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Should I stay or should I go? 6 Signs that it might be time to move on

18 Jun 2014 by Sarah Leembruggen.
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OK, so maybe you’re not a morning person and you need a little time (and caffeine) to clear the early morning fog in your brain.   No need to worry—once you get to the office and see a few friendly faces, you’ll get started on the list of tasks for the day and boom—the motivation will kick in (along with the caffeine).  By the time you leave, you’ll feel satisfied with the way the day went and go home feeling content with your current position.  Or will you?

Do one, two or all of the following six behavioural patterns at work apply to you?  If so, they could be signs that you’re not as happy as you thought you were in your job.  Read on and decide for yourself if the time has come to shake things up a bit.

1. You have no vision

Some employees know when they’ve reached a point where it’s time for a change because they reflect on a regular basis to ensure their job aligns with their long-term goals.  It’s important to be able to visualise where you will be within the company in the future.  If the two are not aligned, it might be time to make adjustments to keep things on track.  Perhaps one of your long-term goals is to work for a large company in a different city.  Why not start looking into relocation?  There’s no harm in having a peek at the housing and job markets in a different neck of the woods.  You might see something really exciting and, more importantly, regain sight of your goals.

2. You lack passion

The feeling you had when you first started working—thinking about all the possibilities and contributions ahead with a sense of glee—is gone.  You now just do the necessary and don’t have the drive to go that extra mile, which make the days a grind.  Before you get to the point where you start to dread going into work, ask yourself where the passion went.  Maybe it will return if you approach your boss and discuss how you can make a greater contribution to the company.  Having new responsibilities could be the answer to your dwindling enthusiasm or it could just be a sign that you’ve outgrown your position and a clean break is on the cards.

3. You’re all work and no play

If you’re putting in a 12-hour shift at the office on a regular basis, stressing out about how you’re going to get everything done, neglecting the time you spend with your family or on the things that you enjoy doing outside of the workplace, alarm bells should be sounding left, right and centre.  Not only is it impossible to sustain this kind of gruelling lifestyle, it will eventually also lead to detrimental effects on your physical and mental wellbeing.  Stop at once!  Take stock of the situation and put yourself back in control.  This may mean hitting the high road and finding a new job if you can’t realign things at in your current position to bring you a more satisfactory work-life balance.

4. You do a lot of clock watching

If the days are starting to drag and the biggest highlights are lunch and going home, immediate action is required!  You could be doing a job that keeps your mind occupied and taps an array of your skills.  You want to feel as though you are constantly learning, adding value to the company and being recognised for your hard work.  If you feel as though your voice is no longer being heard and you just don’t fit in anymore, perhaps it’s time to look for a new opportunity.

5. You clash with your boss and/or colleagues

With so many different personalities around you, there is never going to be complete harmony in the workplace.  Disagreements here and there are inevitable and the occasional debate can turn out to be both cathartic and productive.  You should count yourself lucky if you work in an environment where you are able to air your grievances.  However, if there is a moral misalignment with your boss or a personality clash with a colleague that is too much for you to handle, take a careful look at how it’s affecting your wellbeing.  If it’s having a negative impact on your mood, sleep patterns and stress levels, take note and if it can’t be resolved, prepare to move on.

6. You’re blissfully ignorant!

Very often people don’t think they’re unhappy with their job until someone points it out to them, or they realise they spend too much time at, or outside of work being unhappy about their position.  Nobody wants a moaner on their team and friends and family can take only so much “venting” about work matters.  Remember that you’re the one in control of whether you’re happy at work or not.  Don’t try and pass the buck.   It’s up to you to make a change that’s in everyone’s best interests. The solution could be as simple as booking some time off work to recharge your batteries and/or having an open conversation with your boss.  Remember why you took the job in the first place.  With some careful thought and discussion, it’s very likely you can re-ignite the spark and avoid the need to start scouring the latest job ads.

 “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

When did you know it was time to make a change in your career?

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