At the beginning of the year, which seems like 395750 days ago, I tweeted that I would be focussing on my career this year. I hope I’m gonna have a bit of a career change and, hopefully, I’ll be able to share my progress with you.
I’ve noticed a few other people in a similar position. Just the other week, I read Lucy’s post on her hopes for a career change.
And, I know, not everyone has their dream job. In fact, most people really don’t.
There’s a certain amount of rubbish-ness to be expected at work; everyone has crap days, weeks, even.
But, if things are consistently so bad that it becomes unbearable, it’s time to weigh up your options and have a think about whether it might be time to move on.
Here are the things I think are the big red warning signs that you’re about ready to find something else. Health first, after all.
You dread going in
Everyone dreads going to work now and again, especially when you know you’re going into a tough day of meetings or something. But, I’m talking about more than the usual Sunday night ‘ugh Monday tomorrow’ feeling. I’m talking about persistent, real dread, panic, or full-blown anxiety about having to go to work.
You can’t switch off
At my old job, I heard a lot of people talking about how they just wanted to ‘clock in, clock out and switch off’. Switching off from work is something I have a really hard time doing, and that’s why it’s especially important for me to do something I love.
However, if you do find yourself being consistently unable to switch off and forget about work or, if you find negative thoughts about work intruding on your evening, or distracting you from activities you enjoy, it’s probably time to have a word.
There’s no room for creativity or individuality
This isn’t super important for everyone, because not everyone is creative, or wants to be.
Most people have a work personality, and that’s necessary, but if you’re starting to feel like you can’t be yourself at all, or that your own unique talents and contributions aren’t valued, that can be a really depressing environment in which to work.
You don’t think your job is important
This is something I’ve talked about a little bit before; you might remember me posting on Instagram about it a while back.
I’ve come to realise that, for me, I’m going to be unhappy at work if what I’m doing isn’t something I really believe in, or consider to be important.
Of course, that is an entirely individual opinion and what everyone considers important or worthwhile will differ, and that’s hugely beneficial since there are so many different roles out there. This isn’t such a deal-breaker if, as mentioned above, you’re able to switch off easily.
There’s no job progression
Not everyone wants to move up the ranks, and I don’t believe that is important or necessary for job satisfaction, at all. However, if you are someone who is gunning for a different role to the one you’re currently doing, it can be super disheartening.
If you’ve been doing great work, and you have little left to learn in your current role, you’ve made it clear you want to move on within the company, and you feel you’ve waited your turn, it is so frustrating to be overlooked.
You haven’t had a pay rise
Money isn’t everything but, unless you’re incredibly happy in your job, most of us are working to pay for stuff, so money is an issue.
I don’t believe pay rises should be a given, unless that’s within the structure of your company, but I do believe pay incentives are important, especially for long term and high performing employees.
If you’ve had the conversation and there are no issues with your performance, yet you still aren’t getting the pay you think you honestly deserve, consider researching the pay structure of other organisations.
You don’t feel appreciated
I would find it hard to believe if someone told me they didn’t care whether or not they felt appreciated at work. I don’t think anyone wants to feel like they’re a number, or that their work isn’t valued.
Feeling unappreciated for a long period of time can have a pretty nasty effect on your self-esteem and overall mood. Not something you want to compromise on, especially if you’re not overly enjoying your job.
You’ve tried talking and nothing has changed
One sign of a good employer is one who listens to the concerns of their staff. If you’ve had a chat with your manager and/or colleagues, and they’ve made little or no effort to resolve your issues, or the issues persist anyway, consider how important this is to you. Can you learn to live with it, or is it a deal breaker?
I’d definitely love to hear from you on this one. Are you having a tough time at work and struggling to see the other side? Are you considering a job-change or starting a new career altogether? Let me know in the comments below.
And, if you are considering applying for other jobs, click here to get advice from a real HR professional!