How can I tell if it’s time for a new job?
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re stuck in a rut or unhappy at work. According to business insider, an average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime – roughly 30%. This is far too long to be unhappy for, so if you’re feeling down every morning and dread the office, it could be time for a change.
The first step is to evaluate your current position. Why aren’t you enjoying your role anymore, and is there anything specific that’s making you miserable? Sometimes a person or a particular project is getting you down, and in these cases a discussion with your boss could resolve your issue.
All jobs go through busy and stressful periods, so if you’re in the middle of a rush and feeling the pressure it may be best to look at how you can combat stress at work. The feeling of dread could subside when the pressure eases slightly, and it’ll be easier to remember all the reasons you took your job in the first place! We all feel a little pressure at some point in our working lives, and it’s important not to mistake this for being unhappy in your role. In fact, dealing with pressure or stressful situations and remaining calm is a fantastic skill to have, so learning how to work in these situations and remain upbeat is a great development opportunity.
If you’re not in the middle of a particularly demanding period, then it is also worth considering your work-life balance. If you find yourself stuck in an unbreakable cycle of work-sleep-work-sleep then your perspective can become distorted and you can start to feel stressed and harried. It’s so important to take care of yourself both mentally and physically, and this means taking some time before or after work to relax and unwind. If you find yourself feeling depressed about work because you’re spending too much time there and your to do list is overwhelming, a discussion with your boss about prioritising your workload could fix this. Having a clear set of priorities and some support could be all that you need to remember why you took your job.
If you’ve tried fixing your stress levels and work-life balance and still get that sinking feeling as soon as you wake up – then chances are your role simply isn’t right for you anymore. It could be that the people around you have changed, you could have outgrown the role and need a new challenge, or you could want to move industries altogether. The warning signs will be there though, and you’ll know if you aren’t fully invested in your current employer.
Once you’ve come to this realisation it’s important to stop and think before you make any rash decisions. You’ll want to establish exactly what happened in your job to make you want to leave – mainly so that you can make sure you don’t end up in the same position again. Whilst it would be fantastic to win the lottery and never have to work, most of us aren’t so lucky and we still have financial responsibilities. Make sure that when you’re looking for a new position you do it at home and keep your job search completely separate from work. You’ll still need references from your current employer, so don’t leave on a bad note!
Take your time polishing up your CV, and finding some examples of the sort of job you’d like. This way when you’re ready to start applying for new positions, you’ll have a clear idea of what you’re looking for as well as what you should avoid.