When you have a steady paycheck, the thought of walking away from the income and heading into the unknown can be pretty terrifying. That's why so many people stay in positions that aren't a good fit, even though research indicates we are more creative, collaborative and effective when we are happy in the workplace.
The danger of "staying put" is boredom and lack of initiative in exchange for job security. When you stop caring about your work, you are not performing at your best and may even become bitter - both traits are damaging to your professional reputation.
Creating a career you enjoy is your responsibility. Here are 9 signs it's time to quit.
1. Your stomach hurts on Sunday night.
If you live for Fridays and sense a state of impending doom on Sunday afternoon, pay attention to the signals. Becoming anxious or physically ill when faced with another week of work means something's not right.
2. You are frequently bored.
No job is a thrill every minute, and we all have to do tasks we don't enjoy. But if you are apathetic most of the time, take note.
3. You believe you aren't making a difference.
Everyone wants to know they are contributing in some way. If you are discouraged about the impact you are making (or lack thereof), start to research something you can get excited about. You may find that volunteering will feed your soul, and you can keep your day job.
4. You are constantly overwhelmed.
If your role is so demanding that you have missed your own children's birthday parties and important milestones, this is a red flag. Living in a constant fight-or-flight mode can have serious consequences on your mental and physical health, not to mention your personal life.
5. The company is faltering.
Any business can have a rough time, but if clients are leaving, employees are being laid off, and you don't have confidence in the leadership, you may want to consider a solid future elsewhere.
6. You aren't learning anything new.
The best managers invest in their employees' growth. Ask for opportunities to increase your skills, and capitalize on networking events and organizations that will advance your experience. If you are dissuaded by your boss to grow within your industry, take heed.
7. You've been typecast.
You are ready for new challenges within the company, but in everyone's mind, you are still the administrative assistant. Smart managers know that strong employees who demonstrate interest or aptitude in other areas should be allowed to explore other roles within the company. If you have let your supervisor know that you want to take more on, but you are not given new responsibilities, you may be better served in a new environment.
8. You feel out of place.
Every company has its own culture, and they can vary greatly. If you are more of a free spirit stuck in a buttoned-down, rigid suit-and-tie backdrop, you diminish your odds of being happy at work. Look for a setting where you can thrive.
9. You dream of doing something else - anything else.
When the thought of being stuck at your current job is a daily drudge, do yourself and your boss a favor and find a position that is a better fit.
A recent participant in one of my sessions made the comment, "Every job is a sacrifice." That's correct. Life in general requires we sometimes do things that are not minute by minute joyful, but when your principles or health is compromised, it's up to you to be proactive. There will always be challenges, and one of them is finding the right fit for your career.
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