11/17/2014 05:23 pm ET Updated Jan 17, 2015

10 Clues It's Time to Look for a New Job


This year's CareerBuilder list of most incredible excuses for missing work includes my favorite excuse ever: "I woke up in a good mood and didn't want to ruin it."

I love it -- simple, clear, audacious truth!

With 35 years in the workplace I've heard some real doozies, and admit to forcing a few coughing fits myself to escape the chaos for a day and regain my mojo.

The occasional ah...ah...achoo! aside, life sends us signals that it may be time to leave our job in search of greener pastures (despite what you may have heard, the grass often is greener on the other side). Here are my top 10 clues:

• It's March and you've used up most of your vacation days.

• It's November and you haven't taken any vacation days; nor did you last year.

• You think your performance is excellent; your boss has rated you average -- for three consecutive review periods.

• You've become part of the cafeteria crowd complaining about the crummy holiday buffet spread.

• You daydream in important meetings, wondering how your company has survived such idiotic management.

• You've taken to meditation, trying to convince yourself you can make it another eight years to retirement.

• You waste many-a-Sundays dreading -- as in your inside voice is screaming I don't want to go back there dreading -- Monday's return to work.

• You look around and realize your contemporaries have been promoted, or fled the company years ago.

• The teenager behind the counter at the local convenience store seems happier at work than you.

• Despite the $500 referral fee and new smart phone you're coveting, you can't muster the nerve to refer your worst enemy for a job at your company.

You may detect other, more serious clues. Remember that you have unique treasures to offer - don't be afraid to search for a greener pasture!