Is it Time to Find a New Job

Leaving freelance work

We’ve all had a bad day at work and thought to ourselves, “today is the day I quit my job”.  Fortunately for most of us, we don’t act on the impulse, Office Space style, and the next day proves to be a great one.  However, what happens when it’s not just one bad day, but years of bad days strung along, one after another?  Is it time to find a new job and finally move forward?

According to Forbes, a staggering 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work.  So why do so many of us stay at jobs we hate? For some of us it’s the salary or benefits, while others dread the application and interview process. There are even those that let things like losing seniority or the fear of hating a new job even more, hold us hostage.  But the truth of the matter is, that the act of hating your job daily can be affecting your health, relationships, and career path more than you think.  So is it time to find a new job? Here are some signs that it may be time to find a new job.

  1. Your Performance Evaluations Go from “Exceed Expectation” to “Meets Expectation”

Here’s the thing about “meeting expectations”: you won’t lose your job, but you also won’t get the promotion you want. Moving up the ladder at work is a privilege reserved for the “exceeders”, so if you truly want a promotion, yet you are so dissatisfied at work that it’s giving you a sense of apathy, perhaps it’s time to consider a move.  Staying in this environment could actually hurt your chances of getting a letter of recommendation or reference when you do decide to apply elsewhere. Is it time to find a new job when this happens? Usually this is a sign that starts and builds over time, leading to frustration, poorer performance, and overall dissatisfaction professionally and sometimes personally.

  1. When there is no room for growth

The situation that we see the most often is when there is no room to grow inside your company. We all understand the concept of dressing for the job you want.  We know in order to get a promotion, we must show our capabilities, but there is a point beyond where that expectation is reasonable.  I’ll give you an example.

An applicant was hired for a management position in which there was also a director vacancy.  The manager worked tirelessly to impress, as he was hungry for that director spot.  As time passed and ownership made no attempts to fill the position, the manager was even more encouraged and worked even harder.  It wasn’t long before he was given director duties and reporting assignments.  Without flinching, the manager gratefully accepted this work, certain a promotion was close at hand.

Over two years later, the manager had still not been promoted.  One day, he decided to ask what ownership’s intentions were for the director position.  They responded that since he was doing such a great job, it had been decided a director was not needed after all.  The trouble was, there was no title change, nor salary increases.  So now this manager found himself in the unfortunate situation of having no room for growth, and after having already accepted the additional workload without compensation, refusing to do it moving forward would be difficult.  In this situation, the manager knew it was time to leave.

  1. When you become the office “complainer”

It’s one thing to curse the copy machine that refuses to actually make copies, but when everything at work is a drag, you may be ready to move on.  The trouble with being unsatisfied at work is that it’s very difficult to isolate your unhappiness to the 40 hour workweek.  This is even more true today, as a number of people are routinely working from home, responding to e-mails late into the evening, working on projects over lunch, etc. This unhappiness inevitably bleeds into multiple facets of your life and can even effect some of the most important relationships you have. If your professional life is bleeding into your personal happiness, you should clearly ask “Is it Time to Find a New Job.”

  1. When the stress consumes you   

There are parts of every job that are stressful and sometimes even seasons in the year that are especially difficult.  But if you find yourself utterly depressed on Sundays or having to give yourself a morning pep talk to get out of bed, then this may not be the job for you.  If you feel overwhelmed by the daily demands of your job and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, then your job could actually become toxic to your physical and mental health.  Don’t ignore your feeling as temporary depression can often set in and become a permanent part of your life.

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