Realizing a current job is not a good fit (any more) doesn’t come easy for most of us. Most of the times, getting along with colleagues might make you forget you’re not exactly thrilled with the job. It’s hard, though, to ignore the obvious. You should save yourself a lot of residual anger, stress or relationship/health problems and ready yourself for resignation.
Obviously, leaving in a heartbeat isn’t a realistic option, but on the other hand delaying the decision is equally if not more harmful. Doing it properly and at the right time can also help you maintain a positive relationship with your future past employer, which is the best way to go.
So, if you currently experience 7 (or more) of the next 11 situations than you should seriously consider finding a new job.
1. Dreaded Mondays
If every Monday you feel a consuming anxiety or a dreaded feeling on drive towards work, you should take a look at what’s really bothering you. If the feeling is continual and whatever you do you can’t shake it off than there’s a problem. For some the anxiety starts on Sunday evenings for others the moment they wake up. The fact of the matter is that dreading every single Monday morning is a serious sign you’re not happy with your job.
2. Boredom and stagnation
Not growing or learning anything new means it might be a good time to leave. Excluding management positions, if you passed a 3 year mark without picking up a new skill or the smallest of promotions might mean two things: either you’ve reached your peak, either you’ve outgrown the position. If there’s no room for advancement, even though you crave it, it’s time to quit. Complacency can be dangerous, as not growing your skills and expertise will harm you on the long term, so don’t always go for the easy safe&steady job.
3. Your skills are ignored
You know and feel that you can offer so much more than what you are contributing right now. But you’ve been passed over for promotions, you never get more challenging assignments or you keep getting boring and simple ones. You’re never asked to attend key meetings (any more) and anything you propose is met with denial or lack of an answer. These here are serious signs you should find a place where you’ll be appreciated for the professional you are.
4. You’re not interested in a promotion
Not wanting your boss’s job or any promotion for that matter should make you think about your future. Considering you’re not the complacent type, think that any day now one of your colleagues will get that promotion. That’s going to create a lot of frustration and dissatisfaction towards your job. Needless to say, these are not things you should be experiencing day in and day out.
5. You’re feeling overwhelmed by tasks
Assuming you’re not close to a deadline or delivery date on an important project, constantly living in a pressure-cooker is obviously not good for you. If you’re constantly incapable of finishing your assigned tasks in the allocated time frame you’re in the wrong job. Feeling anxious and/or agitated or experiencing sudden mood changes are visible effects that you’re overwhelmed.
6. No fair compensation
Maybe you’re doing some more work that usual because “we need to deliver”, but on the other hand no one delivers you a better compensation. And it’s not that the company is not performing well, it’s just that they seem to have forgotten about you. Even though you’ve been evaluated you know for a fact the results are not reflecting your true work performance. Or, who knows, maybe you can’t get an evaluation at all. It may be time to seek out a place where they will fairly compensate your skills.
7. Taking your frustration home
More and more, the conversations you have with your friends and family always contain negative comments about your day at work. Your presence isn’t as appreciated as it used to be, as your constant laments become conversation turn off’s for those around you. Maybe you should do something about it. Either stop (if you think you’re over reacting) either find a new place of work. Maybe then you’ll be more relaxed and, worse case scenario, you’ll be talking about the good things happening to you at the office.
8. Physical symptoms of stress
Excluding chronic diseases, your physical health is a reflection of your mental health. The physical effects of stress can range from headaches to easily catching colds to troubles getting sleep. The anxiety you feel over work will stop you from getting a good night’s sleep, and sleep is very important for both your mental and physical health. All these physical symptoms of stress will also deteriorate your work-life balance. Spending time with your loved ones as a depleted shell of who you really are rather than your true self should definitely make you consider looking for a new job.
9. Not fitting in
You can one day find yourself not believing in the company or it’s culture any more. Things around have changed, maybe you have changed, but the fact of the matter is you disagree with the way the company operates. It could be about the morals, ethics, work clashes or cultural differences – either way you’re clearly uncomfortable situation and it will not get better any time soon.
10. Constant arguing at work
It’s normal not to always share a point of view with those around you. But arguing constantly with your peers or superiors will cause a lot of tension in the office. This is a very delicate situation, as you might just leave the job anyway but on bad terms. It’s better to decide in due time and keep your past employer and colleagues as good sources for recommendations.
11. Already thinking of a new job
If, for a while now, you’ve been seriously thinking of a new job it’s probably because your gut feeling is right. As stated at the beginning, realizing your current job is not a good fit isn’t an easy or straightforward thing for most of us. We rather behave based on our “gut feeling”, this being a mix of recent experiences and frustrations we’ve accumulated. This is a good sign you should start to actively search for a new job.
The most important thing to do is accepting that it might be the right time for you to leave. For some of us this takes a certain amount of courage, but once you find it please think of an exit strategy. Then, there are three things to consider.
First of all, acknowledge the risks. Statistically, when assessing candidates, companies accept a change of job every 2 years until they’re either 26 either at their third job. After that, they want to see a cycle of at least about 4 years to rule a candidate out as a job-hopper. Of course, these are statistics and they don’t always apply.
Take good care of your professional reputation and leave only of you’re certain there’s no alternative.
Second, know where you’re going. In other words, it’s less of a risk when you’re leaving directly towards another job. Plan it, assess the market, secure a couple of interviews. Maybe get in touch with a good recruiter that can steer you towards some good job openings 🙂 .
Try to never leave without preparing your next steps. It’s the smart, mature way of doing things.
Third, be the better person. On many occasions, you might leave having accumulated a lot of frustrations and residual anger. Surely, you thought about the day you’re going to stroll in your boss’s office, take out your resignation paper and tell him to go… you know what I mean. It’s not a good thing to do, as it will only turn a bad situation in an even worse one.
Discuss this decision with people close to you – family, friends, mentors, etc. They will surely help you through it, provide you with good advice or moral support. At the end of the day, you’ll be the bigger person.
Always leave the way you’d like to be greeted at your next job.