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Updated: January 23, 2023 101

101: How to know when it’s time to move on

When you run a company, realizing it might be time to step aside can be a difficult thing to accept, both practically and emotionally. As tough as it can be, it’s important to realize when you’ve contributed everything you can, and when your skills and qualifications might be a better fit somewhere else.

Here are a few signs it might be time to move on.

You’re getting complacent. You took on the job as a new challenge, and now you’ve conquered it. But if you’ve gotten to the point where you could do it in your sleep, and you have no desire to push yourself any further, it might be time to consider doing something else. “If learning, growing, and pushing yourself is not how you're currently operating, then it may be time to pursue a new passion,” John Rampton, entrepreneur, investor, and startup enthusiast, wrote for

You feel depleted, not energized. When we start a new position, we’re usually full of excitement, ideas, and passion. But if you find yourself counting down the minutes to quitting time for weeks or even months, that could be a bad sign. “If you feel that way about your job and you’re the CEO, everyone in the organization knows it. It becomes a kind of negativity that infects everyone,” Jim Schleckser, CEO of The CEO Project, wrote in an article for “That’s why it’s important to check your own energy level and see how you feel about your job.”

Your priorities have changed. People grow a lot throughout their lives, and it might be that you’re not the same person you were when you started your current position. You might have a different idea of what success looks like; an idea maybe making more sense at a different organization. “In 2008, Howard Schultz famously returned to lead Starbucks. He wanted to focus on the coffee chain’s core values and de-emphasize growth,” Ramit Sethi, CEO of, wrote in an article for CNBC. “In the years after his return, Starbucks grew into an $85-billion company.”

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