In a tight labor market, especially when news of big and small layoffs keeps piling up, it may seem like a bad idea to look for a new job if you’re already working. But if you’re not engaged in your work, that will eventually show, which could put your career at risk. If you realize that you spend 40 hours per week feeling unfulfilled, it’s always better to take control of your destiny than to wait for someone else to decide your destiny for you. Think about what steps you can take to reconcile or if a new job will make you feel more fulfilled. The author presents five signs that it is worth looking for a new job elsewhere.
If you’re not completely happy with your job, it’s hard to know when enough is enough. Will your dissatisfaction pass? Is it worth taking the time and effort to find another job and risk going to a new place that might not be better?
As layoffs continue to pile up in the US and companies prepare for more economic uncertainty, you may be conflicted about whether to stay or go if you feel the pull to find something new. Here are five sure signs that your organization isn’t worth staying with now, even though we’re entering a tight job market.
The environment is toxic.
When you go to work, do you feel good about yourself and what you are doing? Is your job hindering your mental health, disrupting your sleep, or making you impatient with loved ones? If you are told off or humiliated in a way that is not considered normal feedback or you find yourself complaining to family and friends about your work, you may not be able to deal with the culture of your boss or company.
Before you start hunting for something new, look at your words and actions to see if you are contributing to the toxicity. If you gossip or complain, see a negative motive behind every decision, display a bad attitude, or put obstacles in the way that prevent others from achieving their goals, then think about how you can also examine your own behavior first to see if personal changes affect the behavior of others around you.
If you haven’t done any of those things, then try to figure out what is making the culture feel toxic and determine if it can be fixed. If you feel that the issues are deeply rooted and unlikely to change, removing yourself from the situation is the best option.
Your values are violated.
If you are frustrated by elements of your job, chances are that at least one of your values has been violated. For example, if family dinners every night are important to you, and your boss constantly interrupts your evenings with non-urgent needs, then that is a violation of that value.
The best way to understand when your values are being violated is to recognize and explain them. Perhaps it is important to you to be able to solve complex problems, or to manage a team. Once you have defined each value, then classify it. Assign each one a number from one to five — one that you don’t live the value of your work, five that that value is fulfilled every day. Review those classified as three or less. Is there anything you can do to fix these values violations? Regarding the family dinner, maybe tell your boss that you will not be available during dinner time when you are with your family and will be available afterwards for urgent needs only. If they don’t respect that time, then the job may no longer align with your values.
Your skills are not being used and developed.
Most people want to feel like they are using their skills and having an impact. Think about the skills you have and the ones you need to develop to advance your career. For example, if you want to use your problem-solving skills but don’t have the opportunity to work on more complex problems, can you ask your manager for more complex work or be part of meetings where this issues discussed? Or if you want to manage a team, is there a possibility of moving into a leadership role at some point? If you answered no to these types of questions, you may remain stagnant in your career if you stay.
You are not given opportunities to be seen.
Getting the job done is only one part of the equation that adds up to long-term success and advancement in your career. If your boss gives you opportunities for visibility by working on high-profile or cross-functional projects, others will see your skills and capabilities.
When people know who you are and what you can do, you create awareness of your brand. As your brand grows, you will be recognized as a thought leader and successful contributor to business goals. That visibility coupled with stellar results can lead to new opportunities or promotions. If your boss keeps you hidden, you are not allowed to present to your managers or peers or participate in higher level meetings, then it is impossible to build brand awareness of who you are and what you can do, which will improve in the organization is more difficult.
You feel low energy.
When you wake up on Monday morning, do you dread going to work? Most people want the weekend to last longer, but if you’re usually an over-the-top person and now you’re doing the least, you’re probably feeling unsatisfied. If the job feels routine or uninteresting or you are frustrated by other aspects of the role most days, then the job may not be right for you. If you can’t do anything to change yourself, like putting your hand up for an interesting new project or finding a way to connect with the work you’re already doing, a new job may be the best way to renew your interest in work. .
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All the signs above point to one thing: the lack of involvement in your work. That will eventually show up, which could put your career in jeopardy. If you realize that you spend 40 hours per week feeling unfulfilled, it’s always better to take control of your destiny than to wait for someone else to decide your destiny for you. Think about what steps you can take to reconcile or if a new job will make you feel more fulfilled.