Do you look forward to going to work every day, or dread it? Do you lie awake in bed at night, worrying about the next work day?
If so, consider this list a little wake up call that we often forget to make when we get caught up in busy careers until we are really unhappy…
Below are some early warning signs that your job is no longer right for you and it may be time to move onward and upward.
1. You have trouble getting up and getting to work in the morning. Unless you have some other medical reason that makes getting up in the morning difficult, dreading the start of your day is a good indicator that you’re not excited or passionate about the work you’re doing any more.
2. You find yourself daydreaming about needing a new job. If you’re fantasizing about sending in your resignation, or furtively glancing at job postings on your lunch break, that’s a very good sign it’s time to move on.
3. You’ve spent three years or more with no promotion or advancement. If you’ve spent that long without moving up in the company — or if there is no available path to advancement for you with the company — it’s time to start considering jobs where you would be able to advance.
4. You really dislike your coworkers or boss. Sometimes personalities just don’t mesh, and even if you do your very best to be civil and respectful in the workplace, hating your coworkers will make your job unpleasant at best and impossible at worst.
5. Your company is going down. If the company shows signs of failing, there’s no reason to go down with the ship. Get out now before the pink slips start flying.
6. You calculate the days, weeks, months, and years you have left until retirement.
If you have more than a few months left, consider whether you really want to spend your last working years just coasting to the end, or if you’d like to feel more excited and challenged again.
7. You get zero feedback from your managers. Nothing positive, nothing negative, just blank space. A lack of feedback is a sign of poor management, and it’s probably not going to get better.
8. Your health is beginning to suffer. Don’t discount the fact that stress, anxiety, and constant negativity can have a real effect on your health and quality of life. Headaches, sleep problems, and frequent colds can also be physical side effects of stress.
9. You’ve become a complainer. If you realize that most of your conversations with your partner and friends eventually turn to complaining about your job, it’s time to move on.
10. You’re not learning or being challenged. It’s fine to get really good at your job. It’s not fine to find that you’re no longer growing, learning, or being challenged in your work. That leads to burnout.
11. You don’t believe in the company any more. There are times when an employee can just no longer stand behind the company — for moral, ethical, or cultural reasons. And that’s OK! But don’t stick around after you’ve figured that out.
12. You’ve started turning to alcohol or drugs to “relax.” Increased consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other risky behaviors to “relax” or “unwind” or “cope” with your job should be a major red flag that it’s past time to go.
13. You’re noticing that a lot of other people are leaving, or there’s constant reshuffling. If you’re having goodbye cake more often than before or positions get continually shuffled around, it’s a sign that there’s something wrong at the company. No need to blindly follow the crowd, but be sure you’re paying attention.
14. You get a poor performance review. When the quality of your work starts to suffer, it’s usually a sign that it’s time to move on.
15. You feel a total lack of control. In a good work situation, employees should feel like they are in control of their work and the outcomes they produce. If you start to feel a lack of control over your work, your productivity, or the outcomes around you, it may be time to consider a change.
16. You’re contacted by a headhunter. If you hear from a headhunter and you’re happy at your current position, that’s OK. But if you have any concerns or reservations about your job, calls from recruiters may indicate that your industry is hot, and it would be a good time to look for opportunities to move up.
17. Your job description has changed or job duties have increased — but your pay hasn’t. Scope creep can happen in jobs, too. If you’re doing much more than what you were hired to do, but haven’t been compensated accordingly, it may be time to look for a position where your contributions will be more appreciated.
18. Your skills aren’t being utilized. On the opposite side, if you have skills and talents that aren’t being recognized or used, it also might be a good idea to look for a job where you can really shine.
19. Your work-life balance is way out of balance. If you find yourself constantly unable to meet family obligations because of work — or vice versa — it may be time to look for a job that can better fit your needs.
20. You’re being bullied, harassed or threatened, physically or verbally. There’s never any excuse for bullying or illegal behavior. If you’ve been verbally, physically, or sexually abused by anyone at your job, it’s time to go, regardless of what other measures you’re taking legally or through HR.
What other tell-tale signs would you add to my list? I’d be interested in your thoughts in the comments below.