“No reason to stay is a good reason to go.”
Do you remember in The Devil Wears Prada when Anne Hathaway decides she’s finally done with her job and she throws her cell phone into a Paris water fountain?
She’d rather quit her job than work one more minute for her fashion editor.
For some of us, it’s not always that black and white.
When I was in college, I was a server at a restaurant. At about 6 months in, I moved up to become the operations director. But…something didn’t feel right.
I got my new position, shouldn’t it be better?
I took on more duties, worked more hours, dealt with work outside of work, handled more stress…but my wages did not reflect that.
As if that wasn’t a glowing sign enough for me to move on, my boss didn’t make it any better.
The thing is, I actually enjoyed the job itself. And I loved my coworkers. So every time I thought about leaving, I reminded myself it’d be easier to stay than start over.
And, I didn’t want to take the time to find another job.
The truth is, sometimes the signs are there but we just don’t recognize them. Sometimes we know we need to move on but we have an excuse not to.
Could this be you?
Let’s find out!
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1 | You Dread Going To Work.
If going out for your lunch break feels like you’ve just been let out of jail, then this is absolutely the most definite sign that you’re in need of a change.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly normal to have stress related to the job itself.
However, if you sincerely dread those eight hours, it can be a good indication that it’s time to quit your job and find something better.
Here’s a list of common (and perfectly valid) reasons you might have for dreading going into work:
You’ve got the boss from hell.
The old saying goes: people don’t quit a job, they quit a boss.
Your boss’ demeanor doesn’t just affect your time at work; it rolls over into other important aspects of your life.
I once had a business professor tell my class, “Just because you’re a manager, doesn’t mean you know how to manage people.” This really resonated with me.
If you’ve tried everything to survive and your work-life still sucks, then it’s time to pay your favorite job board a visit!
The company culture isn’t a good fit for you.
For example, if you wish for a flexible, work-from-home situation, but you find yourself stranded at a typical nine-to-five job, you will probably never be content no matter how much you like other aspects of your job.
Also, you’ll never find yourself reaching your productivity potential.
So if you’ve attempted – and failed – to arrange a schedule that works better for you, consider jobs at other companies that are willing to be more flexible.
You vent often about your job.
Think about your most common conversations. Do your conversations regularly fall back to grumbling about coworkers, your boss, or about the job itself?
This not only affects you, but it affects the people around you who have to regularly head about your workplace woes. This brings me to number 2…
2 | Your Friends and Family Comment on The Fact That You Hate Your Job
Take it from the people who know you best. The people we spend the most amount of our time with tend to be more perceptive to our emotional well-being than we think.
While we may think we just happen to be in a not-so-great mood today because the printer isn’t working, our friends will pick up on the fact that we’ve been venting about our job every single time we see them.
First things first – don’t get defensive if they bring it up.
Most likely, they’re not complaining about the fact that you’ve been venting – they’re probably just sincerely concerned about you investing all your time into a job you dislike!
But, make sure that if you’re complaining about the job you dislike, you’re also actively trying to do something about it!
Related: 25 Career Tips Nobody Tells You
3 | Wages Stay Stagnant
Another year has passed, and you didn’t get a raise. It started as a single year without a pay raise. Then it was no raise in 2 years, then no raise in 3 years.
What’s going on?
You may be doing great work, but you’re still not getting the raise you deserve. You know it’s possible to get a raise because some of your colleagues have gotten it.
But it’s just not happening for you. Well, when is it even appropriate?
Your skills improve your productivity increases, but still no raise.
Maybe it’s time for your performance review, and you’re anticipating a raise.
You enter the meeting with your manager prepared with a mental list of reasons of why you deserve a wage bump—including the extra responsibilities you’ve taken on since a coworker left her job, the extra shifts you’ve picked up, and the consistently positive feedback you’ve received about your performance from customers and coworkers.
With the valid reasons you’ve collected, you’re confident that you’ve got it in the bag.
But as the meeting comes to an end, you’re only left with a pat on the back.
Whether it’s this scenario or something along these lines, you need to start evaluating your next step.
Hours increase, wages stay the same.
At many jobs, you’re asked to work more without getting a raise.
This could mean that there’s a vacant position being filled or maybe a colleague has a leave of absence for unintended reasons.
When this happens for a couple of days or even a couple of weeks, it may not be a big issue.
However, if you invest months working longer shifts without proper compensation, it’s either time to negotiate for a raise or move on.
You’re having to take work home with you.
If you’re anything like me, you really value your work-life balance.
However, if you are counting down the hours until you can go home, only to be disturbed by work at home, it’s likely that you are ready to search for something else.
Once upon a time, I was a director of operations at a restaurant.
Often times, I found myself frustrated and annoyed by the number of text messages and e-mails I received outside of work. Especially since I was paid hourly and not salary!
If there was one thing I learned from this, it was that working while you are not on the clock is not a requirement.
4 | You’re Overqualified And There’s Little Room For Growth.
There are instances when we feel like we must take substandard jobs just to get by, but if you’re in a job that you are overqualified for, don’t allow it to make you feel stuck.
If you’ve looked for opportunities to advance and realize they aren’t many, stay on alert for other positions that better fit your skills.
Also, don’t be afraid to have some faith in yourself when it comes to applying for other jobs.
According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review, men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.
So why is it that women only feel comfortable going after an opportunity once we’ve checked off everything on the list?
Just because we don’t have a ton of experience related to a certain qualification, doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t learn to kick ass doing it.
Chances are if we find a job that better suits our skills, we will feel much more fulfilled.
Why would we waste our time and energy for a company that won’t encourage the advancement of our careers?
Especially when it could end up foiling our career development in the long run.
5 | You’re Getting Contacted About Other Opportunities
What’s the most intimidating part of starting a new job search?
It’s not knowing if you’ll find one.
Putting yourself out there can be time-consuming and scary, and it’s all too simple to persuade yourself that you’re stuck where you’re at.
But, invest some time to figure out your current situation.
Are there currently plenty of open jobs in your desired industry and career field? Even better, have you been getting contacted by hiring managers and recruiters?
If you answered yes to those questions, then you owe it to yourself to see what’s out there.
As a starting point, I always recommend creating a LinkedIn page.
Recruiters and headhunters scan this site like crazy, and chances are you’ll be surprised when you realize how many people are looking for your skills and qualifications.
It never hurts to discuss new opportunities with potential employers.
Once you realize there’s more out there to offer you, it’ll make your decision to leave a little bit easier!
Even if you don’t dislike your job, it never hurts to look for better opportunities.
Formerly, when I was the Director of Operations for a restaurant, I learned that the best employees leave first. Why?
Because they can.
They find better opportunities and they go after them. Let that be you.
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