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When is it Time to Change Jobs? 8 Signs to Look for Something New

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When Sunday evening hits, how do you feel? Do those Sunday blues get to you and the thought of work on Monday mornings fills you with dread? Maybe you feel completely indifferent, or perhaps your anxiety is already off the scale. If you’re questioning your value at work, it’s completely normal to wonder if what you’re doing is right for you. So, how do you figure out if you need a holiday or a complete change of scenery and a new job? 

8 Signs it’s Time to Change Jobs 

You spend one-third of your life working. That’s the equivalent of about 90,000 hours. It’s important to find somewhere you feel valued and satisfied for your own sanity. Your job can have a massive impact on your quality of life. While it’s normal to experience work stress from time to time, if you feel yourself aching for a change, you can take action no matter how daunting it may be.  

If you find yourself thinking about another career or things at work are becoming unbearable, it could be a sign it’s time to change jobs. Looking for a new opportunity doesn’t need to be negative; it can be exciting. It’s normal to move on when it feels right for you. Here are eight signs that it may be time to change jobs. 

Toxic Work Culture 

Between April and September 2021, more than 24 million Americans quit their jobs, an all-time high. This has now become known as the Great Resignation. To better understand why people leave a job, a team of researchers evaluated millions of online employee profiles. It’s easy to think that pay or work/life balance fuelled decisions, but actually, the biggest factor that led people to quit was a toxic work culture. It’s ten times more important than pay. In the analysis published in MIT Sloan Management Review, a toxic work culture included the following: 

You’ve Stopped Learning 

If learning opportunities start to disappear or become non-existent, it can make you feel stagnant. Picking up new skills and learning about your industry keeps your work fresh and interesting. Even if you don’t love a new topic, it’s still an opportunity to move forward and potentially work on exciting projects. If you find yourself no longer learning at work and you’re getting bored, ask yourself why. Maybe you know everything about your current role, and the opportunity to learn isn’t there anymore. 

You’re Ready to Try Something New 

You know that feeling when something starts to light a fire underneath you? Sometimes it’s hard to admit that you have outgrown a role or company. But all those skills and challenges you’ve overcome mean that you’re ready to try something new. You owe it to yourself to follow your intuition. 

Your Health is Suffering 

Tirrell Degannes, Psy.D, licensed clinical psychologist, says that “if a person is experiencing signs of burnout from their job without any sign of relief, that can be a major indicator” someone should leave their job. 

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. If you feel constantly stressed out, helpless and exhausted, you’re likely on the road to burnout. When you feel like you can’t meet the constant demands of your job, you start to lose interest and motivation. While many people have days where they feel overwhelmed or under pressure, if you feel like this all the time, it’s a problem. Emotional and physical signs of burnout include: 

No Future Opportunities 

Career advancement and opportunities for growth play a big role in whether people stay at a job or not. A great employer knows that future career advancement is important in retaining employees. Statistics show that 68% of employees have changed jobs because of a lack of learning and opportunities. You’re not alone in thinking that it’s a deal-breaker.  

You Daydream About Quitting 

Fantasizing about quitting your job is probably more common than you think. Who doesn’t think about jetting off to the Bahamas indefinitely? But it doesn’t mean that you have to call it quits abruptly. Instead, think about why you want to leave. If it’s toxic work culture and unmanageable workload, it’s difficult to fix those things. However, if there’s an opportunity to progress in your career by signing up for a new training program, that could be an option. 

You Don’t Feel Valued 

It’s an awful feeling to put your heart and soul into a job for your efforts to go completely unnoticed. When you feel unheard and unvalued in the workplace, it’s tough to be productive, avoid distractions at work, and stay focused. Whether it’s a lack of gratitude, support, compensation, or boundaries, not feeling valued can take on different forms. If this is the case and nothing is changing, it could be a sign to look for a new job. 

You Feel Unhappy More and More 

Do you feel happy and satisfied at work? While some days can be frustrating if you generally feel positive about your work, that’s a good thing. But if you find yourself feeling more and more unhappy at work, it can take a toll on your health. 

Think about the different elements of your job, like your workload. Dr. Tirrel Degannes says, “if you are working far more or less than you would like to, you may not be where you'd like to be long term.” The journey to looking for a new position requires a lot of self-reflection, so be honest with yourself about what you want and where you want to be. 

Ready for a New Job? What to Do Next 

If you’re at the point where you’re thinking you’re overworked and nothing is changing, or maybe you can’t go any further in your current job, it could be time to look for a new opportunity. Before you quit on the spot, a great place to start is trying to improve your current work situation. But if nothing is helping, there is absolutely no shame in switching jobs, though there may be fear. 

Dr. Tirrell Degannes suggests that if you're ready to quit, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are all the factors contributing to leaving your job?
  2. What features do you like about your job, and what would you want to carry over to another job?
  3. Where would you transition to that has most of these features and few of those you dislike?

Grab a pen and paper, answer these questions and be honest with yourself. Think carefully about what you want. Although quitting may not be an immediate option, this is a great starting place. From here, you can start to seek opportunities that align with your wants and needs. 

Interests and goals naturally change over time. You’re likely a different person from who you were ten, maybe even five years ago. There’s no shame in deciding that you’re done and ready for a big change. You owe it to yourself to find something that you enjoy doing. If it sounds like you’re ready to look for a new job, start exploring your options. While a new job can be daunting, it can also be exciting and open a new world of opportunities. 

If you’re experiencing burnout and find it difficult to be productive at work, the compassionate therapists at the Thriving Center of Psychology can help you to navigate your emotions through such a big life transition. 

For expert help from a mental health professional, contact one of our offices in New York, Florida, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon, or schedule an online appointment.

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