When Do You Start Looking for Another Job?

It may start with the alarm clock ringing a little too stridently one workday morning. Or, it could happen when you’re staring at another work assignment and failing to muster enthusiasm. Or, it’s the day you say to yourself, “I just can’t do this anymore.”

For many of us, there comes the day when you simply must confront one of life’s biggest decisions as you ask yourself if it’s time to leave your job. How do you know it’s the right move? Experts say there are a few sure signs that indicate you’re ready for change. Here are just a few indications:

Where is the love? Just like in any relationship, your response to your job has peaks and valleys. However, when you find yourself wallowing in the valley a bit too long and you simply don’t want to climb another hill, it’s a good sign that your love affair with your job may be waning. Even worse is when you start to show it by snapping at coworkers, openly complaining about your work, or punctuating your work demeanor with heavy sighs and eye rolls.

A clash of values. This one is very important for your morale and well-being. If you find that your company pursues activities that go against your moral fiber, you must ask yourself if you are investing your time in the right company for you. You cannot always have the reflexive, “Yes sir” response when you’re asked to do something against your beliefs. Eventually, you will need to make a change.

White flags abound. When was the last time you had a true victory at work? How many wins can you count in recent months for you and your team? If it seems that you’re always in retreat, that’s not only bad for enthusiasm, it may be a sign that your strategies for success in the workplace aren’t effective anymore. Over time, there are simply so many battles you can lose before becoming completely demoralized. Maybe it’s better to start afresh elsewhere.

Hamster wheel time again. Are you getting the same assignments over and over? Do people peg you as “our in-house expert on X” when you’d rather be the one who gets tossed new and different challenges? If you feel locked into the same role with no room for growth, it may be time to spread your wings.

Hello, it’s me. If you’re getting assigned the same work over and over, that’s not a good sign that a promotion is imminent. Promotions should come at a fairly even pace, especially at the beginning or mid-level of your career. Granted, there are some businesses where promotions are just more difficult to attain, but it may be appropriate to question your corporate “fit” if others pass you by as they enjoy a steady climb to the upper ranks.

Where did people go? Sometimes, you’re the last to realize that it’s time to pack up. If you’ve noticed coworkers leaving in a fairly steady stream over the past 6 months, it could be they’re more prescient than you. Have a heart-to-heart with these former coworkers, and find out if the grass truly is greener on the other side. Also, consider the personal implications of having fewer friends at work. According to a Gallup study, close work friendships increase employee satisfaction by 50%, and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be fully engaged employees. So, if you find yourself friendless, it’s no wonder you’re miserable.

What’s a gym? Finally, if you feel that your job is harming your health and well-being, it’s time to move on. Work-life balance is real, and that includes taking the time for your family and yourself on a regular basis. The next time around, make sure your company doesn’t just promise proper balance, but lives up to it.

So, now that you’ve considered all the signs for leaving, what if you ultimately decide to stay? Tomorrow we will discuss some tips for keeping your sanity while working at a job that just doesn’t thrill you.

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