Have you been at your job for longer than you ever imagined? Most people with long careers have changed several jobs, moving up the ladder and sideways, chasing their dream position, office or team. You spend a third or more of your day at your job, so it’s quite important that you are satisfied with it and that you feel good while doing it. But if you’ve had a worm in your head for a while, telling you that you should look at a career change, these are the signs that will confirm your suspicions and help you let go:
Obligation as the main motivator
If you are constantly talking yourself into staying at your workplace because you can’t imagine how your team, work group or department will cope without you, or because you’ve been with the firm for a long time and feel like you owe them to stay, you should probably leave. As much as we like to think so, nobody is indispensable, and if your team was working well before, they will work well with a new member as well. And as for the company, you have given them all you have for all the years you’ve been there. No matter how well you know your boss and how many times you’ve been employee of the month, you should never feel like leaving the company is not an option. And if you like your company, but aren’t happy with your position, you can start negotiating about moving to a different job within the company.
You feel like your skills are underutilized
If you are giving your all to your job, meeting the quotas and requirements with ease, but still feel like you are not reaching your maximum potential, there’s something wrong. Perhaps your skills were a perfect fit for the job when you started, but as you’ve improved, you’ve outgrown your position. You can try modifying your work so it is more challenging (with the compensation to match, of course), or seek a job that will make you dust off the gears in your head. A job that doesn’t push you to learn more and become better is not a job you should be doing.
You’re scared of not finding a new job
People often stay at their jobs for much longer than they should out of fear that they won’t be able to find a new job quickly enough, and that their savings will run out. But that isn’t something you should be afraid of. You can start to work from home and earn money online while still at your job to increase your savings, and have something to fall back on through the period of finding a new job. There are plenty of jobs you can look at that have flexible times that you can fit into your schedule. Or, you can start searching in advance, and not quit your job until you’ve found a suitable replacement.
You don’t feel motivated or happy
Remember your first day on the job. You were probably quite nervous, but also excited. And as time passed, your nerves calmed down, but your motivation and hunger have remained, and maybe even grown. But if you don’t feel that motivation anymore, if you wake up in the morning and go to work just because you have to, then it might be time to admit that your job doesn’t bring you joy. And as they say, life is too short to do a job that doesn’t make you happy.
Your environment is toxic
Doing the job you love doesn’t mean much if you are in an environment that doesn’t make you feel good. If you greet your coworkers every morning thinking that you’d rather see anyone else in the world than have to sit with them for another day, you are not in the right place. Having people whom you can rely on, whom you respect and whom you enjoy working with is crucial for your happiness and productivity. No job is only done in a single company, and you can find a job in your niche in a company where you will have colleagues that suit you better. And if you simply don’t enjoy working with other people, you can try working from home or finding a place where you can work from your own office.
Quitting a job is never easy, but when you start putting your health, happiness and success first, you will see that you have a lot more to gain than you’d ever have to lose, so think long and hard, and then make the best choice for yourself.
By Peter Minkoff