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3/5/2007
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5 Ways To Know When It's Time To Find Another Job

Are you underpaid and overworked? That's an obvious sign of a bad job; career experts from Challenger Gray & Christmas and Monster.com offer advice on when you should consider your next career move.

Ever wonder if it's time to start looking for another job?

After the dot-com bubble burst several years ago, a lot of high-tech workers simply felt lucky to have a job--any job. Gone were the days when chief security officers, Java developers, and project managers could pick up a new, and better, job as easily as picking up a latte. Human Resources managers stopped worrying about how to keep good employees from leaving for better jobs. People who had decent jobs counted themselves lucky, kept their heads down and just hoped they weren't next to be outsourced or otherwise pink slipped.

Those days are gone. High-tech jobs are being created. There are new positions to move into. A lot of people, though, aren't picking up stakes and moving on. They're stuck in that head-down mentality and maybe they're missing the opportunity to find that great next job.

The tech sector has not only shown signs of life over the past few years, but there's been some real signs of strength, according to John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger Gray & Christmas, a global outplacement firm based in Chicago. He says next-generation companies like MySpace, YouTube and Google are shaking things up, and he's seeing a steady stream of new jobs being advertised.

"If people are thinking that at this point in the game, they could be selling themselves short," says Norma Gaffin, director of content at Monster.com, the Internet job board. "Especially people who went through the bust " they don't realize they could find a better position or the right position for them. I think a lot of people aren't asking themselves the questions."

And according to Gaffin, those questions don't have to include, "Am I miserable?" People don't have to " and shouldn't " wait until they hate the thought of getting up and going in to work every morning before they start looking for a new job.

Some career counselors say people should reevaluate their jobs at least once a year, giving some thought about the work they're doing, who they're working with and where they're going in the company and in their career. There are many reasons to look for a different job and they don't have to be for better money or because you hate your boss.

To help out, InformationWeek interviewed three experts in the careers industry and sorted through their best advice. Here are the five ways to know when it may be time to move on.

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