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How will you know when it’s time to change jobs? It is easy to miss the signs that your job no longer suits you.

It’s so easy to fall into a stupor when your job meets your basic needs. A job search seems like such an undertaking that we think “I’m fine. I can hang out in this job for a while yet.”

We say to ourselves “Maybe my job isn’t the greatest job of all time but at least I have a job. I can think about changing jobs in 2018. I don’t have to think about it now.”

It’s true that if you have a decent job that pays a reasonable salary and uses your brain even a little bit, you are doing well relative to lots of people — but is that enough?

All you have to sell to employers throughout your career is your story. Your triumphs, your accomplishments and your “Aha!s” are the only things that will get you a new and better job when you need one or when you want one.

The same stories and triumphs will boost your salary over time, but only if you’re always collecting new stories to tell!

If you aren’t collecting accomplishments, triumphs and Dragon-Slaying Stories at your current job, then your paycheck is not enough. Your paycheck sustains you for two weeks, if that.

You need a bigger platform, and you’ll build that platform by seeking out new challenges and learning opportunities whenever the previous  source of challenges and learning opportunities gets stale.

If you are not constantly learning and growing your resume, your network and your confidence, then your job is ripping you off. You are putting more into the job than you are getting out of it.

When you do the same things day in and day out for years, you may as well be locked away in a cave or living in a bubble. The real world outside your office walls is constantly changing.

We need to stay in step with those real-world changes!

Here are five unmistakable signs it’s time to change jobs — maybe not today or tomorrow, but before you fall back into slumber and let another year pass you by.

Five Unmistakable Signs It’s Time To Change Jobs

1. You’re working on a big project at work and it’s stressful, but you’ve had the same stress a million times before. You wake up in the middle of the night worried about the work on your desk. When you finish this big, gnarly project another one will be right behind it. These projects stress you out but they don’t grow your flame. Are they really the best use of your time and talents?

2. You see no opportunity for advancement in your company, no matter how you try to stretch your job description and show your managers what you’re capable of.

3. When you walk into your workplace every day, you adopt a persona that you would never take on when you’re with your real friends. You can’t be yourself at work — they wouldn’t like it if you did.

4. You look forward to weekends but on the weekends, you stress about work and even go into the office to get a few things done before Monday.

5. You dread going to work on Monday morning.

Your body is the best teacher. Listen to it! If you think that contemplating a job search is stressful, just imagine how much stress your body is taking on right now, as you slog through the week at a job that no longer deserves you.

You will feel a jolt of power when you take the first step in reclaiming your career.

That step could be getting a journal and writing in it. It could be starting work on your Human-Voiced Resume or reading the job ads to see what various employers are looking for. (Don’t be intimidated by reading job ads!)

You can take a step in the direction of your path today. You deserve to work in a place where you can shine and where they appreciate your gifts. You are qualified and capable. You don’t need to settle for less!

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