Taking everything into consideration, on a scale of 1-10, how happy are you with your job? If you answered 7 or less, you probably need to find a new job right now. Yes, really.
Sound drastic? Think about it. Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our families. If we devote a huge proportion of time to a job we don’t thoroughly enjoy, we’re not going to be happy in our personal lives, either. With 70% of the workforce in the US unhappy in their work, too many people are down in the “disses” – dissatisfied, disgruntled, disengaged. There’s a whole spectrum of disses.
Yes, job hunting is hard. If you’re unhappy at work, you might come home drained, with no energy for anything other than TV and bourbon. Or, you don’t want to give up any family or workout time. Or, you may think your job isn’t THAT bad. The timing for job hunting is never right. Job searching is like having a baby; if you wait till the timing is perfect it probably won’t ever happen.
If you put it off, though, keeping a job that’s a 7 or less will bite you in the butt eventually. Here are seven signs you need to find a new job right now.
Your career is stagnant enough to breed mosquitoes. People enjoy work best when there is a balance between boredom and anxiety. If you do most of your work on autopilot, you’re eventually going to be so bored you won’t have the energy to grow. You know what happens to stuff that doesn’t grow.
Your work is a constant fire drill, but you’re not a firefighter. Constantly on high-alert, you work in a world where everything is an emergency because of poor planning or lack of knowledge. Maybe it’s your employer, who never created any systems. Maybe it’s you and you’re in over your head. Fix it if you can, or go be successful someplace else.
You’re not learning any new tricks. If you keep learning new tricks, you’ll never be an old dog. The converse is also true. Learn new skills, stay current. If your current company won’t invest in your learning, that’s a red flag. Find one that will.
The company you loved has been merged out of existence. Great companies are sold, acquired, or merge with other entities with vastly different cultures. When rumors of layoffs replace celebrations of success, you may find that the job you once loved doesn’t work so well for you anymore, like a car that has started to break down. You didn’t quit your job, but it quit you.
Your company went all workaholic on you. You’re a hard worker, and you’re happy to do what it takes when it’s necessary, but it started being necessary too often. Your days off disappear with disturbing regularity. You eat pizza at your desk for dinner. Yes, occasional overtime is a reality in almost any job, but it’s a huge red flag when company awards regularly go to those who work the longest hours and give up the most personal time.
The culture doesn’t fit you. The company may have been highly rated, but not all great companies are great for everyone. If you find yourself continually chafing at practices that are baked in to the company, such as policies that are too loose or too strict, decision making that seems too slow or too fast, interactions that are too formal or too casual – it might be like those jeans that just didn’t fit. Great for someone else, but not you. Go find the right fit, you’ll feel and look better.
You’ve been there more than five years. Huh? Isn’t that a good thing? Not necessarily. Not only do people change jobs more often, companies change owners more often too. Your chances of staying with the same company for many years are very slim. As a long-timer, if you do find yourself caught in a layoff, the job search can be much harder. Prospective employers may think you are inflexible and set in your ways, or can only do one job. Read #1 again and then decide if staying or moving on is best for you.
People who work for award-winning companies are more likely to rate their jobs an “8” or better. Why? Because these companies invest time, energy and resources in building strong company cultures. As a result, people are happier. Find yourself in better company by checking out Arizona’s best employers. Then subscribe to our BestCareers newsletter to get the latest career opportunities and job search tips in your inbox twice a month.
About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.