“You’re still at the same company, right?” your cousin asks as the holiday meal is being cleared away. “How are you liking it?”
Quick, what’s your answer?
As we stand at the cusp of a new year, it’s only natural to look forward to what next year will bring – especially with questions like these coming from those relatives we only see once a year.
How do you like your job? Is it still engaging and rewarding? Is it starting to drag a bit? Be honest: has it actually been dragging for a few years now?
If you’re head over heels for what you do for a living, cheers! But if you’re starting to feel stagnant, read on for six signs that it’s time to call it quits.
1. You hate your job
This should be a no brainer – you complain about work to anyone who will listen, your stomach clenches in anxiety whenever you walk through that door, and you live for the weekends. Whatever the reason, your job makes you feel dead inside and the stress has started to steal the joy out of your evenings and weekends, too.
If you’re starting to rejoice over dentist appointments because they give you an excuse to come in late, it’s time to start looking for something new.
2. You’re not getting a raise (or it’s not enough)
There’s substantial benefit to your personal bottom line if you switch jobs, moving up and increasing your skills (and paycheck) each time. The average raise most employees get is around 3% – which turns out to be just barely keeping its head above the current inflation rate. Money isn’t everything, and you may be in your job as a labor of love more than anything. But if you’ve been denied a real raise even though you’re doing good work, it may be time to start looking for a company who values your skills.
3. You’re not moving up
You’ve been waiting years for a management position to come available, but in the overall pecking order you’re still behind three other candidates with more seniority. If you want a promotion, you may have to look outside the box (of your office) to find it. The hard truth is that many organizations don’t have the infrastructure they need to nurture each employee’s career, meaning that although you’ve earned your stripes and are more than qualified for a promotion, there’s nowhere to promote you to.
Read more: The Pros and Cons of Job Hopping
4. You’re not engaged
Most of us aren’t going to love every minute of our jobs, but if you spend most of your work time bored, frustrated, or totally disengaged then that’s a bad sign. The truth of the matter is that if you’re not engaged, you’re probably not doing good work for the company, which catches you in a downward spiral of apathy, poor performance, lack of opportunities, and more apathy.
Sometimes this can be fixed without moving jobs – you may just need to figure out what it is about your job that’s sapping your engagement, and talk to your boss about ways to fix that. But if you’ve just gotten burned out on the industry, your position, or the organization, it may be time to change things up.
5. You’re not being valued
Maybe you’re the opposite of disengaged – you’re working insane hours, giving your all to every project. You’ve been doing a stellar job at every task you’re assigned, and in any other office you’d be the star…. But for some reason no one at your current job seems to notice. Your missed your kid’s latest recital to fix that crisis your boss threw at you last minute, and you never even got a “thank you!” It’s time to move on.
6. You’re not being challenged
When’s the last time you learned a new skill at work? When did you last take on a new project? If you’ve fallen into the rut of doing the same tasks over and over again with no change, it’s time to challenge yourself. Sometimes you may be able to find that challenge within your current position or organization – but if you’ve reached the borders of what you’ll be able to do at your current job, start looking for opportunities elsewhere. A career, like a shark, needs to keep swimming forward to live!