How do you know when it’s time to leave your job? We all want to be happy if we have to work, right? It’s miserable when you are undervalued, overworked, or flat out underpaid. Why do we tend to stay at a job that we are unhappy? For me, it’s been that I didn’t want to exert the time and energy toward looking for a new job. Also, knowing the level of poor treatment and dysfunction was form of certainty for me. Somehow I always seemed to justify staying in bad situations.
Over the years I’ve had some really horrible supervisors that has made the work environment toxic and very challenging to thrive. Some of the jobs I’ve had were a bad fit. Then there was a conflict with various personalities of the people on the staff or team.
From my research I have identified six signs that you need to leave your job and change what you’re doing. Sadly, so many professionals stay stuck in complete denial about these six signs, because they’re just too scared to take action, until the unbearable happens and forces them to consider a new path.
The six signs that you should leave your job or change directions are:
1: You’re not happy with the work
If you are not happy with the bulk of what you do, it’s time for a change. There will always be things we prefer not to do on a job or even being self-employed or running a business. Someone that is really good at sales might not enjoy the paperwork. You might be excellent at what you do and really enjoy it, but hate filling out timesheets. If it’s a small percentage of what you do every day that you don’t like, that’s reasonable and to be expected. However, if the majority of the time, are you feeling unhappy, depressed, thwarted, bored, misunderstood, mistreated, then you might need to make a change. There could also be a problem if you feel the “real you” can’t come out, and the way you love to work isn’t honored or respected. Do you wonder how you ever ended up here, and fantasize daily about doing something very different?
2: The environment is highly toxic, including your boss and peers
Your job isn’t just about the functions and tasks you perform every day. It’s also about connections that you have or don’t have at work.
Your experience is shaped by a myriad of other factors including:
• Your supervisor, peers, teammates, and the leadership dynamic of the organization
• The culture of how your workplace treats all of its human resources
• The outcomes that the company is driving toward, and whether you respect and support these outcomes
• The growth you can achieve in your role
• The ability to collaborate
• And finally, the cohesiveness of your work style
Once you take a look at all the dimensions of your job and the organization, you will be able to see more clearly your role, your ability to navigate the organization, and better predict your future happiness at your organization to determine whether to leave or not.
3: The job is not a good fit
Sometimes you are really good at doing something that you hate doing. Other times, you really like the idea of doing a particular job, but you’re not good at it. What a lot of people don’t understand is that the skills that you possess are not at all the same as the natural talents and abilities that you enjoy using each day. In other words, you may be great at ledgers and income statements but in reality, you may actually hate balancing them. What we’re good at is not the same as what we love doing. If your job forces you to use skills that aren’t enjoyable or easy for you, you’ll be miserable and drained every day in your job.
4: You believe there is something more for you
If you have reoccurring feelings or something nagging you to pursue something greater, then it might be a sign that you are meant for something more. Sometimes we are in jobs or situations to learn from experiences. We need to take those skills and move to the next thing.
If you feel you’re made for more exciting things, then you are. The challenge might be that you have to find a way to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be. Another challenge might be to have the courage to take the leap. This certainly is not easy especially when you have a lot of financial responsibility. Your dream might not pay that much in the beginning or even in the long run. That’s a decision you might have to make.
5: Your work feels meaningless or negative to you
I use to have a job where I had to lie to fulfill my sales quota. I worked there for almost two years. Those were the most challenging two years of my career because I had to compromise my morals and beliefs. Every day I was going against what I knew was right. I didn’t start off lying, but to reach my quota and to have success in the company, I learned that deception was what others were doing and they got rewarded for it.
6: You are experiencing bullying or other forms of abuse at work
If you are being harassed or bullied, it’s definitely time to make a change. That change can be in a new position or maybe you stand up to the bully, but something has to give. Read this article to understand the signs of bullying.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
• Do I love what I’m working on and do I feel it has value?
• Is the environment I work in toxic?
• Do I believe in what I’m doing?
• Is this a good fit for me?
• Does my work support my values and beliefs?
• Am I being harassed or bullied at work?
You can’t thrive or succeed if you are not happy with the work. Nor can you be your best working in a toxic environment where you don’t believe in what your organization is putting out in the world, or how they’re doing it. You simply cannot succeed if you subconsciously oppose what your employer stands for in the world. You absolutely won’t be your best if you are being harassed or bullied.
If any of these signs strike a chord for you, it’s time to make a change. The key question isn’t “Will you?” but “When will you finally honor what you know to be true about yourself?”