Seeing the Red Flags: Is it Time to Leave Your Job?

October 17, 2023

pictured: red flag with a cloudy sky behind itWe've all had those mornings. You know… the alarm goes off and the first thing you do is start thinking of reasons to call in sick.

While everyone has a rough day now and then, how do you know when those feelings are a sign that something worse is happening. Are you just in a rough patch, or is the job itself a problem and it’s time to move on?

The Personal Impact of Staying in an Unsatisfactory Position

Staying in a job you don't love isn't just a professional decision—it affects you personally. If you're consistently unhappy, it will show up in your sleep, your eating habits, your stress levels, and even your relationships.

More than that, it can hold you back. It can stop you from reaching your potential and growing in your career. Not just in terms of missed opportunities, but emotionally too. If a job drains you, it can also stifle your ambition or your drive to excel.

Is it time for you to look for a new opportunity? Let’s dig into the red flags that can serve as a powerful hint.

Red Flags: Signs it Might Be Time to Move On

Dissatisfaction and Dread:
We all have off days. But if that "I'd rather be anywhere but here" feeling is a regular morning companion, it's time to listen!

Stagnation and Lack of Growth:
Do you feel like you're stuck on a treadmill, running but going nowhere? If the company you work for doesn’t offer any room to grow or the opportunity to learn new things and expand your skills, it might be time to consider a change.

Misaligned Values and Company Culture:
If you feel out of place or notice that the company's actions don't resonate with your personal values, it can be hard to stay motivated or feel proud of what you do. If naming your workplace makes you wince, this is a powerful sign that there is an important misalignment that you should address.

Frequent Overwhelm and Burnout:
Sure, everyone's busy. But if your level of "busy" is creating constant stress or feeling like you will never catch up, that's a problem. If you’re not allowed to say no to projects even though your desk is already full, if you’re required to work late constantly to stay caught up, or if you’re regularly in a state of anxiety, these are big red flags that are leading down a dark path.

Feeling Underappreciated or Undervalued:
A simple "thank you" can go a long way. If your hard work consistently goes unnoticed or you feel you're not compensated fairly, it's worth reassessing whether you’re in the right place. If you are regularly handed additional work or responsibility but not compensated for those extra duties, this is a bad sign.

Trust Issues with Management or Leadership:
Trust is a two-way street. On one side, you need to trust that the decisions made by leadership are in the best interest of the company and its employees. If you find yourself frequently questioning their decisions or sensing a lack of transparency, it's worth taking a closer look at what’s happening there. On the flip side, it's equally important that the leadership trusts you. If you sense they're regularly second-guessing your decisions or hesitant to entrust you with more responsibility, it raises concerns about whether you’ll be able to grow in that environment.

Weighing the Red Flags

But hold on a second—don't send in that resignation just yet! Your best first move should be to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

One bad week or a single incident might not mean it's time to go. It could indicate red flags, or the challenge might be easily addressable!

It’s always a good idea to talk about what you’re experiencing with your boss. And if you're still unsure, try keeping a work journal. Jot down how you feel each day. Over time, patterns might emerge that can create clarity.

Preparing for the Next Step

If you’re leaning towards making a change, start your job hunt while you’re still employed. Dust off that resume, reach out to contacts, and ramp up that networking! If you're feeling uncertain, seeking advice from a career coach or mentor can be invaluable. I've often encountered and assisted clients right at this juncture, when they're contemplating whether to stay or make a move. It's a significant decision and having the right support can make all the difference.

Here’s what I want you to keep in mind: Your well-being and growth should always be a priority. Trust your gut! If something feels off, try to figure out what it is.

Remember: Every job or experience, good or bad, gets you one step closer to where you want to be. Stay tuned for our next post, where we'll explore the "green flags" that signal you're in the right job!

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Download the guide, The Secret to Getting to the Front of the Line, and learn how to access the hidden job market.

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