Does it matter if you've been at the same desk for so long you can't remember your last job interview? After all, experience is a valuable commodity, and the best way to acquire it is to let the grass beneath your feet grow awhile. Or is it? Staying put can be career suicide, and after a few years it's easy to confuse familiarity with satisfaction and to substitute comfort for challenge. Let MT's new year mini-guide help you decide whether now is the right time for a change.
01. You'd like to quit while you're ahead - leave them wanting more. And the door is always open if you need to come back.
02. Your targets have doubled, even though you missed the previous ones by 50%.
03. You've had six different job titles and worked for three different managers in the past 12 months. But still no pay rise.
04. The graduate trainee you recruited last year has just been made your boss.
05. You buy the job-hunters' bible What Colour is Your Parachute? and read it in one sitting.
06. That Monday morning feeling lasts until Thursday afternoon.
07. You see an ad for the job from hell with a crap salary, then you realise that it's your position that is being re-advertised and no-one has told you.
08. You experience a sudden longing to escape from the clutches of corporate intertia and live a bit more dangerously.
09. You see how much money you made for the company last quarter and wish you had the chance to make it for yourself.
10. Someone at a dinner party asks: 'What do you do?' and you grimace inwardly at the answer that you have to give them.
11. You realise your commute is longer than your working day.
12. You receive a copy of What Colour is Your Parachute? anonymously in the office mail, with a card reading 'from a friend'.
13. The first thing you do when you get back from holiday is start planning your next one.
14. Your partner is offered a dream job in Sydney with a harbour-front apartment, huge relocation bonus and three times your combined salaries.
15. You're single and there is no-one left in the office that you fancy.
16. Not only have you got a credit account with the sandwich man, but he sends you a birthday card and has named his first-born after you.
17. Your boss catches you sticking pins into a voodoo doll - of her.
18. Remember that great idea for a revolutionary snack business you had last year and did nothing about? Stelios had it too, and EasyBagel hits the high street in his name.
19. You've been so long in your industry that headhunters call you for recommendations, but you've been so long in your job that they never invite you over for an interview.
20. Sitting at your desk, you realise that you could do all of this in your pyjamas, via broadband on your PC at home.
21. Watching reruns of The Office after a really bad day, you realise you've been crying silently into your TV dinner.
22. You dial 9 before making a call on your home phone, and answer with the name of your company when it rings.
23. Your boss gives you a signed, leather-bound first edition of What Colour is Your Parachute?
24. Life's just too short to go in a straight line, and it's time to head off in a different direction.
25. You get the company long-service award three years running.