10 Signs it is Time to Move on From Your Developer Job

A person knocking down a queen while playing chess

Do you find yourself staring off into space wishing you were somewhere else? Or putting on a fake smile to take part in another pointless meeting while you pretend to listen and nod your head? Do you feel stuck, unhappy, and even bored out of your mind at your developer job? Does everyday feel like a Monday to you when you’re at work? Does everyone else around you also give off the same… I hate work (I mean Monday) vibes?

If you found yourself saying yes or laughing to any of the above questions, you have experienced a case of “I hate my job”. A telltale sign that it is time to move on from your developer job and look for something better. Now before you completely check out of your job, here are 10 confirmation signals for you. If you find yourself saying yes to most of them, you should dust off your CV and start applying for new roles.

1. You’ve stopped learning, and aren’t growing anymore

Hopefully you have grown and learned something from your current job. Much like I did when I shared my thoughts after working for 1 year as a frontend developer. If you haven’t, not only would that be pretty sad, but you should also question your decision to stay put. Unless you have a good external reason to remain, why would you want to stay in a job like that in the first place?

Let’s assume that isn’t your situation and you have at least grown your skills. You’ve made a good decision in the past by accepting that job offer, but now a good decision might be to leave.

Growing as a developer is very important in this fast moving, tech industry. You need to keep up to date with new tools, technologies and techniques. You will fall behind or go backwards, if you are not expanding, learning and improving. This can affect your future employability and competitiveness when on the job hunt. Also with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), we also need to fear that someday AI might replace us and take over our developer jobs.

Another key sign is when you start feeling like you are doing the same thing over and over again. That there isn’t much variation to the tasks that you work on. This is very likely because your job is not challenging or stimulating enough! By staying in your job, you are stagnating and losing your edge as a developer. You will likely also lose your motivation, creativity, and passion for coding.

This is why you should always look for opportunities to learn new technologies, tools, tricks, frameworks, or even languages. You could also take on new projects or responsibilities that push you out of your comfort zone.

If your current job does not offer any of these things, it might be time to move on and start growing again.

2. Your salary doesn’t match your skills

As a developer, you deserve to get paid in a fair and competitive manner for your work. You have a valuable and in-demand skill set that is very sought after. These skills should reward you with a good salary, rather than a low paying one.

Having the ability to afford a good living standard should be your priority. It is likely one of the reasons why you decided to pursue a career in tech in the first place. Another important aspect is being able to put money away into a savings account for your future.

If you feel like your salary is not reflecting your experience, skills, or contributions anymore, then pause! Ask yourself why not? Do you believe your salary is falling behind the market rate and cost of living? Does your employer not want to pay you what you believe is fair? Once you get to this point, you will stop working as hard. You’ll feel undervalued, unappreciated and underpaid. This is a bad combination that will only worsen with time. No employee is going to put their best foot forward when they aren’t happy with their salary.

It is best to research and know what your worth is in the industry, before any salary re-negotiations. Or negotiations for future roles so you get a fair and competitive salary package. Otherwise may feel bitter, angry, resentful, and unhappy with your pay.

Unhappiness due to salary can make you question your self-worth. Asking yourself whether you made the right decision by going into tech? It can spark anger especially when you hear about these sky high salaries that some people make in tech. But you don’t!

In the end, none of these thoughts will do you any good mentally. Your current salary should match the salary that you believe you are worth. Assuming that it is a reasonable amount of course. If not, you should find a company that does believe in you and will pay you appropriately.

3. You don’t like your colleagues

Your colleagues, or coworkers, can make a huge difference in your workplace experience. Great coworkers can make even a terrible place to work pretty awesome. While terrible coworkers, no matter how great a place is to work, will make your job miserable.

Developers need to collaborate and communicate with other developers and team members. So having positive relationships with your coworkers is important. It makes your work that much more enjoyable, productive, positive, fun and happier. Who wouldn’t want any of those things?

On the flip side, working with people you don’t like has a net negative effect. Same with working in a toxic or hostile work environment. This can lead to arguments, physical or verbal altercations or avoidance. This can make you feel isolated, frustrated, angry, or alienated. You’ll likely dread going into work every day and wish you were somewhere else. Your team spirit, communication and collaboration will likely suffer as well. If you’ve already zoned out of work relationships and friendships, you may as well zoom on out of your job.

4. The company is moving in a direction that you don’t align with

Your company’s vision, mission, values, culture, and goals are likely what drew you to your job in the first place. You were fine with them when you started working at your company, but sometimes they can change over time. Either for the better or for the worse.

If the changes are unfavourable, it will influence your work satisfaction and performance. They can clash with your own personal or professional values, beliefs, and aspirations. Thus making you feel more alienated. On the inside, you’ll be unable to fully support your company’s culture anymore.

When your company is moving in a direction that doesn’t align with you anymore, that’s a sign. You might not agree with, or support, this new direction for whatever reasons. Such misalignment can cause you to lose your sense of purpose, identity, or loyalty. You may also feel disconnected and conflicted by your company’s new direction. Causing you to not be supportive of the new change.

This is the start of an issue that you shouldn’t ignore. Either you need to change your own core beliefs and values to match the changes at your company. Or you should stay true to what you believe in and change your work environment instead.

5. You aren’t happy at work

Your work satisfaction and happiness can affect your mental and emotional health. This can play a crucial role in your overall well-being. If you aren’t satisfied and/or find yourself in a sad or depressed state at work, stop! Investigate what is behind this unhappiness. Ask yourself if these mental states are rolling over into work from your personal life? Or are they coming from your work environment? Knowing the source of the problem will make a huge difference in taking the right steps to address it.

