It is no longer the norm in this generation to begin a career in the mail room and retire 35 years later as one of the top managers. People change jobs often and for any number of reasons. Leaving a job can be a difficult decision especially if you have a strong sense of loyalty to a company or you are dependent on the salary and benefits they offer.
If you are thinking of leaving, here are six signs it might be time to look for another job.
In an ideal world everyone would do what they love and get paid for it. For some, that’s simply not the case. They needed work and they took a job. The hope is that most people would learn to like things about their job and would do it to the best of their ability until they got promoted or something else better came along. Apathy is different. Apathy creeps in when you’ve been in a job too long and you no longer care.
Signs you may be feeling apathetic include:
- Total lack of stress even during difficult periods of work.
- Checking out either physically or emotionally (web surfing, long lunches, coming in late).
- Not caring about the general well being of the company or if reports get done on time.
2. Glass Ceiling
We all know it’s illegal to hold certain demographics back from choice jobs but we know it happens anyway. I’ve heard many a woman discuss how hard it is to get promoted during her fertile years until she announced quite openly that she was done with having children and her work would always come first. In other companies, you only have a chance at a top role if you’re over or under a specific age. No one will admit this but you can be pretty sure you’ve hit the class ceiling if you notice no one else in your demographic has ever made it higher than you currently are or if you hear the subtle comments, “We thought of you for this role but you have young kids and there is too much travel.” This one was said to me. I wanted to shout, “You have no right to decide for me what is best for my family. That is my choice to make!”. I didn’t. Instead I calmly explained that in the future I’d like to be considered if something like that ever came up again.
The glass ceiling can also happen in small companies where there is only so far you can go and only so much money that can be earned. At some point you may have to decide that you can stay at this level for life or it’s time to move on to something else.
Boredom can relate to the glass ceiling. If you’ve made it as high as you can go and you’ve been doing the same thing for years with no opportunity for growth, it can be extremely disheartening. In truth, this is why I was so ready to leave my last job. I had hit the class ceiling. The only women in management roles were empty nesters. I had been with the same company for 12 years and in the same position for 6 of those years. I did my job well but I simply wasn’t using my quota of brain cells in a day. It had lost its challenge and when I suggested further training and specialization, I was told there wasn’t money in the budget and maybe in another 5 years. The thought of doing the same thing for 5 more years had me thinking there might be something else for me somewhere.
4. Emotional Leakage
Getting angry at your spouse? Yelling at your kids? Taking your work frustrations out on the dog? If the emotional baggage you are bringing home from work is leaking into your home life on a regular basis, this is a sign that things need to change. Deep seated resentments can take years to form. Cumulative stress compounds and can make your life miserable. There are times in any job where the stress will leak over into other areas of your life. If you are regularly finding yourself stressed out, angry or bitter and it’s consistently leaking into others areas of your life, it’s time to find something else.
Trust is foundational in working relationships. Has something happened that has caused you to mistrust your employer? Do you sense they don’t trust you? I can’t work in a place where mistrust is the default. If managers are constantly looking over my shoulder or checking up on me to make sure I’m doing my job properly, I don’t feel trusted. Yes, trust has to be earned but to last long term in an organization trust has to be there and it needs to go both ways. Some things that can contribute to mistrust include questionable ethics or financial statements, lying, cheating, rage or gossip.
6. A Better Offer
Sometimes a new job opportunity comes out of nowhere. A friend tells you about a job posting at his company. You happen upon a job posting and apply. Careers aren’t like relationships. Looking while still employed is ok. Be open to new opportunities along the way. If you find something better and think it will be a great fit, apply and see where it takes you.
There are many reasons to leave a job. Making the decision to leave is often the hardest part.
What are some of the reasons why you’ve resigned from a job?
Kathryn has been a staff writer for MDJ since January 2009. During the day she works in an office. In her off hours, she volunteers as a financial coach helping ordinary Canadians with the basics of money management. Kathryn, along with her husband and two children live in Ontario.