There’s something to be said for sticking out a difficult situation and “putting in your time” to get where you want to go in your career. But if you’re unhappy, unsatisfied or unsure whether you should stay in your job, it’s time to do some soul searching. Here are seven signs you are ready to move on from your current position:
1. You dislike doing most of your job duties. Even the best job in the world has some not-so-great parts to it, but if just about every aspect of your job makes you sigh deeply, you have to ask yourself whether you’re in the wrong position altogether. Sure, you might be skilled at something, but when you detest doing it (and it’s a large part of your responsibilities), it’s tough to stay motivated.
2. Your stress level is affecting your health. Everyone has taxing days or periods at work, but if a high stress level—due to many factors—is impacting your sleep, relationships and overall health, stop right there. No job is worth permanent damage to your well-being.
3. You’re in a toxic environment. Is your organization marred by a culture of distrust and disrespect? Does your boss belittle you on a regular basis? Do you often feel out of the loop, as though leadership and/or your coworkers are withholding important information from you? A negative workplace can make you miserable—even when you like the work you’re doing.
4. Your values are too different than those of your employer. If you simply do not believe in your organization’s mission or the way they do things, it’s hard to willingly continue going to work each and every day. If you’re struggling to find a reason to work at your company other than the paycheck, it’s time to reevaluate.
5. You are not putting your talents to use. Not every single task you do each day will excite you, but pay attention to how you feel at work: is your mind stimulated? Do you find your work (mostly) interesting? Are you appropriately challenged? If the answer to these questions is no, ask yourself whether your duties have evolved over time as you have grown. Have you earned any kind of certification or acquired new skills (e.g. you’ve taken a class) that you’re not using at all?
6. You’re bored—and there’s no opportunity for upward mobility. Job stagnation is a problem that you could correct with a change to your position or duties. However, if you’ve approached your boss to ask about additional responsibilities or opportunities for advancement and been shot down, it’s a sign you need to look outside your organization for your next role.
7. There’s something in your gut telling you to leave. Don’t ignore feelings of dissatisfaction and misery regarding your job—especially when these sentiments are not new. You just might be meant for something else. Make a plan to find out exactly what that is.
We spend too much time at work to dread going there every day. Have an honest heart-to-heart with yourself about making adjustments, whether that’s switching companies or making a completely different career change. Don’t second-guess it: if you suspect it’s time to start a new chapter—not at your current employer—trust your instincts. It will require taking a leap of faith, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you followed your heart.