Dread going to work? Feeling run down? Think your job is going nowhere? These are all signs that you’re ready to move on to a new stage of your career.
There’s a difference between dreading Monday morning and absolutely hating your job. The former usually clears up by lunchtime, but the latter can be all-consuming.
If one or more of these 10 signs relate to you, then it may be time to start thinking about what you want to do next.
#1 You have zero motivation
Are you frequently late? If so, do you care about the repercussions? Do you find yourself becoming bored as soon as you’re in the door? Do you spend more time checking your personal social media than actually working? Are you constantly watching the clock?
If this sounds like you, you should consider moving on. Work should be challenging but it should also be fulfilling, so stop wishing the hours of your day away and make a change!
#2 You’re always ill
Stress takes its toll on the body and if you’re constantly run down it could be your body’s way of telling you that you need to slow down and reevaluate.
This kind of fatigue can include insomnia, your skin breaking out, changes in your weight and feelings of anxiety or panic. If you think your job is hurting your health it might be time to move on. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
#3 You’re already looking elsewhere
Are you constantly searching on recruitment sites? Have you got your CV bang up to date and a draft resignation letter written? We all have a look at what else is out there from time to time, but if you’re actively searching for other jobs and opportunities then you’ve probably already mentally checked out of work.
If you’re already thinking about your next move, then you’re unlikely to be focused on doing a good job so staying put is detrimental to both you and your employer. You’re doing nobody any favours by lingering when it’s time to go - keep searching for something better!
#4 You spend too much time at work
Are you always the first in and the last to leave? Are you missing out on spending quality time with your friends and family? It’s great to be committed to your job but if you feel like it's consuming your whole life, it’s probably for the best that you get out.
Having a healthy work-life balance is so important for your mental and physical health. Make sure the next stage of your career allows you to work to live, not live to work.
#5 You’re being underpaid
Think you’re not getting paid what you’re worth? If you’ve researched the market rate for your job and it’s more than what you’re on, then you should speak to your employer about getting a raise. If they refuse and it’s clear they won’t budge, you might want to think about moving on.
Staying in a job that’s not paying you what you’re worth can make it harder to close the gap later on, meaning you could end up earning far less than your peers later in your career. Whilst money isn’t everything, you’ll feel more valued if you’re appropriately recompensed and it can take away other causes of stress like worrying over the bills each month.
#6 You don’t feel valued
As an adult, you shouldn’t expect a constant stream of praise from your boss, but it is nice to be thanked for good work and feel like your contribution is valued. If you feel taken for granted, it might be time to take your hard work elsewhere.
Employers that value their staff reward them with more than just their pay, they invest in their skills development. If you don’t think your employer is willing to help you develop as a professional, then it’s probably not worth carrying on working for them. You’ll never be able to progress in your career if you’re not given the chance to grow and develop.
#7 Promotion is never on the table
If your current role isn’t challenging you anymore it’s an indication that you might be ready for a promotion. If your boss continuously passes you over for promotion or there’s a lack of available opportunities for you then you should consider looking elsewhere.
You don’t want to feel stuck in a job that’s going nowhere, so leaving can be your best option. If you work in an industry that’s slim on opportunities to progress across the board, it might be time to consider changing lanes.
#8 Your role has changed for the worse
If changes to your responsibilities at work have happened subtly and over a long period of time, you might look around one day and realise that your role has completely changed since you started. This isn’t always a bad thing as it may have allowed you to discover your hidden talents.
However, if you feel you’ve been pushed into taking on tasks which you don’t enjoy or are not in line with your long-term career goals then it's perfectly reasonable to consider moving on. Take some time to consider what you want to be doing and make a plan for your next steps.
#9 The work environment is toxic
Do you enjoy the environment you work in? If it’s filled with hostility and poor communication, then probably not. Bad feeling and a lack of clear processes and communication between departments and team members can sap your motivation.
This can be reason enough to leave, but if things turn worse and you become aware of any illegal activity of any kind, you should head for the door. If you stay and this activity is uncovered, you risk damage to your career and your reputation whether you’ve been directly involved or not.
#10 Staff turnover is high
High staff turnover is usually a sign that something’s not quite right with a company. There are many different reasons that people leave, but if you’ve noticed that talented employees are frequently heading for the door you might want to consider why.
If it feels like every other week there’s a leaving do then it’s definitely time to look more critically at the company and to look at what else is available elsewhere.
Ready to move on? Here’s how to get prepared.
If you decide that it’s time to leave your current job, then it’s important that you have a plan in place. Take some time to think about what you really want. Ask yourself if it’s just the company or if it’s the industry as a whole that you’re turned off by. Would you feel any differently if you were doing the same job at another organisation?
If you feel like you’d be happier at another company then it’s time to dust off your CV and get applying. Hold off on handing in your notice as it’s usually best to have another job offer in place first - you could end up putting yourself under financial strain if you leave without a new job secured.
If you discover that you’re no longer feeling the love for the industry in general, it might be time to change your field completely. Changing careers can feel like a mammoth task and it's a big step to take, but it will be worth it in the long run to have a career that you’re invested in rather than a job that pays the bills.
Online professional qualifications are an effective and flexible way to make the transition into a new industry. They teach you the practical skills and knowledge you’ll need to break into a new sector whilst still giving you plenty of time to keep working to support yourself.
Committing to studying a professional qualification shows future employers that you’re passionate about your new field and are willing to invest your time and money in learning new skills. Plus, in some industries like HR, they can often be more highly valued than university degrees.
You might find there are other requirements for your new career such as GCSEs or A Levels that you don’t have, but don’t let this hold you back. Plenty of people resit GCSEs in later life and go on to great success - just ask Alex and David who become teachers!
The thing to remember is not to let fear of the unknown hold you back from moving on, especially when the alternative is staying in a job that’s going nowhere, makes you miserable and is harming your health!