10 Things… The Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Job
You might joke about it on a daily basis and plan your “I just won the Euromillions” walkout… but when is it really time to move on? While having a little whinge about work is something we all indulge in from time to time, if getting up in the morning and facing the office becomes more of a drain on your brain than a bonus to your wallet, it might be time to take stock and think about doing something else, somewhere else. Here are the 10 signs it just might be time to leave your job.
You can’t see the next step
Let’s start with a big one. If you can’t see progress in your role, take stock and consider what you’re doing there. If you see your job as a means to an end and you’re happy to just take the paycheque and clock in and out – then you’ll find zero judgement here, you’re more “work to live” than “live to work” and that’s just fine too. But if you’re the ambitious sort and you need to see a path of progress to keep you enthused – ask. Don’t take for granted it will never come. Have a sit down with your manager and explain that you want to grow in your role and ideally move to a better one. Chase feedback on how you can make that happen.
Your Sunday Fear is all too real
Everyone is prone to a bit of Glenroe feeling on a Sunday night with another bleak Monday morning dawning over the hill. You wouldn’t be the first and you won’t be the last to wish for a three-day weekend or the occasional Act of God to keep you from the office. As long as you get over it by the time you’re at the desk though, you’re fine. If, however, you get genuinely stressed and upset at the thought of another week, you may need to take some action.
You don’t have friends at work
Contrary to popular belief, working with your “real-life” friends and partners is not the dream. Trust us. You don’t need to be surrounded by your besties on a daily basis, in fact that can lead to many more issues! But you should have people you’re happy to see in the workplace. You see these people more often than your family in a lot of cases, so the value of having a chat and a cup of tea with your co-worker or a shared laugh with your desk-mate is a very real thing. We need human interaction so make the effort to get to know your colleagues and brighten up their tough days at the daily grind. If no one is doing the same for you, that’s a bad environment to be in for 40 hours a week…
You spend your working hours counting down to breaks
Did you mother ever give out to you for “wishing your life away”? Counting down to breaks/end of day in your workplace is the grown-up equivalent of that. For every social media post wailing about the fact that it’s not Friday yet or a countdown to “wine o’clock” you’re wasting time that could have been spent on a project you’re proud of. Side note – the hours go by much faster if you’re busy… which leads us to our next point.
You have nothing to do
There may be a few who will scoff at this point and ask where the vacant positions are, but there genuinely is very little worse than putting down a day at work when you have nothing to do. It creates a sense that you’re not valued or important and every five minutes can feel like an hour when you’re just waiting for someone to pass a miniscule task your way. Again, be proactive instead of reactive. Speak to your manager and explain you’re ready to take on a new challenge and want to prove yourself. If none are forthcoming, this job may not be the best place for you.
You fantasise about quitting
If your lazy daydreams about that aforementioned Euromillions win include a dramatic walkout and telling your boss exactly what you think of them… you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself (career-wise).
A dramatic standoff is never advised, but even the fact that you’re thinking this way means the damage may be done. Hold your tongue whatever way the cards fall, and be the bigger person.
You are constantly stressed
Stress is an evil that confronts far too many of us these days. The always-on nature of so many companies nowadays means that time truly “away” from the desk (mental and physical) is severely limited. To-do lists are your best friends, and make sure to give yourself realistic deadlines and to delegate where possible. If your working environment creates stress at every turn, you need to consider the long-term effects on your body and your mental health.
The atmosphere in your workplace is negative
This can swing a little – a workplace can’t be all sunshine and lollipops 24/7. You’re all there to do a job after all! But if there’s a sense that nothing is ever good enough and your co-workers are all a similar shade of “downtrodden”, that’s an obstacle you cannot overcome alone. If employees are never acknowledged and rewarded for good work and achieving targets, this is one of those rare occasions where you may not be able to affect your own change and it might be time to wave goodbye.
You don’t love your job… or even like it
The old saying goes “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. It’s mostly bull. You can love your job and still very much acknowledge the fact that it is indeed work. Take nursing, which is nearly more of a vocation than a job. Many’s the nurse who will tell you she/he LOVES her/his job and the difference they make in so many lives on a daily basis. But is it work? You bet your ass it is and it’s about as tough as work gets. This is really about job satisfaction. If you don’t have that odd moment/day/week where you’re thrilled with life and high on achievement, you’re missing out. Otherwise the blood, sweat and tears were for nought.
You’re more excited about another dream
When you separate the reality from the fantasy, do you really want to serve ice-cream for a tenner an hour (like this memorable tale)? There is no harm indulging the dreamer side of you, but if another dream is haunting you for the majority of your waking hours, it’s time to take action. Write the great Irish novel, travel the world as a vlogging couch-surfer or take up residence on a tiny cottage on the Wild Atlantic Way with only a flock of sheep for neighbours. Or, you know, move to the company across the road with higher wages and better benefits. Whatever the impetus is – you’re not getting any younger. Make your work life better, or consider heading on your merry way.