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job keeperShould you keep your job? Like a summer romance, some jobs may seem exciting, spontaneous and mysterious in the blissful heat of the warmest months of the year. Is your job the equivalent of a summer fling, or is it more suited for a long-term commitment?

Should you keep your job?

Tom Gimbel, CEO and President of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing firm, suggests you ask yourself the following questions to help you decide if it’s time to move on to a new job.

1. Am I happy? Gimbel reminds careerists: “It seems simple, but too many people are working in jobs they don’t enjoy. They use the tough job market as an excuse to stay put, but the market is picking up and hiring is increasing.” If you are unhappy, you are the only one with the power to make a positive change.

2. Am I ready for a long-term commitment? As with a romantic relationship, there should never be a commitment if you are not ready for it. “The goal with any job is to get really good at it, and in order to get really good at something, there needs to be a commitment of more time and more effort,”

3. Is there a future? This can be tough in a fast-changing economy, but do your due diligence and make sure you find out information that will help you decide if your current company has a long-term outlook. Gimbel suggests networking with others in the office to find out if people have been promoted from within the company, and how often it occurs.

4. Can you take things to the next level? “If the job feels like it could potentially be a perfect match, it’s time to envision the near future and begin taking steps to get there,” Gimbel says. Keep in mind: You are responsible for your own career; make a point to ramp up your efforts if you want to move ahead.

5. Is it time to get engaged? Being happy in the workplace means being engaged and motivated. “The difference between successful employees and mediocre ones is how involved they are in what they do.  can transfer to their career,” Gimbel says. How can you make sure that you’re one of these great employees?

6. Is breaking up in the future? You don’t want to burn any bridges, and it’s more likely to leave a bad impression with your colleagues and supervisor if you stay a long time at an unsuitable job, so make plans to exit if you really can’t manage to enjoy your job. Gimbel explains: “Leaving a job professionally is integral to career success. Employees should talk to their supervisors and explain clearly and concisely the reason for leaving in a face-to-face conversation.”

Read the rest on U.S News & World Report.
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