Let’s assume that everything in your personal life is okay. Then most likely it would be from your work environment. Are you working on a task that you dread? Is your boss giving you a hard time and micromanaging you? Are your colleagues not as nice as you thought they were? Or is the work environment too toxic?

Or is it you? Are you suffering from burnout or boredom? Do you feel unfulfilled or indifferent when doing your job? There are also physical symptoms you could experience. Such as body aches, fatigue, headaches, or low energy.

When you aren’t happy at work, your desire to work will go down. You may also lose your interest, enthusiasm, or joy for your job, or even worse, for everything in your life. This is definitely a place that you do not want to be in! If you start seeing such signs you need to figure out the source of your unhappiness (is it your work or private life). If it is from work, then looking for another job that will bring you more satisfaction and joy could be a solution.

6. You don’t enjoy doing your work anymore

Coding can be fun, exciting, and rewarding. This is especially true when you are building new features. But it can also be boring, tedious, and frustrating. Like when you have to write unit tests to meet code coverage requirements. Or you have a bunch of boring documentation tasks to write.

Other times you may feel tired from solving the same bugs over and over. Or that you have to work on a project that you don’t like. Or work on a project that requires you to code in a language that you don’t know or that you don’t want to learn.

Sometimes you have to deal with annoying bugs, errors, or failures when working on your task, and usually drive you nuts. Other times you may have strict deadlines, external pressures, or expectations. Such factors can overwhelm you to the point that you don’t enjoy your work anymore.

If this is you and you don’t enjoy your job anymore, accept it. Pushing through will likely make you begin to hate coding. Followed by losing your passion, creativity, and productivity. You may also feel trapped, hopeless, or miserable at your job. Listen to your mind and start seeking change if you feel that your job doesn’t please you anymore.

7. You find yourself struggling to do your job

If you are struggling to do your work, it can be for a whole bunch of reasons. One possibility is because you hate your job! If you don’t like doing parts (or all) of your job anymore, you will likely find it hard to do your job well.

Some signals around your work struggles could be due to a lack of motivation, energy, and focus. Being in these states can result in you having a difficult time completing your tasks. You may take more time, make more mistakes, and produce lower quality work.

It’s possible that you may miss work deadlines. Or fail to meet the requirements or standards expected of you when you struggle to do your work. On certain days you may avoid and procrastinate doing your work tasks completely. Or simply do the bare minimum to avoid getting fired. From the outside it may seem like you are slacking. So you may also receive negative feedback, criticism, or complaints from your boss, coworkers or clients.

Being in a struggling state is not good for you, your company and everyone around you at work. There is likely a deeper issue at play here and simply finding another job may not get to the root issue. It’s important to first resolve whatever internal issues you are experiencing first. Then you can decide if it is best for you to move on to greener pastures or not.

8. You don’t feel appreciated or liked

Developers who strive to do their job well want to feel appreciated. Appreciated for their hard work and work contributions. Such people may also want their colleagues to like them. Some will crave to also have genuinely meaningful relationships with them.

What happens when you don’t get any recognition, praise, or rewards? Where nobody cares about your efforts or work achievements? It would be the equivalent to getting a backhanded slap across the face. It will only create anger, resentment, bitterness and hurt. You will likely feel unimportant, worthless, and invisible. If you are experiencing this at your place of work, it could be a sign that you are in the wrong place.

9. Your job has become very boring to you

If tasks that you used to perform suddenly start boring you, it should make you concerned. Same with if you start feeling that you are doing the same thing over and over, and it starts bothering you.

One explanation for feeling bored is that you are working on a task which doesn’t let you use your full potential or creativity. Another reason could be having to do meaningless or pointless work. This can lead to you losing your curiosity, excitement and interest.

Feeling bored at work is closely related to you not growing in your job anymore. One could argue that it is a byproduct of a lack of growth. Pay attention when you aren’t stimulated at work anymore, as this could be a sign that you need a change.

10. No room for growth up

Finally, you may want to move on from your developer job if there is no room for growth. As you will likely want to advance your career higher and to more prestigious positions. Such upward steps may need you to learn new skills, or to take on new challenges or opportunities.

But knowing that there is nowhere higher for you to go at your company is a career killer. Especially if you have big aspirations. Knowing that you have reached a plateau, or a dead end, may make you feel stuck, stagnant, or frustrated. You may also feel like you are wasting your time, talent, or potential.

There isn’t much that you can do in this situation. Apart from figuring out what direction you want your career to advance in. To then taking the necessary steps to achieve your aspirations.

A man running from his office job with a job offer letter in his hand

Those were the 10 signs that it is time to move on from your developer job. Of course, those are not the only signs, and you might have other reasons to leave your current job. But if you recognize any of these signs in yourself, you should seriously consider if your current job is still right for you.

Otherwise it could be time to start looking for something new. Remember, life is too short to stay in a job that makes you unhappy, unfulfilled, or bored. You deserve to have a job that makes you happy, fulfilled, and excited. So don’t settle for less than that.

If you feel that it is time to move on from your developer job, do it. Don’t be afraid to take risks, even if they don’t work out in the end.

Remember, you should strive to have a fulfilling and satisfying career as a developer. So don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Subscribe to David's Blog

Are you a developer interested in building your own SaaS business?

Get exclusive, behind-the-scenes insights (and first access priority) on my journey and process in building a SaaS business from scratch!

Not sure if this is for you? Then check out my Entrepreneurial Dreams: Build a SaaS Business in 12 Months Challenge.

Quality content! No SPAM and we will NEVER sell your data or email... guaranteed!

David Nowak

David Nowak

If it is about business, investing, programming or travelling, you can bet he'll be interested. Known to be an easygoing guy with big ambitions and maaaybeee works too much.