The current economy has kept many employees stationed for the past couple of years, not because they love what they do — but because they are too scared to pursue other opportunities. But, according to a recent Gallup Poll, 71 percent of employees feel disengaged from their jobs. So what should you do? Continue to stay in a job where you are unhappy? Or start looking for somewhere where you’ll be happier?
People quit their jobs for many reasons. Maybe you don’t like your co-workers or your boss drives you crazy. Maybe there’s nowhere for you to move up in the company. Maybe you’re overworked and underpaid. Maybe you’re all of the above.
While the choice to move on to greener pastures is up to you, here are 10 signs that should tell you if it’s time to start thinking about moving on:
1. Your co-workers drive you crazy.
Co-workers can be a curse or a blessing in the workplace. When you work with people you love, it’s one thing. But how are you supposed to get any work done when your colleagues are irritating you, offending you, distracting you, coming in late, leaving early, talking loudly on the phone, procrastinating or coming to your desk to gossip? If you find that you want to tear your hair out at the end of each day because of your colleagues, it might be time to look for more tolerable people.
2. You hate going to work.
When Sunday night rolls around, are you dreading going into the office the next morning? As soon as you arrive on Monday morning, are you already thinking about Friday at 5 p.m.? I think all of us have had to go to job that we hate at least once, and if you haven’t — you’re the exception, not the rule (not to mention extremely lucky). When you’re spending 40+ hours at work, the last thing you want is to hate every second you’re there. If you do, it might be time to start thinking about your next career move.
3. You’re bored.
Most people like to feel challenged at work. If your work has started to seem too easy or repetitive, it’s a sign that you need more responsibility or extra a change in roles. But, don’t confuse boredom with slacking off. There’s a vast difference between watching YouTube videos all day long with work piling up next to you and watching YouTube videos all day long because you’ve completed all there is to do.
4. The company — or your job — is in trouble.
It’s no secret that many companies are still struggling as a result of the economy. There continue to be layoffs and budget cuts. While we don’t suggest quitting your job in a panic without having some sort of plan as to what your next step is, we do think you should pay attention to what’s going on at your company. If you’re concerned about the state of your job or the company, approach your manager with any concerns before taking other actions.
5. You don’t feel at home.
Sometimes we forget how important it is to feel comfortable at work — that is, until we don’t. If competition seems far from friendly, your colleagues steal your ideas, your ethics or values conflict with the company, or even if your casual style clashes with the buttoned-up policies of management, you might try to find a company where you feel more at home.
6. You can’t stand your boss.
Just because someone is a manager or boss doesn’t give him free reign to be a jerk. Whether you realize it or not, your relationship with your boss has a huge impact on your overall professional happiness and success. After all, even the best job can be terrible if your boss is lousy. If you don’t see eye-to-eye or your manager is untrustworthy or unwilling to help you succeed, it might be time to look for a new job — with a new supervisor.
7. Your career is at a standstill.
Maybe you’ve been doing the same job for several years and you’re ready for more responsibility. Maybe you’ve lost your passion for what you used to love. Maybe you work at a company where there’s no other role for you than the one you’re currently in. Start by talking to your boss about taking on more work, or trying different tasks. Express to him or her that you want to continue to develop your skills and reach your goals. If no alternatives are available, it might be time to start looking around.
8. You’re not valued.
Recognition is important — you need to feel as though you’re making a contribution and like other people will give you credit for your successes. Is your company doing anything to reward your efforts? Do you get bonuses, perks or positive feedback? If your boss has never heard of positive reinforcement, it might be time to find company that will value your talent.
9. Your work environment sucks.
State of the economy aside, every job and every company experiences highs and lows. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to know that working in place with negative energy or low morale is draining on even the happiest soul. If you find that you’re always feeling stressed out, depressed or having a negative attitude, it might be time to explore more positive options.
10. You’re exhausted.
Everyone says they’re stressed. But some people are really stressed. Too many projects and not enough help equal a heavy workload and job burnout. We don’t advise quitting when the going gets tough once in a while — let’s be honest, everyone has to take one for the team at some point. But, if there’s no end or reprieve in sight, do yourself (and your sanity) a favor and see what else is out there.