When It’s Time to Move on from a Job

Years ago, people would accept a job and stay there throughout their whole careers…20, 30, even 40 years. Those days are long gone. I personally think it’s a win if a company can keep an employee for two years or so.

People leave jobs for all kinds of reasons: dislike their boss, commute time, more money/better benefits, lack of growth opportunities, toxic company culture, long hours, and the list goes on. I am one who tends to take charge of my own career and change when I am no longer enjoying my job.

Here are some signs it is time to move onto a new opportunity (and all signs I have felt at a former job):

  1. As soon as you wake up on Sunday, you begin to dread going to work the next day. It actually ruins your day because each hour that passes means you are one hour closer to going back to the office.
  2. You cannot sleep at night because of stress, anxiety, worry, a project that isn’t going well, a meeting you are not looking forward to, etc.
  3. You get a sick feeling in your stomach or an immediate tension headache as soon as you pull into the parking lot.
  4. You work long hours and are meeting your goals, but you receive absolutely no recognition for your work. You may as well be invisible.
  5. You hate your boss. You do not look forward to interactions, meetings, etc. You don’t feel supported or appreciated. He/she may be incompetent in your eyes and you have no idea how they got their job.
  6. You can’t unplug. You are constantly checking e-mails and responding to them in the evening and on weekends. You rarely take your accrued and well-earned vacation time because you know you will come back to such a huge pile of work and that extra catch-up time isn’t worth it.
  7. You are no longer learning or growing. Each day feels like Groundhog Day where you are doing the same tasks over and over. You are not challenged.
  8. There is no upward mobility in the company. So, no matter how hard you work or how much you are killing it in your role, you will never be promoted.
  9. Your personal family life is being affected by your obsession with work. You may be fighting more with your spouse and spending less time with your kids.
  10. You stop taking care of yourself. In my eyes, this is the absolute deal-breaker. You stop exercising, you gain weight, your blood pressure is higher, you aren’t going to the doctor, you aren’t getting enough sleep, and you just feel unhealthy overall.

If you are checking off three or more of the above list items, I’d highly recommend starting your job search. You will find a new opportunity where both you and work/life balance are valued and you will be a much happier and healthier person.