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So maybe you’ve been stuck in the same job for a while. You’ve gotten to the point where every move you make, every task you complete, gives you absolutely no satisfaction whatsoever. What used to be challenging and energy-generating now has the opposite effect–each day is challenging only because you cannot wait to get through it.
If you’ve been working for a while, then you’ve certainly encountered this particular brand of job blues. While the feeling is completely normal, if it persists, then your gut may be telling you that it’s time for a change. Here are some tell-tale signs that the time to throw in the towel has arrived:
1. There’s no room for improvement:
Ostensibly, in any job worth doing, there’s always room for improvement. In a job that grants you satisfaction, you are constantly being given work that stretches just a little beyond your current capabilities. If you’re bored, then ask your boss if you can take on more rigorous work. If that doesn’t work and you’ve exhausted all opportunities for continued challenge, then you may need to find something different.
2. The stress in your daily workload costs more than the salary you earn:
It’s sometimes difficult to compare apples and oranges, especially when it comes to something as ambiguous as “satisfaction” or “happiness”. However, just because such qualities cannot be quantified doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still consider them when conducting a cost-benefit analysis. Ask yourself, is the money I’m earning really worth the toll it’s taking on my physical and mental well-being? While some will dismiss “happiness” in career decision-making, its importance cannot be stressed highly enough. If you aren’t happy, your job performance will plummet, and you’ll negatively affect everyone in your life–both friends and family. Some salaries are simply not worth this sort of cost.
3. You find yourself daydreaming about a different future too often:
Everyone daydreams, and it’s perfectly reasonable for you to be wishing you were somewhere or someone else when sitting in the office. We’ve daydreamed since we were children, so it doesn’t logically follow that a little desire for escape necessitates a career change. However, when daydreaming becomes an activity that you engage in constantly, then perhaps this is a signal that you should listen to your mind’s wanderings. It may be time to act.
4. Your company is doing poorly:
If your company is doing poorly, there is a pretty good chance that they will cut back staff (at best) or even go bankrupt. While you want to remain loyal, there is no sense in “going down with the ship”. There are few things that are as stressful as losing a job. If the writing is on the wall, start looking for a job before it’s too late.
5. You’re miserable every morning:
If just getting to work has become a chore, it’s time for a change. You should enjoy your job and feel good about getting to work. If you consider calling in sick very often (or actually call in sick), you should focus that negative energy on find a new job.
These aren’t, of course, comprehensive tips for knowing when to quit your current job and move on to another. All they do is suggest the mindset that may be ready for a change. After all, change is almost always a good thing, whether or not it takes awhile to adjust to. Many people self-impose barriers in making drastic changes in their lives, while they usually blame others. For example, when asking a typical person who hates his job why they don’t try something different, the usual response is something akin to “I just can’t” or “I have XYZ to worry about”. Most of the time, these are excuses that seek to cover up a deep-seated fear of change. Don’t be a typical person. If the time is ripe, then take the plunge and pursue a job that makes you happy.
career Tip of the Day: Launching Your Job Search – Job Search 101