This is a complete list of survey responses I received for my Jumping Ship talk.
What does the process for building and launching a website look like from start to finish with your company?
There wasn't a lot of hard details about the job I was hired to work on, they said they would "figure it out as we went". They hadn't hadn't found a suitable applicant for the job in four months, but a fresh college grad would suffice.
They were able to communicate their process clearly and succinctly. I interviewed with a small group of people who were intimately knowledgeable about what I was applying to do. They didn't shy from some of the harder questions, they were upfront and honest about their answers.
Being understanding about leaving my position. I was a solo developer at the time and if I were to up and leave without a replacement it would inhibit that company severely. They allowed me ample time to find a replacement and train them.
If leaving a job will benefit me on a personal level (money aside). Whether it be for finding a better challenge, escaping a negative work environment, or any reason in-between- the only reason I'd leave for a new job is if it benefited me.
Am I happy with what I produce and am I able to live a well balanced work/personal life? If I can say yes to that then I'm not trying to leave my current job.
Depending on how miserable you are, taking job interviews seems like a good first step. If you see something that looks great, then jump ship. If you aren't seeing much else that appeals to you (or doesn't outweigh benefits / costs in terms of happiness, salary, coworkers, etc) then you may need to try to improve your current position instead.
If you aren't happy, you don't [feel you] have room to grow, you stop wanting to come into work every day, or you cannot express your ideas and bring value through them to other people and the business, then it's time to go.
Do they value my contributions monetarily? Do they operate top-down? Do I agree with their strategy? Are other great devs starting or leaving? How do my colleagues talk about the job when they are off the clock? How do others respond when I tell them where I work? Do I hate coming to work? OK, that's a few, anyway. :-)
I decide to start looking for a new job as soon as the question comes into my head. Am I considering leaving this company? If yes, there's probably a good reason behind that.
Can I grow here? Do I trust the people with whom I work? Do I trust the leadership to drive us forward?
Are you happy? Is there a lot of attrition? How do you feel you compare to your colleagues at the company?
Stay if you're still happy to do the work (motivation) and the company still sees value in who you are and what you do (opportunity for advancement, etc.). If you're not happy or the company doesn't value you or your work it's time to leave.
When you wake up dreading going to work.
It's really quite simple. I like that Steve Jobs quote where he talks about how he looked in the mirror and ask himself each day whether not he wanted to do what he was about to do that day. And if he said no to many times in a row, then he knew it was time to change direction. Ultimately, it comes down to am I happy with the work and my happy with the compensation and benefits?
Am I still being challenged? Is the value I add every day leading to other opportunities within the organization? Am I compensated as I should be? Am I allowed to work outside of my "role" in the organization when I have other skills and experience that adds value? And are there advancement opportunities - not just in terms of compensation and title, but also in terms of challenging work?
When you start dreading Monday, that's usually a sign. Ask yourself why you're still there. Are you still learning? If the answer is no, you have may have exceeded the expiration date on your job. A friend once told me that their time limit was three years, period. Another told me that each on their birthday, they evaluate their job happiness. For me, it's a Steve Jobs quote: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "no" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
The same as a relationship - do you have more bad days than good? Are you sad more often than happy? No job is perfect, but there needs to be a balance.
You gotta pass the mirror test. If there are more than three months where you get up every day in the mirror and say to yourself, "What the hell am I doing?", you gotta leave. I say three months because every gig has a season... and things change. Some days and weeks are better than others. But if you can say it for three months, chances are you've really felt it for longer than that... and life's too short.
Do your best to not burn any bridges on the way out, even if your previous workplace wouldn't do the same for you. Do it.
Set a departure date and start planning for it. Get your resume in shape and start looking for a new job a few weeks before the date you set.
Be honest with them, if you think that there won't be negative repercussions for discussing it. Your employer may be unaware of problems or concerns that you have, so it can be worth it to try to address situations before you just give up and start new somewhere else.
Update the crap out of your LinkedIn Profile. Start reaching out now. Be prepared to give 100% even after those 2 weeks are given.
Have another vine to grab before letting go of this one. Trust your gut.
If you have issues with your current employer and you have tried to remedy them, but they either don't see it as a problem or don't make steps to help, find a company that values you. You know what you are worth and you are the only one who is looking out for your well-being.
Is there a specific place you'd rather be? Do you have a significant safety net so that you won't panic and take the first job you can get? What would have to change to make you happy and how could that play out? Could you be part of that change?
Make sure you're going to a better opportunity, not just leaving a bad one. Company loyalty is stupid. You need to be relatively selfish (but professional) when you're evaluating your career and employment. That means if you have a better opportunity elsewhere and you're not getting it where you are you should leave.
Get a new job first. Speak at a conference and mention that you're looking at the speaker dinner and potentially in your session.
Network and ask questions. You might be turning down an opportunity because you don't think you can leave. But you might find there's a better ship on the horizon it's worth looking at. And also remember this probably isn't permanent. You could probably find another job after giving the new want to shot and if it doesn't work out, well.
First, don't burn bridges. Leave any position professionally. Second, don't be afraid to take a chance. Technology skills are imminently transferable.
If you have a good relationship with your boss, consider telling him/her. They will greatly appreciate your honesty and may be in a position to help you, if you have a good track record. You'll also be doing them a huge favor by giving them a heads up that you're leaving, allowing them to backfill your role. 2. Start looking right away. Send some emails and test the waters. Even though tech skills are in high demand, it can take a long time to find the RIGHT job. 3. Why are you leaving? If you want to stay, but something is wrong, TALK TO YOUR BOSS or HR, or whomever can help. But leaving a good job because of a bad person or situation doesn't solve that problem. If you like your co-workers, consider that they'll be left to deal with it. Some people will tell you that you should never take a counter-offer from your employer when you give your notice and they beg you to stay and incentivize you. But think about it the other way - if you don't tell them there's a genuine problem, they can't fix it. -- Melanie Haas
List your top 5 priorities of what you care about. Is it leadership? Tech stack? Work time for opensource projects? Look at what your current employer does poorly in regards to those, and use them as criteria starting your job search.
Be realistic. There's no such thing as a perfect job... but at the same time, there are better fits. Find two or three people that can give you good council â€” not just what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. You may have unrealistic expectations. Or maybe what you thought you wanted to be when you grew up isn't what you should be. Also, it's ok to take a couple steps back or make a "lateral move." Hitting the reset button a couple times in your career is a good thing.
Find someone who works at the potential employer who will meet with you for coffee and give you unfiltered responses about the workplace.
Don't be afraid to ask for an increase in pay from what your current job is. You are being acquired because of your expertise in a field. If you are improving your career, improve your paycheck.
Give your employer as much notice as possible. The "two weeks notice" is often jarring and interrupts projects. If you know you'll be officially leaving and have accepted a position, give them notice as soon as possible and talk through what you can do to help ease the transition.