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9 signs you should jump ship to a new job

Bob Violino | June 24, 2014
Poor teamwork, little experimentation, no clear career path -- your employer may be sending unmistakable signals of career stagnation. Don't miss them

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If leading job indicators are to be believed, many tech workers are enjoying high demand for their services these days, making this the prime time to assess whether your current employer is a good fit for your career goals.

"IT managers have had it relatively easy for the last few years as their staff members hunkered down to keep their jobs, let alone look for a new one and run the risk of ending up in a less desirable situation," says Nicholas Colisto, senior vice president and CIO at Xylem, a water technology provider. "With the job market returning, [IT] staff will likely get more aggressive with their job search."

Here are some leading indicators that your IT career growth might be of little interest in your current employment and that staying where you are could mean further spinning your wheels at a time when your technology skills are in great demand.

1. New ideas meet red lights
Earning a stable income to endure ongoing tedium isn't everyone's ultimate goal for a career in IT. Unfortunately, that's all some employers have to offer — even if it didn't seem that way when you took the job years ago.

Stagnation can mean career death in a competitive field, and if your company isn't offering unique, forward-looking projects, it might be time to hit the road.

"The speed of change that businesses are seeing today means that our IT organization needs to be more flexible, more adaptable, and we challenge the status quo more than ever," says Philip Garland, CIO at consulting firm PwC. "Disruptive innovation is the name of the game for our IT professionals."

The surest sign that your employer isn't facing this reality? A pervasive fear of failure can be felt throughout IT.

"We facilitate an environment that is conducive to innovation, and our IT professionals know that it's okay to fail when they're coming up with new and innovative ideas," Garland says.

If your company puts the brakes on new ideas because failure isn't an option, it might be time to polish up that résumé. Otherwise, your career may take a hit when it comes time to find a job at a company that thrives on innovation.

2. Respect and recognition are afterthoughts
Competitive pressures should not translate into poor treatment of staffers and co-workers, but all too often, dignity and respect take a back seat when the going gets tough.

When contention impedes results, a change of scenery may be the right call.

"Passionate arguments are required [in IT], but insults or anger never brought a system from an idea to the production environment," says Bill Thirsk, vice president of IT and CIO at Marist College.

 

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