We all have our bad days at work from time to time. Becky made decaf on accident, Dave’s PowerPoint was 45 minutes of your life you’re not getting back, and your boss asked you to work late on Friday.
Then, there are the times when your job is an actual crap pile, and if you’re being honest with yourself, it’s not going to change.
When you’ve spent years in a perpetual state of “it’s going to get better soon” – you’re kidding yourself.
How do you know when it’s just been a bad day, or when it’s time to make a change? Here are the top 10 signs it’s time to find a new job:
- Your boss hasn’t made direct eye contact with you since the Bush administration. The first one. And he still calls you Marilyn. Your name is Jennifer. You’ve gave up telling him this in 2004.
- Your colleague, who constantly reminds everyone she isn’t much of a “people person”, sure spends a lot of time on social media. Stalking you. Stealing your ideas. Stealing your life. She and your ex-husband will be celebrating their four-year anniversary next month.
- Bill takes your ideas and passes them along as his own. He’s done this repeatedly, and you’ve confronted him repeatedly. You’ve also confronted your boss, who is confused about why you’re so mad about Bill ripping off Jennifer’s ideas.
- You don’t technically have to work weekends, but that one weekend you didn’t show up on a Saturday morning and everyone else did, resulted in a Monday morning “touch base” about your “commitment to the success of this company” and “are you sure you still see a future for yourself here?
- Your company has a healthcare plan. It’s great really, as long as you never get sick, or injured, or pregnant. And if you love going to the gym. A lot. Okay, it’s a gym. Your healthcare plan is a gym. You only have to pay half of the membership fee.
- The last vacation you took was to Mt. Rushmore. Which is awesome. Mt. Rushmore is awesome. Probably. You were nine and what you mostly remember about that vacation is fighting with your brother about not touching your half of the backseat of your parent’s station wagon.
- Most of your job you could do with your eyes closed. Which is what you try not to do every day from 1:00-5:00 by hooking yourself up to a Starbucks I.V. and all but duct taping your eyelids open. The last time you felt “professionally challenged” was when you were double parked in front of the building.
- Your commute isn’t bad enough. Yes, it’s an hour and a half each way, and yes you have to take your car, and then a train, and then walk eight blocks. But it only snows six months of the year.
- It’s not that your office is too small, it’s that it’s not an office at all. Or a cubicle. Or a desk, really. You’re laptop is resting on top of a filing cabinet and your “desk chair” is a stack of old crates from the cafeteria. Facilities is “working on it”. Quit being so needy.
- You know you want to leave. You’ve known for years. You’re bored, you’re restless, your boss is awful, you haven’t learned anything new in years. But where else can you work that they give you free donuts on Fridays???
There could be a million reasons why you’re staying stuck in a job you hate. Why you’ve convinced yourself you can’t move on, or it’s not worth moving on, or that it’s just too hard to move on.
Is the pain of writing a new resume and searching for a new position and meeting new people and learning a new computer system really worse than staying where you’re at? Is your current situation seriously worth settling for? Is your skill set really so lacking that you aren’t worth much to another employer? Is that true?
The overwhelm of making a career change isn’t lost on me. Changing jobs is one of the biggest life stresses we will experience, even if it’s our decision. But that doesn’t make it not worth it.
Change is where we grow. It’s how we strengthen ourselves. It’s how we start living the life we dream of, instead of playing it over and over again on a slow, sad fantasy loop in our minds while we drive down the interstate on our way home from a never-ending, soul-sucking job that is our reality.
You don’t need to make a change immediately. This isn’t an overnight decision, and your move toward something better can be done in slow, simple steps. Don’t even start looking for new jobs. Just start by pulling together a new outline of your resume. Writing one is simpler than you may realize; here’s how.