10 Signs It’s Time to Look for a New Job

October 2, 2015 Jiordan Castle

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“The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care,” Peter Gibbons says in the movie Office Space, during an interview with 2 men who’ve come to judge which employees are necessary at Initech. Here’s a movie most people consider a slacker comedy about ditching corporate life to do, well, absolutely nothing.

But when he tells the men that he has 8 bosses — “Eight, Bob” — he reveals a critical pain point in corporate life today: “So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation — is not to be hassled. That and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.” Peter wasn’t a loser. He just wanted a better quality of life.

That being said, here are 10 signs it’s time to start looking for a new job.

  • You dread going to work.

You have to force yourself to get up and get ready for work every morning. And all the while, you’re consumed with that Sunday afternoon feeling many of us used to get before the school week began again. Except lately, that feeling lasts all morning, each evening, and most hours between 9 and 5.

  • Your company has gone in a direction you don’t support.

Whether it’s new management, a new mission, a new merger, or something else at the helm nowadays, you’ve lost your enthusiasm for the company.

  • Work is negatively affecting the rest of your life.

Flexibility has become a top job priority in recent years, and a keystone of the future of work. If work stress takes a toll on your health or long hours force you to miss your kid’s art show, it may be time to look for a job that helps facilitate the rest of your life, rather than defining it.

  • You want more money.

A larger paycheck can sometimes be the ticket to greener pastures. But whether you’ve ever loved a low-paying job or hated a high-paying job, you probably know that money isn’t everything. In fact, 30 percent of millennials say a higher salary is the biggest contributor to workplace loyalty, while only 20 percent of the broader workforce feels the same. But if you don’t make enough money to make ends meet or simply want more money, both are signs it may be time to find a new job.

  • You daydream about retirement.

A little bit like daydreaming about winning the lottery, escapism is another sign it’s time to look for a new job. If thoughts of a carefree life nag at you daily, the problem isn’t necessarily working; it’s where you work or what you do there.

  • … And have work-related nightmares.

If your sleeping life has become tainted by realistic (or even unrealistic) work problems, it’s usually a symptom of a greater problem with your job.

  • You don’t get along with your team.

There are over 7 billion people on this planet. You’re not going to be best friends with all of them. But at work, you do have to get along, be respectful, and hopefully even have a good time with your coworkers. If that’s not the case — and if it’s not a case HR can solve — you may need to find a different team or company culture altogether.

  • Your work performance is suffering.

If it’s not that you’re lazy, it’s just that you don’t care, that’s a big problem — one that could cost you a job you may already want to leave. Whether you’re overworked, uninterested, or in the dark as to where to find solutions, these are all possible indicators of a fundamental problem with your job.

  • Your skills aren’t being used.

Whether it’s a bad boss relationship or a generally bad job fit, it’s never a good feeling to have your professional skills go to waste. If your relevant skills are collecting dust, it may be time to take them somewhere else.

  • You’ve been given more responsibilities, but not a promotion.

Sometimes there’s a good reason for this — like if your CMO has recently left and you’re up to bat as interim CMO — but often it’s a sign that you should look elsewhere. Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author, says, “When downsizing has moved your team into double time, but certainly nowhere near double compensation, it may be time to move on.” And if the company is doing well but you’ve seen no change in your compensation, it may be time to leave.

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