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Warning Signs You May Need a New Job


6/14/2011 2:39:52 PM

Warning Signs You May Need a New Job

By Angela Rose, BioSpace.com

Sunday Nights Fill me With Dread...and Nine Other Signs it’s Time to Look for a New Job

Anyone familiar with the movie "Office Space" knows the phrase "a case of the Mondays" (as well as the freedom that can be found in bashing a copier with a baseball bat.) But how about a case of the Sundays? The weekend is supposed to be a time of relaxation and rejuvenation before another five days of the office grind. However, if the approach of Monday fills you with woe, sapping all the enjoyment from what should be a peaceful Sunday night, it may be a sign that it's time to look for a new job. Here are nine other subtle - and not so subtle - indicators that you may want to consider a change of scene.

1. I’m a hamster on a wheel going nowhere.
Growth is a natural part of life. Many people outgrow their jobs and move on –it’s even expected in some industries. However, if you’re working in a company that does not promote from within or provide educational enrichment opportunities, you may feel as though you’re spinning a hamster wheel. It may be time to look for a job where your skills can continue to evolve, not stagnate.

2. I’d rather watch paint dry.
Watching paint dry is boring. If you’d rather observe this than go to work, your job must be excruciatingly dull. Maybe you’re overqualified for your current position. Maybe you’re in the wrong field completely. Whatever the reason, if your daily duties present zero challenge and you can perform them in your sleep, it may be time to look for a new –more challenging, exciting or suitable– job.

3. I’m sick and tired...all of the time.
Any career can be stressful at times. However, if yours is chronically so, it may be time to look for a new job. Continuous stress –and the anxiety and sleeplessness it can cause– puts a major strain on your immune system.

4. My job is just a job.
We all know money isn’t everything (though it sure isn’t just an illusion either). Sometimes circumstances require us to take positions that are not challenging or interesting but keep that mortgage paid. There’s nothing wrong with this. However, when circumstances are no longer such, it may be time to look for a new job –one that challenges you, excites you and fulfils you.

5. My boss is evil incarnate.
If your boss belittles you, torments you, persecutes you, steals your ideas, takes you for granted, ignores your pleas for change and basically makes forty hours (or more) of every week a living hell, it may be time to look for a new job. Life is too short to work for the devil.

6. What’s work-life balance? I’m on a work-life roller coaster.
Self-help gurus love to talk about “work-life balance,” or making sure your career doesn’t swallow the rest of your life whole. Unfortunately, some careers just don’t seem to fit with this concept (and some companies/bosses don’t even recognize it as valid). If you’re working in a position that requires excessively long hours or an erratic schedule, is prohibitive towards vacation time, and has basically chewed you up and spit you out, it may be time to look for a new job.

7. I’m the invisible man (or woman).
How does that old saying go? The squeaky wheel gets the grease? Unfortunately, this can be very true in many companies. You may be fantastic at your job, exceedingly pleasant to be around, well liked by co-workers and clients, but virtually invisible to management. If you’ve been passed over for promotions, recognition or increased responsibility more than once, it may be time to look for a new job.

8. My boss lives in a dream world.
True story here –once upon a time, after requesting a raise that was three years overdue, my boss informed me that not only was money just an illusion, but my mortgage was just an illusion as well. This person also believed that the placement of certain crystals at each workstation would protect the computers from viruses. It was long past time to look for a new job.

9. Everything has changed (and not for the better).
Just as people change, companies also change. A work situation that was ideal five years ago may have evolved into something much different. Maybe your great boss has been promoted and replaced with a bad one. Perhaps the company downsized and you’re now forced to cover the duties of five people. If your cubicle has been moved to a storage room in the basement (and your stapler has been stolen) it may be time to look for a new job.

Have you seen any of these signs in your own life? If so, don’t panic –you’ve probably been thinking about a new job for some time. While a change of companies (or even careers) can be scary, it can also be invigorating. So polish up that resume and prepare to explore a world where Sunday nights no longer fill you with dread.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - June 16, 2011.

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