Photo by Alex93vf.

It’s easy to get stuck in a job that’s no longer the right fit for you. Maybe it was exciting at first, but that was years ago and the company has changed. Or maybe you have changed. Either way, one of the biggest challenges in realizing it’s time for a new job is the simple but strong force of inertia. It’s much easier to stay put than it is to freshen up your resume, go on interviews, and ask for the job. So, to help you battle the power of inertia, here are some signs that you’re ready for your next Rails job:

  1. You’d much rather work on your own side projects than your 9-5 work. If your own side projects are consistently more engaging and fulfilling than your day job, it may be time for a new 9-5. Sure, side projects keep things interesting, but at the end of the day, they are still on the side. It makes no sense to spend all day, every day coding a project you’ve lost interest in. You wouldn’t work on a side project if it wasn’t fun. Why spend your most productive hours working on something you no longer enjoy?
  2. The dev team doesn’t get along or seems generally unhappy. If your coworkers are unhappy, it may be a sign that the development environment at your current place of work isn’t the best. Sometimes it’s easier to recognize discontent in others than it is in ourselves. A less-than-ideal development environment may be due to the company’s culture or it may be due to the individuals on the team (usually it’s some of both). Whichever it is, this is a tell-tale sign that you’re ready to engage with a new group of people.
  3. You rarely feel challenged. You might believe in the product or service you’re helping to build, but if your current role is underwhelming, it’s time for something new. This may be as easy as talking to your manager about new projects you can take on. Maybe there’s a particularly challenging area of the codebase you want to tackle but haven’t been given the chance to yet. Maybe you want to try your hand at some front-end dev work. Asking for a new challenge at your current job can fulfill this need, but sometimes we all need a fresh, new problem to gnaw on. The good news: there are lots of new, challenging problems out there waiting for problem-solvers just like you.
  4. You have a sneaking suspicion that you’re underpaid. You were chatting with some friends at this week’s Meetup about salaries and were pretty shocked to hear some details of their compensation packages. It’s not all about the money, but it doesn’t make sense to stay in a job where your skills are undervalued. Today’s market is paying top dollar for Rails developers with your skills. If your current company can’t get up to speed with market rate, you can be sure that other companies will.
  5. You see yourself doing the same thing 5 years from now. In an ideal job, you feel fulfilled, challenged, and in a constant state of growth and change. If you think about your future work and imagine yourself doing the exact same things you are now, you’re staring at a big red flag. Careers are meant to evolve and progress with different projects and challenges. You can find new ways to grow and learn at the same company, but oftentimes to move forward in your career, you need to seek an entirely new set of challenges provided by a new company.

Do any of these signs describe your current job situation? Don’t give into the power of inertia. At the end of your career, do you want to look back and say “well that was comfortable and easy”? Probably not. Once you’ve realized that you are indeed ready to explore other options, polish that resume and give us a shout!