Do you dread the perpetual cocktail hour question, “What do you do?” Is it because you think the answer is boring? Or becauseyouare bored? Is it because you don’t want to have to justify your job or make excuses for your employer?Is it because you can’t stand thinking about work on your off-hours, even if you once loved what has become a daily grind? Or is it because you arealwaysat work, and never have time for anything else?
According to theBureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years that wage and salaried employeesstay with their current employers has remained fairly steady at 4.2 years.It’s not a lifetime, howeverfour years —at 40 hours a week —can feel like eternity if you are miserable. And let’s face it, misery is not a required job skill.
Here are11clues it’s time to start exploring your options, pronto:
Lack of growth.You might not be constantly learning new things, but you should be improving and growing in your core abilities and talents. A 2018 Harvard Business Reviewstudy of why employees leave Facebook found that people left because their jobs weren’t enjoyable, their strengths were notbeing used, and they weren’t growing in their careers. Everyone has upsetting days at the office, but this shouldn’t be the case every day.
Poor management.Sometimes you can wait out a bad boss, but that’s not always a good bet — or a desirable one. Someone who fails to act like amentor andpromote you andmakes your work more difficult, is more interested in their career than yours. He/she may even go so far as to take credit for your work or blame you when things go wrong. Either way, you want to protect your reputation and work for someone who treats you as an asset and not a threat.
No appreciation.No one expects to receive handwritten Thank You notes for doing their job well (though that’s nice), but you should feel that your employer is tapping your skills and investing in your career development. It’s time to exit if you have maxed out on upward mobility or if you have asked to take on more responsibility, and the answer is no.
“A job should be a two-way street,” Piyush Patel, author of “Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work” said in an interview last year withMaximmagazine. “The team should need you as much as you need them. There’s no reason to keep going to work every day to a group of people who don’t appreciate or respect you.”
Misalignment.Like any relationship, consider whether you remain a good match for your workplace, especially if you have been with the organizationa long time. Do your skills still fit your job, and do you enjoy using them? Does a 9-to-5 schedule continue to work with your lifestyle?As important, it’s time to move on if you can’t abide by the vision or values of your company. It’s even more serious if you have ethical and moral differences with your employer.
Chronic stress.Simply put, a job should be more good than bad. It’s a red flag if ‘work worries’ keep you up at night, dominate your conversations with family and friends or prevent you from taking proper care of yourself. According to theAmerican Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to serious health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, and high blood pressure as well as major illnesses, such as heart disease, depression and obesity. No job is worth that.
Toxicity.You don’t have to be best friends with your co-workers, but everyone deserves to be treated well. It’s time to get out if you experience or witness verbal abuse, harassment, sexism, bullying, racism or any other type of illegal or unacceptable behavior, especially if it is tolerated.Note: It’s not just people who can make you unhappy. Toxins also can be literally present in “sick buildings” that have poor ventilation, mold, and other indoor environmental issues.
Boredom.The excitement you felt when you started your job, is it long gone? Do you dread going to work? It’s a clear sign to consider greener pastures if you find yourself procrastinating or spending too much time scrolling through social media feeds. Routine is one thing, but snoozeville is another.
Work-life imbalance.No one juggles everything perfectly, but when family and/or work are suffering on a regular basis, it’s time to recalibrate.
Low pay.Being paid poorly is especially demoralizing if your job has changed while your responsibilities have increased. Even if it’s temporary, that doesn’t make it OK.
Opening doors.Calls about other opportunities may indicate that your industry is “hot” and companies are hiring. Even if you are not ready to leave your job, it’s worth consultingexperienced recruitersand finding out activityin the market. Recruiters have valuable knowledge, and it’s important to get on their radar for future opportunities.
Ready for aNEW YOU, in 2019? Think through your next steps. Set goals, tap into your network (make sure everyone has your personal email), and update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Make sure your skills are up-to-date with industry standards, and prepare a respectful and gracious exit that protects your reputation and cultivates positive references as you head out the door.
In the past, when have you known it’s time to move on? Share your ah-ha moment below!