Everyone, at some point in time, considers making a career change. There are a lot of factors that go into making that decision, and a few warning signs to look out for that might be telling you the time to make the change is now. How do you know when it’s time to start looking for a new job? What factors should you be paying the most attention to?
You have to give yourself a pep talk every morning.
If you find yourself having to mentally prepare for your workday each morning, that’s a big red flag. Going to work isn’t necessarily something you’re going to wake up excited to do every day, but it certainly shouldn’t cause you to feel a sense of dread. Big warning signs to look out for are constantly contemplating calling in sick or spending time thinking up an elaborate backstory to get out of going to work.
Little things set you off.
If you find yourself getting irrationally annoyed by small things, like suddenly noticing every single one of your co-workers’ bad habits, that’s a sign that something bigger is bothering you. Another sign is that these things don’t just irk you for a few minutes, small annoyances can stick with you and put you in a foul mood all day. If you find yourself still thinking about these little things when you leave the office, it’s time to make a change.
You feel stuck.
Feeling stuck at work is something everyone experiences at some point in time in their career. It becomes a problem when that feeling becomes consistent. Whether you’re stuck because there aren’t any opportunities, you have to wait for someone above you to quit to get a promotion, or you’re just no longer being challenged by the work you do, it takes a toll on you.
Your new boss is awful.
Changes in management affect the dynamics of a workplace. There’s a lot of truth in the saying that ‘people quit bosses, not companies.’ If management is terrible, chances are your job will suffer because of that. Unfortunately, this is one of that factors that you truly don’t have any control over, which is why it’s one of the top reasons people change jobs.
If you’re bored at work, that’s sign that you need to make a change. Think about why you’re bored. Is the work you’re doing not challenging enough? Are you doing work that’s below your skill level? Is it simply that you’ve been doing the same thing for a long period of time and it’s become unbearably monotonous?
Every time your friends mention their jobs, jealousy bubbles up. You find yourself thinking that they have things so much better than you and wish that you could have what they have. This is often a case of the grass being greener on the other side, but it’s also a warning sign that you need to examine your current working situation. Think about what it is specifically that makes you so jealous – is it the type of work they’re doing, flexibility or freedom they have at work, or something else?
There’s a difference between being temporarily frustrated and truly being at the end of your rope, but that difference can be quite slim. That’s why it’s incredibly important to take the time to fully think things through before making a decision. If you’ve just read this and realize that you’re experiencing all of these signs, don’t walk into your manager’s office and quit your job on the spot – as tempting as that may be, you need to have a plan.
The simple act of planning will help alleviate some of the feelings of frustration you’re experiencing, and help put you on the path towards change. Change doesn’t necessarily mean finding a new job. Change can come in the form of taking on an extra project, gaining more responsibility, or making a lateral move. If you’re happy with your company, seek out a promotion. If there isn’t a position available, talk to your boss about creating one. Take the initiative to make change happen and break out of the cycle you’re in.
Ashira Prossack is a Millennial & Gen Z engagement expert and speaker working to bridge the gap between generations and prepare businesses for the future of work.