Is it Time to Leave Your Current Job?

Advice from Cheryl Palmer, professional resume writer and founder of Call to Career. [Titled "Time to Go?" in the print edition.]

Associations Now: What are some warning signs that it's time to leave your current job?

Palmer: There may be things going on within the organization that would let you know that they're about to cut your position. In this case, it's best to get ahead of the curve and have your resume ready. Signs include frequent closed-door meetings, shortfalls in the budget, or your work being transferred to someone else.

On a personal level, you may reach a point where you are just not being challenged—a sign you may be ready for a bigger role. … [And] if you know that you can do more, it's time to look for a way to change things. If you don't make a move now, you're likely to get stuck in a rut.

If you think you're ready for a larger role, what are the next steps?

The first thing to do is talk to your boss. Go in with a plan: Perhaps a list of new things you would like to start doing. Also show them how your new role and responsibilities would benefit the organization.

Can people avoid feeling the need to leave?

Everyone should have a career plan that lays out where they'd like to be two, three, four, five years out. Once you have that, work backwards to see what steps you need to take today to achieve those goals. If you start working the plan, it's less likely that external factors alone are going to determine what happens in your career.

If you're looking for the next step in your association management career or seeking high-quality candidates to fill open positions, visit