Inspired by this thread, I would like to turn the question around a little.

How do you know it is time to start looking for another job?

Duplicate and related questions:
When is it the right time to quit?
Is it time for me to make a career change?
What would motivate you to change jobs?
Is now a good time to change jobs?
Do you actively look for better jobs?

+23  A: 

When while thinking about your job you keep getting back to this same question.

The best answer is the simplest. If you keep on thinking about looking for another job, it's probably time to look for another job.
I disagree, sometimes it's hard to realise just how good you have it, the grass is always greener as they say.Although I guess going for an interview or two can often help show that one way or the other.
+3  A: 

When you hear a reference to LOC (Lines of Code) metrics that isn't associated with a sarcastic tone or chuckles.

+14  A: 

When you start NOT looking forward to going to work and working on the things you are currently working on.

Most people in the world _don't_ look forward to going to work.
+12  A: 

Basically, when you are bored with what you are doing, aren't learning anything new, don’t feel inspired in coming to work and have got into the “different day, same problems” rut.

+2  A: 

When you know what you want and your current employer won't offer that but you think someone else will, it is still to start looking for another job.

This feels like those redneck jokes Jeff Foxworthy made famous in a sense.

JB King
+2  A: 

When you get laid off.

Seriously. It seems to be happening a lot right now.

Matt Jordan
Of course, this is closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.
+14  A: 

When your day job looks like a Dilbert Comic.

Haha! My last job was like this. I had a Dilbert desk calendar, and after the 5th day in a row where the comic was completely relevant, I knew it was about time to get out.
+2  A: 

When you feel like you could be learning more and doing more interesting work elsewhere.

Ryan Thames

There are lots of reasons to look for another job. If you you've lost respect for management. If your employer consistently expects you to engage in quasi-ethical or unethical activity. If you consistently get feedback that you're not good at your current job. Beyond the obvious telltales, though, I would say that when you're consistently no longer passionate about what you're doing, for whatever reason, that's a good time to look elsewhere -- either a different company or a different career.

+5  A: 

When the Company Comptroller asks tech support about disk wiping programs.

Peter Rowell
+5  A: 

When you wake up in the morning and dread going to work. I dont mean because you feel lazy or wish you had a million dollars dread...I mean "Oh god I hate my drive, I hate the people i work with, monkeys can do my job..."

If you are worrired about getting laid off then that is another story...

Miyagi Coder

I would say it is time to move on if you have not updated your CV for 4-6 months.. it means you are not learning anything new.

Also, I agree with Loukas, its time to change jobs when you stop enjoying your work.

Two points to consider.First, there's a lot to be said for staying on a job long enough that you have to live with your mistakes. That does far more to make you a better programmer than moving on to the next "challenge." Second, following from the first, there is a world of difference between having 10 years of experience, and having the first year of experience 10 times. A good hiring manager who is looking for senior people knows that and knows how to filter for it.
Cylon Cat
+3  A: 

See the answers to these two very similar questions:

Adam Bellaire

When you're not enjoying work anymore.


When more than 50 % of the IT department is fired and you are kept for the sole purpose of doing maintenance then it's probably the time to go.


When all the programming board posts and want ads refer to skills and technologies I don't have because I'm stuck in legacy land, I know it's time to upgrade my skills and move on. I don't ever want to be a dinosaur who can't get a job because I'm an expert in stuff nobody uses anymore.

*I don't ever want to be a dinosaur who can't get a job because I'm an expert in stuff nobody uses anymore.*That worked for all the Fortran/Pascal/Cobol programmers around Y2K time. Too bad there's a real shortage of people fluent in those technologies and there is some real work still.
Adam Hawes

When you have to ask if its time to go.

If you don't love your job, you owe it to yourself to at least keep an eye out for better opportunities, even if your situation is not bad enough to merit quitting immediately.


Three reasons for me:

  • Once they could'nt pay our salary anymore
  • Once the company moved to far away
  • Once I really didn't like the work anymore

When they make you install Microsoft Project.

Martin Woodward
Or even worse Clarity

When your boss spends more time starting/marketing new businesses than spending time fixing the business you work for, despite knowing that it's in dire need of fixing and loses $100,000 a year.

Wayne M
+2  A: 

Always. It's always pertinent to keep an eye on the job market. I look every few months, not because I want another job, but because it's good to know what the going rates/conditions for similar positions are, how much work is out there, etc. It gives you a good a good feel for whether you're getting a good deal.

You'll find that if you're happy in your current job and you're getting a reasonable deal then nothing will really jump out of the job ads at you.

If you find a job you think will be better than your current one then apply for it; be mindful that if you have long term stable employment and you move on you might actually lose conditions that you've managed build up over time (flexible hours, more leave than is normal, etc).

Adam Hawes
+1  A: 

When your code is released to real customers and support issues start coming in :-)

Bo Skjoett

When you think, you have learned all possible lessons -- work and life related.

If you started to teach others -- why not to change for a more senior position?


You need 2 of 3 to survive...

  • Good people
  • Good money
  • Good job

It's time !

(Since you asked)


When you don't get paid. This just happened to me last week. Two months with partial payment and the funding has ceased.

Alex. S.

When I woke up every day thinking it would be better if I was sick enough to go to the hospital rather than go to work.


When the jobs you see advertised that you could do offer much more than you earn, or could negotiate as a raise.

Often, the only way to advance at a decent rate is to job-hop, companies don't tend to like giving raises of 20%+ per year no matter how well you perform.