How do you know when it’s time to move on from a job?

Lisa Plain (Petkovsek)Blog

Sometimes you feel complete certainty that you’re ready to move on, but more often you feel torn between the comfort of the familiar and the excitement of something new.


The truth is, before making a change many of us get “Graduation Goggles” which is a term coined by Robin Scherbatsky in the TV show How I Met Your Mother, which I watched religiously when I was in college.


Graduation Goggles is a feeling that people get when something is about to end, like when you’re graduating from school. Even though you hated it, you start to only remember the good times, you feel nostalgia as this thing had such a big role in your life. You can also get this when you’re breaking up with someone or leaving a job.


“The point is you can’t trust graduation goggles. They are just as misleading as beer goggles, and bridesmaid goggles…” – Robin Scherbatsky


Phrases I often hear from people who have Graduation Goggles about a job change are:

  • I’m not sure that the bad days are really as bad as I think
  • But I really like my coworkers
  • But what if the grass isn’t greener on the other side?
  • I was told that you aren’t always going to love work, what if I’m chasing an impossible dream?


So, how can you see clearly that it’s time for a change?

  • You’ve described your work culture as toxic or soul crushing more than once
  • You feel drained after work
  • You feel the Sunday Scaries – the dread that comes over you on Sunday about work on Monday
  • You have a hard time getting up in the morning
  • When someone asks you about your job you say some version of “same sh*t, different day”
  • You remember a time when you felt motivated and excited at work, but only see a shell of yourself now


Change can be scary. We are hardwired to seek out comfort. Just know that if you can relate to two or more of the scenarios above, it’s time for a change.


To overcome this:

  • Work to increase your self-confidence. One way to do this is keep a list of daily, weekly or monthly wins. You’ll quickly see how awesome you are!
  • Write out a vision of you when you feel motivated and excited about work and life. Describe your attitudes, actions, and feelings when you’re in this place. This can help you to get excited about the change.
  • Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best that could happen? Both are equally possible until you know more.
  • Write down your fears. Fears are an indication that we need more information to make a decision. Once you see your fears on the page, change each one into a question. For example, if you’re afraid you won’t make friends at the new job, change that into “What is the culture like at the new job” and do your research or talk to people already working at the company to learn more.


If you’d like some help navigating this, check out my services at


Career Balance Coaching has been helping corporate professionals find career happiness since 2018.

You can learn more here.


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