While it can be a lot of little things that chip away at your satisfaction over time, I believe there's always a precise moment where you realize you're in the wrong job. At least that's been the case for me.
It could occur any time.
Making the connection that there's a disconnect between one's values and the organization's.
Feeling the daily struggle to do your best work, knowing that the tasks aren't aligned with your career goals - and knowing there's a better match somewhere else.
Hearing a statement that cuts to the core of the problem, articulating the ennui you've struggled so hard to put your finger on.
Whatever the situation, there's a moment of clarity encased in glass, "Yes! That's exactly why this isn't working!"
I've been through my share of light bulb moments - and job searches.
This last search was the most satisfying because after many years, I absolutely know myself. It's taken a while to believe the results of the inventory, but I know my talents, I know my interests, and all that was left was finding where my skills are put to best use.
People talk about being your best self, your most authentic. Knowing yourself is paramount. Too often we struggle along, trying to make things right, when the wrong is in the fit.
Trying something else on for size might involve a small shift, like changing roles or even departments. Or it could require a bigger commitment, like changing the organization you work for entirely.
But change is good. And like the cliches say, the only constant is change, these days.
I'm about to embark on a job change that on the face of it sounds like a perfect match. Room for growth, a chance to apply hard-won knowledge, and to take advantage of opportunities for learning.
At the same time, I'm bringing a new attitude to work, ensuring that I make time for the other things in life that are important to me, that give life balance.
That's definitely been challenging in the past. But that's what's good about the future - the future is unwritten.
It's an exciting time - scary, but good scary!