the following questions:

  • I saw you worked at [Previous Companies]. How did you end up going from [First Industry] to becoming interested in [Current Company]?
  • You hear a lot about [Current Company] in the news, but I’d love to hear more about why you love working there. What’s your favorite part?
  • What is one totally unexpected lesson you’ve learned from working at [Current Company]?
  • What is the biggest challenge your team is facing right now?

By getting the answers to these questions, you’ll learn whether or not the role is truly a good fit for what you’re looking for. It will also help you prepare for what you’re going to do in the next step.

Step #4: Create A Valuable Deliverable

Using what you learned from your new contact’s answer to, “What is the biggest challenge your team is facing right now?” you can create a targeted deliverable that addresses an approach to solving that challenge.

I call this type of deliverable a Value Validation Project, which you can learn more about and see 12+ examples that have helped people land jobs here!

Step #5: Follow Up With Your Contact

After you’ve put together a Value Validation Project, you’ll send a follow-up email to share the project with your contact and ask for the opportunity to discuss it with them. Here’s another email template:

Hi [Contact Name],

Thanks for taking the time to chat last week!

Over the weekend, I spent some time thinking about [team’s biggest challenge]. In fact, I created a brief report that could help you solve it! Please find that attached.

If you have some time this week, I would love to chat about it in more detail.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


[Your Name]

As you can see in the template, I didn’t mention anything about open positions or an intent to get hired at their company. If your desire to build a relationship with them is genuine and your project adds real value, they will likely recommend next steps without you even needing to ask!

Step #6: Optimize Your Resume and Cover Letters

This step comes towards the end for a reason. If you’ve followed steps 1-5, your contact will already understand the value you bring to the table. Even so, you’ll want to optimize your resume and cover letter so they’re ready to go when your contact offers to refer you in.

To make sure your resume is on point, you can use our free resume builder and check out this guide to writing resumes, and this one on writing effective cover letters.

Step #7: Repeat

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! Repeat this process for multiple companies. That way you give yourself options and increase the likelihood that you’ll line up multiple interviews and, eventually, offers. This is the dream scenario because then you’d have leverage when it comes time to discuss things like salary, benefits, etc.

Is This Worth The Effort?

Now, is the strategy I just outlined much more work than just polishing up your resume, writing a few cover letters, and firing off a few online job applications? For sure.

But it’s also worth it and much more likely to lead to the results you’re after! How do I know? Because these are the exact steps I used to get job interviews and offers at companies like Google, Uber, Twitter, and more.

So, give it a try!

And, if you want to dive a bit deeper to learn more about this strategy for finding a job, check out How to Get a Job Without Connections!

Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.



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