How to Know When It is Time to Leave Your Job
So, you’ve found yourself in a space where you are wondering whether it is time to find another job or if you are just going through a rough patch at work. Things started off well when you joined but as time has gone on the shine has come off. But how do you tell if it is just a bad period or if it is really time to move on?
Here are seven of the top signs it is time to pack up your personals, grab your coat and head for the hills.
#1. You Just Hate It
As obvious as it seems, if you just hate your job and pretty much everything about it, then that is a pretty good reason to throw in your hand and head for the hills. But just before you stroll into your boss’ office and tell them exactly what you think of them, stop and consider a couple of possibilities. Do you have an exit plan? Where to from here? Do you really hate the job or do you need to look a little deeper into yourself?
Now if you can put your hand on your heart and honestly declare that all things being equally weighed, you do hate your job then make your plan and head on out.
#2. Sunday Stress and Monday Cramps
Alright so this is a real condition of course but you get the idea. When mid-afternoon Sunday arrives and you’re feeling anxiety and stress setting in simply because Monday morning is on its way and only the end of civilisation as we know it is going to halt its arrival, then it could be time to think about a job change. Equally if you have that sick-in-the-stomach feeling just after your eyes open and you realise the dreaded Monday morning has arrived then the same is true. All jokes aside, your body has ways of letting you know that you are nearing your overload threshold. Listen to it and keep an eye on it. If it is a one off then maybe change the type of take away you order on Sunday night but if it happens week in week out, then head the warning your body is giving you.
#3. Motivation Has Gone
Well I guess this one is pretty obvious, too. If you just can’t dig up the motivation to get in early, stay late, put the extra yards in on the big project then it is probably a good sign you have mentally and emotionally checked out. After you explore ways to reignite your motivation you will know what to do next. You’ll either get back in the game or realise it is time to go.
#4. Bathroom Procrastination
Whether you are checking your social media feed or watching puppies doing hilarious things on YouTube, if your worktime restroom breaks are taking more than five minutes and happening four times a day then you are just burning up hours hiding in the bathroom. Own it and do something about it – You’re better than that.
#5. The Only Challenge is That There is No Challenge
If you simply cannot find a challenge in your role, apart from making yourself attend, then you may have to consider that a change needs to be made. Assuming you have explored the options of changing roles within the same company, it might be time to move on.
#6. You Just Hate Your Boss
This one is tougher than it seems on face value. Sure, you hate your boss but with that usually comes quite a bit of second guessing and self-doubt. You know, that “my boss is under a lot of pressure, this isn’t actually how they are” or the “my boss just wants to get the best out of me and this the only way they know how” or the “my boss said they were sorry and they will change their behaviour from here on and even though they said that the last 37 times I know this time will be different” justifications.
Well, I think you know where this one is going. Keep in mind though that depending on your company there may be an opportunity to get reassigned. If that isn’t a possibility, then off to the job search sites you go. Happy hunting.
#7. Your Company or Boss is Dishonest
To be clear when we say dishonest in this context we don’t mean in relation to things like “Sorry Bob, but there just isn’t enough in the budget for your pay rise right now”. We are talking more along the lines of conduct of business or a personal that is morally objectionable or illegal.
There’s no grey area here. If the business or your boss is acting dishonestly and or illegally then you can’t stay. Don’t even give this one another thought.
Remember that the process of deciding to leave is a difficult one but it doesn’t have to result in your financial ruin. Take your time to consider your options, talk to trusted advisors and research your next potential employer. But also, remember to take the lessons of this experience with you but not the fear of repeating a mistake. Learn your lesson and go forward bravely. Good luck.
Alistair Way is the senior partner of an Australian consulting firm, Kong and Way Pty Ltd. He has gained extensive experience in senior strategy and operations roles in Australia and South East Asia over the last 20 years.
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