When we first start a new job, we’re excited to make an impact, get to know everyone, and get going on our first project.
But over time, the flow of work changes and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut.
No one wants to have to look for a new gig—especially if the old one pays the bills just fine. But if your job exhibits these five signs, it may be time to dust off that resume.
5 Signs You Should Change Jobs:
Your boss puts you down, regularly and publicly
Here’s the thing: your boss is there to make sure you’re doing a good job. They guide you through each step, encourage you to see the bigger picture, and ultimately, help you deliver.
That doesn’t mean that they won’t see you fail (or let you) because that’s the best way to learn. Or that they won’t reprimand you if need be. But if it’s becoming a recurring pattern of regular, public blow-outs, screaming matches, or put-downs, it may be time to go.
Your boss is your ultimate protector. Your actions always reflect upon their management, so if they’re not going up to bat for your budget, your decisions, or your actions, then they’ll never give you the support you need to grow in your role. If you haven’t hit a dead-end now, you will soon.
You come home completely drained and dread going back the next day – every day
How do you feel when you get home from a long day at the office? Can you muster the energy to make yourself dinner, or barely turn on the TV to veg out? If it’s the latter, you might not be in the right place. There’s nothing wrong with putting in a hard day’s work, but if you’re completely, utterly spent at the end of each day, you’re headed straight for burn-out.
Similarly, do you get a pit in your stomach when you realize you have to go back the next day? You may have heard of the “Sunday Scaries,” which is a natural reaction to the end of the weekend, but if it’s frequently happening, that may be a signal you don’t love your work as much as you should. Day after day, that fear wears on you. And it’s definitely not an environment that will help you produce your best work.
You’re so busy you can barely breathe
Forget coming home—you’re at the office nearly 24-7 with the power of phones and email. If you’re constantly so busy that you feel like you can’t even take a 2-minute break by the water cooler, you may need to re-evaluate. If you’re slammed with meetings so that nothing gets done, or constantly feeling like you’re drowning in your to-do list, it might be a sign that the role isn’t a good fit for you (or for anybody, for that matter).
When you’re constantly busy, you can’t actually think. This means you can’t produce any real work, instead just trying to keep up with the constant ping-ping-ping of things people want from you. You’re being set up to fail.
If this sounds like you, talk to your boss about your workload. They may not be aware of how you’re feeling! But if you see that it’s par for the course amongst your peers to be overloaded, overworked, and overstressed, it might be a cultural issue—one you should run away from, stat.
You’re so bored you can barely make it through the day
The opposite of #3, coming to work might be so boring that you can’t even keep your eyes open. Do you have work to do? No? Why do you need to be there, then?
If your management values “butts-in-seats” instead of real work produced, you’re equally setting yourself up for failure. Your brain is like any other muscle—you have to use it!
If you don’t feel like you’re being utilized to your full potential, you should speak with your boss. But if it’s a company-wide lull, say, after acquisition news is announced, or business is dropping, not growing—you should start looking for somewhere where your brain is valued enough to be used every day.
You’re ready for something new and different
Switching jobs doesn’t necessarily mean switching companies—maybe you need to look at a different department and find out what they do every day. If you’re looking for something new, look around you: is there anything your peers are doing that might light your fire? Taking on new responsibilities can help revitalize you and put you on a different path.
Or maybe, you’re ready for a complete career change. You’d rather spend your day doing something different. If you know in your heart that you’re on the wrong track, it’s time to reconsider—as scary as that may be.
Switching jobs can be stressful, but in the long run, a successful job search will put you in an environment that challenges you, allows you to grow, and brings you to the next level in your career.