Maybe it’s the adage “new year, new me” that pushes people to make that switch and finally take the next step to a better work-life…But did you know that January is the most popular month for career changes? How do you know when it’s time to move on from your job?
1. You don’t believe in the company’s goals or values
I love the quote in “Eat, Pray, Love” about the Sufi philosopher Rumi who asks his students to write down the three things they wanted most in life. If any of the items on the list clash then Rumi warned you are destined for unhappiness. The same can be applied to your values if they’re at odds with your company values.
We’re not talking about shady dealings necessarily. If your company culture encourages a competitive, cut-throat work environment that you didn’t sign up for then it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities. Is this culture contributing to your success or hindering it? Would you recommend your employer to a friend?
I’m going to go into some shameless self-promotion here but the company values was one of the reasons I joined Jimdo: the belief that I was contributing in some way to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams. It feels good to work for something you believe in and encourages you to give your all.
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2. You hate your job
I’m not talking about a stressful week—we all have those. I mean you really hate your job and everything about it. What do you feel when you wake up on a Monday to go to work? If the answer is somewhere between anger and misery then it’s time to start exploring other options.
This doesn’t necessarily mean outright quitting but you can start looking out for other positions. Subscribe for free to job alerts on Linkedin or Stepstone. Alternatively, if there’s something you always wanted to do like freelancing, blogging or selling your knitted blankets then why not give it a go alongside your job?
3. Your job is affecting your social life
If your first thought is “social life?” What’s that again?” then this one’s for you. Think back, when was the last time you saw your friends or family to go to the cinema or did an activity outside of work? Maybe write down how many hours of overtime you’ve done this week or month.
If your crazy working hours are affecting your work-life balance and leaving you stressed then it’s time to change your game. It’s always good to check in with your supervisor and go through all your tasks with them. Are there tasks that can be automated or given to someone else? If you don’t see your situation changing, consider switching your job.
4. It’s not fun anymore
I have a great example from a friend of mine who knew that the job wasn’t for her anymore once her new boss banned emojis from being used in their Slack channel… If you can’t enjoy your work or company environment then it can be a long 8 hours plus 5 days a week.
If you’re bored at work and aren’t being challenged then you’re not growing in your career. Try asking your supervisor for extra tasks or discuss growing within the company. If you don’t see the situation improving and can’t see any prospects of climbing the ladder then that’s a sure sign to look for something else.
Find out what you love doing and start making a change to incorporate this into your work-life, whether it’s a new career or starting your own business. Fear of change can be scary but great. I love this quote by Jim Rohn to motivate me into action when I’m feeling down: “If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”
5. You’re just doing it for the money
Money is not a bad reason to have a job. For many people, it’s the main reason. But think about it a different way: are you looking at all your options? Keeping in mind your main motivation: money. Why not gain a lot more money and value from your job by starting your own venture and working for yourself? You may even have fun in the process.
Try a small business on the side to test the waters. According to the Office for National Statistics in the UK, the number of self-employed people increased by 70,000 to 4.86 million (15.1% of all people in work) for June to August 2017 compared to the same time last year.
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6. You fear a career change
Most of us aren’t natural risk-takers. We like security and routine but sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to find something you really love. If the only reason you’re staying in your job is security then you have to question what your fears of change are. Try writing down your thoughts then offer solutions to tackle them head-on.
Business and work coach Patricia DiVecchio suggests “Do one thing different every day that you are afraid to do. Keep track of them in a journal. This practice starts to build your ‘risk’ muscle.”
As DiVecchio mentions “fear can be a great motivator, a great teacher.” So go out there and try something new even if it’s just small steps. If you make a mistake you will learn but if you do nothing then there’s nothing to improve upon or learn. So put your Rupert back in his place and start trusting yourself.
Trust your gut! If you’re reading this article you probably suspect that the job you’re in isn’t quite right for you. With more people working for themselves maybe it’s time for you too. Consider your options, whether it’s making money on the side freelancing or just taking the small step of creating a free website.