It’s 4:59 pm, you’ve been watching the clock like a hawk, you’re exhausted, you’re irritable, and 5:00 pm couldn’t come soon enough so you can break out of the jail cell also known as your office.
Or maybe you’re headed into work on Monday morning and you make a beeline to your office, hurriedly shut the door, grip your latte for dear life, and pray that no one comes to ask you how your weekend went.
Or perhaps you’re in the work parking lot, sitting in your car, repeating mantras to yourself, pumping yourself up like a football coach until you can muster the courage to open the car door and drag yourself into work. Does this feeling of dread sound familiar?
If you have read this far, you’re probably feeling some sort of discontentment in your work. Maybe you can’t put your finger on it, but something is just not quite right. Let’s be honest, there are negatives to nearly every job, and it is likely that you will have days that you just don’t feel like working. However, how do you decipher between a temporary restlessness in your job and a full-on rut?
Diving into a job search or considering a career change is a big decision and should be taken seriously. Here are 6 signs that starting a job search might be your next best step.
Are you lacking support?
– Similar to the examples shared above, dreading going into the office is one of the first signs that you might be ready for a change. I am not talking about the feeling of wanting to take a sick or personal day here and there. I am speaking about persistent anxiety that makes going to work every day a true struggle. Do you have a boss or supervisor that respects, challenges, and trusts you? Poor leadership is a very common reason that people feel the need to jump ship. Google spent 10 years researching this phenomenon in a study called Project Oxygen. An Inc.com article summarizes this study into 10 behaviors that make a great leader. If you are missing most of these characteristics in your boss or leadership team, it might be time to take a look at whether this is the problem.
– Or if there are frequent changes in your leadership team, this can cause discontentment as well. Are you regularly adjusting to new protocols, rules, or policies? Is there confusion among the team? Constantly trying to adapt to a new leadership environment can cause instability and ultimately lead to feelings of insecurity about your job, maybe even your career.
Do you find yourself distracted or do you frequently procrastinate while at work?
– After you chug your first cup of coffee, give yourself a pep talk, and chat with your colleagues for 45 minutes about a serious case of the Mondays, do you then find yourself off in la la land? Is it hard to tackle your to-do list? You might think that you will get your tasks completed later, but right now you deserve to look at your social media feeds for the 700th time. This is a sign that you are not fulfilled, challenged or interested in the tasks at hand. Again, not every work task is going to be something you want to leap out of bed for every morning, but if you routinely leave at the end of the day and cannot think of one thing you have accomplished, this is a sign that you are distracted or highly bored. Have you considered talking to your boss or leadership team about taking on additional or other types of roles? If possible, take the initiative to find the job duties that do make you feel more fulfilled. If this is not received well by leadership or is not possible within your position, it might be time to consider the severity of these distractions.
– Perhaps you are distracted by looking through various job boards on a daily basis? Clearly, job searching, while at work, is a sign that you’re ready for something new. Maybe you’re not the only one though. Are your colleagues also job searching and openly talking about it? Is there a high turnover rate in your organization? All of these things can be incredibly distracting, disconcerting, and another reason to consider a transition.
Are you looking for ways to call in sick?
– What happens when that alarm goes off in the morning? Are you ready to put your game face on or crawl back into bed and think of any excuse to call in sick? Let’s be honest here, most of us want to snooze a couple of times and get more shut-eye, but if you have that feeling of dread every morning, this could be an issue. Again, taking a sick or personal day here and there to take a break, or to truly rest when you are ill, is perfectly fine. It is that persistent feeling of apprehension that should be examined.
– This might also be a critical time to evaluate whether you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or another mental health issue. Perhaps your work is so demanding or stressful, that your health has become impacted.Take this brief assessment, by Mental Health America, to determine if you might be experiencing a mental health issue. You can also visit the American Psychological Association’s Help Center to learn more about ways to deal with mental health issues, including how to find support and assistance.
Do you complain about work to loved ones?
– A loved one calls to check in on you and asks about work, do you have positive things to say? Or do you talk their ear off for an hour about how overwhelmed you are, or how much you hate your boss, or how hearing Jody nose breath on the other side of your cubicle makes you want to rip your eyelashes out? Listen, we’ve all had those conversations where we vent a bit about issues related to work. This is healthy! You should have a support system, outside of your work colleagues, to process issues that surround your job. It is not realistic to think that you would only have positive things to say. But, if your loved ones start finishing your sentences, or worse, avoid you because they don’t want to hear about your work problems anymore, this should sound the alarm bells.
– Ask yourself whether your thoughts and conversations surrounding work are healthy and positive. It is worth analyzing your thoughts, how often you have them and how negative they are, to determine if you need to make a career move.
Have you reached a ceiling, is there no room for growth?
– Have you been performing the same tasks in your role for the last two or more years? This could be a sign that you are not on track to move up within the company. It is natural to want to be challenged once you have conquered, become confident, or even bored in your current role. The hope is that, with your manager or leadership team, you can find ways to add to your job duties. However, without any opportunity to grow, this could be a dead end. Is there an opportunity for a promotion or raise? We all want to be fairly compensated for our skills, loyalty, and dedication. But without the possibility of a raise or promotion, it is easy to see why you might be discontent.
– Your knee jerk reaction might be to run for the hills, but have you made it clear that you want more responsibility? Have you asked about the opportunity for a raise or vocalized that you want to grow professionally? Some companies have a set plan for employee growth, but others do not. Don’t forget to advocate for yourself! Having clear conversations with your boss about your career goals is vital to your professional growth and happiness. If you need help mapping out how you might conduct this type of conversation with your boss, check out this article from The Muse. And if you’re still not seeing room for advancement after you have made your goals known, then it might be time to move on.
Are you not in alignment with the company/organization’s values or mission?
– Do you share a sense of purpose surrounding the main goal of your company? Are you passionate about the vision of your organization? These are big questions, but fundamental in determining your longevity within a company. Do you feel proud of where you work? Are you excited to tell others about the work you do? And most importantly, does the work you do make you feel good inside. If you are shaking your head no, then there could be a disconnect.
– But perhaps it is not just the company that makes you feel misaligned. Perhaps you are too unsure of your own internal compass to even determine whether you share a vision with the company. What are your personal values, ideals, and beliefs? What do you stand for? What are your goals? If you are unsure, it could be the reason that you are feeling restless. Instead of jumping from job to job, why not take some time to set your own life vision. Not sure how to do this? Don’t worry, Ama La Vida is here to help you! To learn more about our coaching packages click here. We can’t wait to help you formulate your life goals!
So, is it time to start that job search? If this article resonated with you, it is because you are ready for that next step. Whether it is gathering the courage to ask for a promotion, or taking the time to explore your own values and life goals, or jumping right into that next job search, we are here to help you. Don’t wait to make that next step, book a free consult with Ama La Vida now!