Whether the role just isn’t quite what you expected or you’re ready to spread your wings for bigger and better things, there are many reasons you may want to leave the job you’re in. Sometimes however, the signs may not be so clear, with many people sticking out a crummy career much longer than they should. To help us recognise what we should and shouldn’t be putting up with we reached out to Managing Director of Personal Career Management , Corinne Mills , who says there’s no time like the present when it comes to being happy at work.
“If you’re clear about what you want, get your CV up and running, send it off and start networking. If your not so clear or your confidence has taken a knock, perhaps work with a career coach to help you brainstorm and plan. The good news is, if you’re in a job already, there’s no financial urgency so you can take time to research new roles thoroughly.
“Talk to as many people as you can and don’t panic - you don’t have to move until you find the perfect job for you. Even if you’re fairly happy where you are, it’s always a good idea to be thinking ahead and planning for the future - if you ever feel like your future isn’t where you’re based, don’t wait around - start taking action.” Here are Corinne’s top eight signs that suggest it’s time for you to take measures to move on.
1. When you’re experiencing daily dread
“If on a sunday evening you are absolutely dreading going into work, then this is telling you something important,” says Corinne.“Most people suffer from the Sunday night blues, but there’s a clear difference between simply craving a longer weekend and the thought of your workplace actually making you unhappy. Learn to tell the difference and listen to your gut instinct - if it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.”
2. If unreasonable requests are a common occurrence
“Every now and then we are all expected to go the extra mile and work late or receive a late night phone call,” says Corinne. “However, if your workplace is routinely making unreasonable demands and projecting expectations that are ridiculous then a boundary has been shifted and it will soon become an unhealthy environment. When this happens, your work is no longer a commitment but also an imposition and it’s time to leave.”
3. If your future looks flat
“Ask yourself if you would be happy to be at your current workplace in three years time,” says Corinne. “If the resounding thought-process is ‘no!’ then you need to start doing something about it now. You should always be thinking about the future and how you can progress, and if that isn’t where you are now, then don’t waste time and move on to greener pastures.”
4. When your confidence gets a kicking
“If you feel your confidence is ebbing away, either because of a bullying boss or sniping colleague, you need to leave because this toxic environment will only bring you down. Ironically, Corinne says, “when your confidence takes a battering, it can in fact make you stay at that workplace longer than you otherwise would because you feel you wouldn’t do well anywhere else - so try not to fall into this trap.”
5. If your skills are seeping
“Sometimes workplaces hold onto old systems or archaic forms of practise that can mean your skill set isn’t developing or progressing in any way. As a result you can start to lose your employability as you’re out of date with current or more modern styles - making you less applicable and transferable to future jobs. If if it feels like you’re falling behind the times then it’s best to find a job where you’ll pick up more useful tips.”
6. If you’re working with a resident psychopath
“In every workplace or even community there are always nasty or unreasonable people and although you may try to use your best strategies and interpersonal skills, some people will simply never change,” says Corinne. “If their behaviour is either sabotaging you or making you unhappy then you’re better to cut your losses and start afresh elsewhere. Get out of their sights and focus on yourself.”
7. When the job itself has a culture of bullying
“Sometimes it’s the work environment not the individual people that can affect how you feel. Big companies in certain industries can sometimes operate with a high level of pressure or intimidating techniques - and eventually you may find you yourself changing and starting to adopt their unfavourable characteristics to stay afloat. If this happens you may want to stop and think about who you want to be as an individual and whether the job you’re in is worth going through personal changes for.”
8. When a bad boss strikes
“If you get a new boss and you don’t hit it off, this could be the beginning of a very bad situation,” says Corinne. “Even if you’re doing a great job, if the person in charge doesn’t like you, it probably won’t be long before they find a reason to get rid of you. So, again, you may be better off cutting your losses, dusting off your CV and looking elsewhere - there are some battles you just simply can’t win.”