Most of us have been there at some point in our lives — working a job that’s become stressful and difficult. We know we’re not happy, but we wonder… Maybe if we worked a little harder, changed our attitude, dug a little deeper, prayed a little more, things would improve. Well, maybe it would. But how do you really know if you should stay or you should go? Here are six signs that it’s time to start looking for a new job:
Pay attention and don’t be afraid to make plans for new and better horizons.
1. Work day mornings fill you with dread.
It’s one thing to have bad days at work — we all have them. But it’s another thing to wake up with your heart pounding and a deep sense of dread when you think about going to work. If you’re experiencing these feelings morning after morning, it should give you serious pause.
2. You have increased anxiety and/or mild to severe depression.
If you find yourself anxious much of the day, or notice you’re becoming increasingly depressed, it’s time to take action. Anxiety and depression can take a major toll on your health and over time get worse, resulting in the need for medical or psychological intervention. If your job is causing anxiety and depression, start creating an exit strategy — and ask for help if you need it.
It’s hard to stay motivated and stimulated. When you notice this happening, start looking for new opportunities.
3. You find it difficult to get your work done and procrastinate on the job.
When we love what we’re doing we’re engaged in the work. In fact, it doesn’t even feel like work much of the time. But if you find yourself day-dreaming a lot, surfing the internet, or hanging out at the water cooler way too long when you should be working, it’s time to ask yourself if you’re being fair to yourself — and to your employer. Sure, most of us can stand to be better focused, but if you’re constantly distracted and dragging your feet when it comes to your professional responsibilities, it’s time to think about what else you should be doing with your time and talents.
4. There are no longer opportunities to grow, create, or advance.
We all need opportunities to grow, accomplish, and use our talents. When we’ve done all we can do in a job, and there’s nothing else for us to achieve or accomplish, it’s hard to stay motivated and stimulated. When you notice this happening, start looking for new opportunities.
5. You spend a lot of time fantasizing about a different life than your own.
When you’re constantly fantasizing about being anywhere but where you are, that’s your subconscious trying to help you escape your situation. And that means it’s time to consider how you’re going to consciously make that escape really happen. Sometimes that transition is hard, but often times we're just resisting happiness.
6. Your boss is a maniac.
You can’t thrive in a job with a boss who doesn’t or can’t help you succeed.
There’s nothing like a great boss — one that supports, encourages, and challenges you. But there’s also nothing like a bad boss to make an otherwise rewarding job feel like a burden. If your boss is unreasonable, abusive, incompetent, or envious of your talents, you may need to move on. You can’t thrive in a job with a boss who doesn’t or can’t help you succeed. Shake the dust from your feet and move on to greener pastures.
It’s not always easy to know when you should leave a job, but if you notice any of these signs, pay attention and don’t be afraid to make plans for new and better horizons.