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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

One sure sign is a top-down disinterest in your work.

Encouraging excellent communication should begin with managers, says Michael Wright, vice president and IT director at HomeTown Bank. "Nothing discourages employees more, in my opinion, than an unanswered email or phone call."

And in this age of mobile devices and online collaboration tools, there's no excuse for people not to stay in touch.

"I'm interested in fostering feelings of value and worth among the team members. That's a critical piece to me personally, being responsive, even if it's a 'no' or 'not now,'" Wright says. 

If you find yourself working in a vacuum or battling others for attention and recognition, teamwork may have already eroded behind repair.

8. Tech trends are met with skepticism
IT trends are always emerging, and not every company can benefit by jumping on each new wave. Social networking, gamification, big data -- valuable IT resources can be wasted following the flavor of the month.

But if your company steers clear of every new trend in favor of keeping the lights running, consider it a red flag worth paying attention to.

Organizations interested in the career growth of their IT employees allow IT staffers to spend a higher percentage of their time on forward-looking projects rather than on operations, says Mark Farrow, vice president and CIO at healthcare provider Hamilton Health Sciences.

And the reason is simple: It keeps people engaged, Farrow says.

"I have also tried to allocate a percentage of our time and budget to really advanced projects, like getting into mobility [and new] app development before they became mainstream technologies," Farrow says. "The ability to feel like they have some leading-edge work keeps them interested. Some of these have gone forward to be much larger projects, others were more proof of concept or investigative only, but it certainly helps keep people sharp."

9. You have little outlet to experiment with new tech
Along the same lines as staying up on and embracing some of the latest trends, organizations that do not encourage IT pros to experiment with new tech tools are doing their employees a career disservice.

Farrow says he tries to get IT staffers "the latest technology to be able to play with, so that they can learn. But also [to] help them think about where it could take us, while giving them access to new things to learn. We do this in a focused manner, as we cannot get tech for the sake of tech, but it is a way to harness the interest and advance the learning."

People that venture into IT careers typically enjoy working with the latest technology, Xylem's Colisto says. "So if you work for a company that doesn't enjoy the risk associated with using bleeding-edge technology for its finance systems, you can at least allow your staff to dabble in the latest and greatest trends in safer areas."

And if you find yourself unable to scratch that itch with new tech, tedium and stagnation may be just a few steps away.

Don't let it kill your career.


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