I get it, you need money.
We can all agree that times are hard and bills, unfortunately, don’t pay themselves. So, you’ve got a job and you participate in the day-to-day grind. After awhile, though, you find that said job has become increasingly unbearable. You know, the coworker in the cubicle next to you has terrible body odor (that’s getting progressively worse) and Ben from accounting has shown you photos of his 12 cats more times than you can count. And yet, despite all that, you’ve found a way to talk yourself into staying through it all. Why? The grass is always greener? The devil you know? YOU DON’T LIKE CHANGE!? Siren songs that are drawing you toward the rocks.
Despite those impediments and your need for employment (and, in turn, money and purpose) it is vital to know when it’s time to hit the road, throw in the towel, and look for a new job. So, here are a few tell-tale signs that you should polish your resume, hunt for a recruiter, and find out what Linkedin is all about. And no, you can’t use us as a reference.
You Lack Passion
It’s completely normal to have a bad day or two at the office — maybe even a week. But if those rough days have turned into months — or worse, years — it may be time to call it quits. An average work week is about 40 hours, that’s a big chunk of your week, why spend it being miserable? Having passion for the work you do is one of the things that drives you to perform at your best, but if the magic just isn’t there anymore, it just isn’t there.
You Constantly Watch the Clock
Is it 5 p.m. yet? From the time you clock in you find yourself glancing at the time on your computer, your cell phone, your watch, and even the computer of the person in the next cubicle (you know, just to make sure you have the right time). You find yourself counting down the minutes until the weekend like the New Year’s ball is about to drop. It doesn’t have to be like that. Okay, maybe it does a little, but you owe it to yourself to at least try to find work that you actually enjoy when all hope is lost that you’re going to find that in your current post.
Nothing New Ever Happens
When was the last time you had a good time at work? Was it that time Sheila from accounting brought in brownies? If every work day is like the one before it — horrible — it may be time to stop slacking reading articles on the internet (well, not entirely) and start checking Indeed or CareerBuilder on your phone whenever you get a moment.
It’s All About the Money
If you make a list of pros and cons for staying at your job and the only pro is a steady paycheck, that’s probably a bad sign. Yes, money is important, but you never want it to be the only driving force in your life. It’s easier said than done, of course. High-paying jobs don’t grow on trees, but there are other ways to make money — ways that don’t crush your soul, hopes, and dreams. You do have something like 10 pints of donateable blood in your system, after all.
Of course you can’t pick your coworkers, and you spend a lot of time with these people, so it would be ideal for you to, you know, like them at least. You’ve told Ben from accounting that you don’t care about his unhealthy cat collection. You’ve gone through four cans of air freshener to curb the smell of your cubicle mate’s body odor and you just know Sheila from across the hall has been stealing your pens (no matter how much she denies it). Don’t be the coworker that snaps one day and starts throwing office supplies at people. Maybe see if you can get a job as a toll booth attendant on a rural highway.
The Negativity and Stress From Work Bleeds Into Your Personal Life
You’ve become that friend. You know, the one who can’t take a joke and is so irritated all the time that you snap at everyone for every little thing. Chronic stress can cause insomnia, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure (it can also contribute to depression, obesity, and heart disease), according to the American Psychological Association. Don’t become a social pariah. Don’t only swipe right on goths who you think will appreciate your less than cheery disposition.
Your Boss is Evil
Okay, maybe not evil, but your boss is really, really mean. Does your heart rate skyrocket whenever your hear your boss coming down the hall (and do you dread your boss so much that you’ve spent time learning how to distinguish his/her footsteps from everyone else’s)? If you’re up at night tossing and turning, wondering how you’re going to keep your boss happy the next day, sprint to the nearest job fair and share your tales of woe with others who have experienced their own brushes with sadism. Seriously, your boss should be a leader, not your prison warden.
You Just Know
Much like Olivia Pope, sometimes you have to trust your gut (though, I wouldn’t tell future employers that they need to “earn” you). If everything in you is saying that where you are is not where you should be, don’t ignore it. There is most likely a reason for the way you feel. And when you know, you know. So head to Craigslist and get ready to sift through a lot of garbage to get a little bit happier… hopefully.