As with any major life decisions... marriage, kids, going pescatarian... there's never a 'right' time. Though when the itch comes that signals it might be time for a new career, you'll know about it.

We've all dreamed up the scenario of crazed conflict with a colleague, throwing about a few bits of paper before we sashay out the door never to return. But in real life, it's probably best not to go down that way.

It sounds strange, though it’s usually best to move onto something new whilst you're still happy with your existing job. Don't wait until you hate it. But don't feel obliged to stay because you don't. Reach for the stars, aim a little higher, and make your move at the right time.

When to start searching for something new...

You Feel Unchallenged

You're tired of the same old workload, day in day out, and you know you're more than capable of taking on something more challenging. Yet, there is nowhere for you to progress within your current role.

Sticking at an unchallenging role will leave you feeling unmotivated and lacking in job satisfaction. Don't wait to take the dejected, undriven version of yourself to your next employer. Move before the boredom sets in.

You Want More Money

You've proven your worth and worked hard to put yourself in a position where a pay rise should be on the cards. Though, your bank balance shows no signs of booming.

Don't throw the towel in too quickly. Holding on for a pay rise will give you greater bargaining power in the marketplace and could tip you into a higher salary bracket when searching for something new.

You're Unable to Cope With The Pressure

A high-pressure work environment can take its toll and leave you wondering whether a simpler life can be sought elsewhere. You may be suffering from a case of burnout, and simply need to take some time off rather than jump ship.

If you're in the middle of a large project, it's not the right time to leave. Finishing what you started with leave you with a great reference and avoid burning bridges with your current employer. You're a finisher, not a quitter. Now go and use some of that annual leave.

It's 'That Time of Year'

'That' time of year is when we start to assess where we're at, where we want to be and how well we're doing sticking to our life goals. It's common to suddenly feel as though you're not doing what you thought you'd be by now or excelling the way you expected at this time in your life.

Before you venture onto pastures new in a quest for a bigger future, consider the time of year.

Christmas gives us all that sparkly headed haze that might knock our usual sense of perspective out of whack. We're a little dreamy, excitable and potentially a little reckless in our decisions. If it's the end of the year, remember that recruitment budgets will be tight, which may impact the success of your search.

If it's the height of summer, consider the sector you're thinking of moving into. Retailers online and offline have different peak seasons dependant on when new collections come in and when new technologies are launched. Are you ready to jump in during the most manic periods?

The Business Is Underperforming

If your current business isn't looking too healthy, you may be wary of sticking around for fear of redundancy or financial cutbacks. Check whether it's just your business or whether the industry as a whole is taking a little downtime. You may find that the industry as a whole is pulling the purse strings tight, which will affect the opportunities available to you.

If in doubt, sit tight. Assess the reasons you really want to leave and what you need from your future employer to bring out a happier you.

Still in two minds? Take a look at our Signs It's Time To Leave Your Job.

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