Last week, I worked with someone who was having some difficulties with a decision she had to make. Actually, she didn't know she had to make a decision until we started talking. Initially she was just venting, but I'm one of those people who believes that, most of the time, once you start venting you need to start making plans to change something about what it is upsetting you.

Sometimes people have problems with work situations. Other times it has something to do with one's personal life. To me, it doesn't matter if it's internal or external; the signs for determining when it's time to make a change are easy.

What's harder is making a determination on when it's time to move on. This could range from firing an employee to leaving a job to leaving a relationship. These types of things are drastic, and yet people make these moves every day and are able to survive those decisions. Sometimes the moves aren't warranted, while other times they might come later than they should have. Here are 3 ways to determine when it's time to move on.

1. If you've always taken some steps to change your situation and they haven't improved, and possibly have gotten worse, it's probably time to move on. From an employee perspective, if you're not getting what you need from an employer, or you're being treated badly in your opinion, it might be time to leave. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone else within the organization to see if your beliefs are valid or not, but that could be difficult to do because you might not know who you can trust. However, in my opinion, if you can't tell management your issues, even if your problem is with them, it might be time to consider leaving.

2. If you can't work with the people you need to work with, or interact with the people you need to work with, without fear of reprisal of some kind, it might be time to move on. This one works whether it's business or personal issues. Sometimes another person will try to bully you. Sometimes they try to manipulate you with their actions in negative ways. When you've lost any semblance of control of your own life, and it's due to someone else, it's time to think of an exit strategy.

3. If you're feeling physically sick or ill in some fashion because of a situation you find yourself in, maybe it's time to get away from it if you can. I've left clients that have made me feel as though my advice or recommendations aren't worth anything because I don't want to waste my time. In my friend's case, her stomach was hurting all the time and she was having problems sleeping. At one point she even cried a little bit. No one should ever have that kind of negative impact on your life and have you continue dealing with it. There is always another job and another person you will have a relationship with, so why stay in something that's causing you harm?

I have one follow up statement here. If, for any of these scenarios, you find that every time you move that it happens again, it's time for you to evaluate whether it might be you. That's a tough thing to think about but the reality is that it's not always someone else's fault.