Last month Peter Capaldi stepped down from playing Doctor Who after four years in the role. When explaining his reasons why, he claimed that three years is the maximum length of time anyone should stay in one job. Is he right though?
Well, it appears that Capaldi isn’t far off the mark with recent research suggesting that UK workers tend to change jobs every five years. The so-called ‘millenials’ are considered to be the catalyst for this change due to their expectations about their job and working life.
But how do you know if it’s time to jump ship, or stay and stick it out? Here are 14 signs it’s time to quit your job and our ‘fix it’ solution for those who just need to make a few changes.
1. You have a bosszilla
‘A bad manager can take a good staff and destroy it, causing all the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation, ‘ so they say.
Having a bad manager can be a nightmare, particularly if you have to deal with them on a day to day basis. If there’s no way of resolving your issues, your future with this business is unlikely to be a positive one, so long as they are in charge. National workplace expert, Lynn Taylor, said, “If you’ve tried everything to make it work and your life is simply unbearable, then it’s time to visit your favourite job board.”
Fix it: Aside from trying to get your boss sacked, you could try talking to them. Be honest about why you feel your working relationship has broken down. If the alternative is leaving anyway, what’s the worst that can happen? If communications remain fractured, just think how super smug you can be when you finally hand your resignation letter in.
2. Mondays are the worst day of the week
Make no mistake, Monday’s will never top the polls for the best day of the week, but if you genuinely dread the prospect of returning to work after the weekend, now might be the time to make a change.
Fix it: Aside from fixing what’s causing you to feel this way, why not arrange a social activity for Monday evenings? That way, at least you’ll have something nice to associate a Monday with.
3. Nothing you do is ever enough
Ever feel like despite being the first in, last out and constantly mopping up everyone else’s workload, it’s never enough? International Search Consultant, Charles Francis, said, “Your job should make you feel exhilarated and challenged — like you are succeeding in something, rather than like you are fighting a losing battle and not achieving anything.”
Fix it: Speak to your manager. Explain that you’re feeling underappreciated and see what they say. If they don’t care, perhaps you’re working for the wrong company after all.
4. Your nickname is ‘Sicknote’
We’ve all been “genuinely ill” the day after an impromptu drinking sesh, but if you’re throwing sickies because you can’t face the thought of work, you need to re-evaluate your future with your current employer, and fast.
Fix it: Make two columns on a piece of paper. On one side, write down all the reasons why you dread going to work. On the second side, write down any changes which would make you feel better about the problem. Next, speak to your manager to see if you can collectively resolve your issues. If you’re a great employee, your manager should want you to stay and be keen to help.
5. It’s genuinely making you ill
If work is affecting your physical, emotional or mental health, this is a clear indicator that you need to make a change. Researchers have found a link between job stress and acid reflux symptoms such as nausea and heartburn. While stress at work is inevitable, long periods of stress will eventually start taking its toll on your body, and very few jobs are worth sacrificing your health for.
Fix it: Dependent on what is causing the stress, your manager may offer advice or a solution to help. Changing work patterns, offering work from home days and a pay rise may all be changes which could make a difference.
6. You’re just going through the motions
You’ve been at your job that long now that you can do it blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back. If you don’t want to progress and challenge yourself in your current company, now might be the right time to break away and search for pastures new.
Every job should enhance your skills and add to your value as an employee. If your employer isn’t invested in you and your development, why you should you invest your time and effort into working hard for their benefit?
Marc Cenedella, founder and CEO of The Ladders claims, “If you haven’t picked up a new skill, viewpoint, or way of doing things in the past six months, it could be a sign that it’s time to go. Because the modern economy and modern employers value responsiveness so much, it’s important that you not only learn new things, but that you keep learning all the time.”
Fix it: Speak to your boss and ask about any upcoming promotions or challenges that may be of interest to you. Your employer will be impressed that you’re ambitious and keen to work even harder.
7. Frankly, you’re just bored
You’re bored of the same faces, the same four office walls and repeating the same conversations day in and day out. If you spend most of the day skiving rather than working, now might be the right time to assess what will make you more mentally stimulated.
Management Consultant firm, Gallup claims, ‘Engaged employees are passionate, creative, and emotionally connected to the mission and purpose of their work, while disengaged employees are indifferent toward their jobs and can destroy a business.’
By remaining in a job where you’re not mentally stimulated, it’s not doing you or your employer any favours.
Fix it: We all get bored at work from time to time, but if it’s making you want to quit, speak to your manager about new challenges that you can be involved in. Also, see if there are any training days that you can attend which will benefit you and your employer.
8. You’ve got money on your mind
If you feel like you’re constantly worried about money, and that you’ve got more chance of winning the lottery than getting a pay rise, now’s the time to make positive steps for your own future.
Fix it: If you’ve been at your current employer for over a year, speak to your manager and raise your concerns about your wage. Timing is everything so make sure you pick your moment well, a good time would be around your performance development review.
Research your market value and go into the discussion with a case for why you deserve a raise. Highlight your strongest areas and point out what you have brought to the business during your time there. Prepare for discussions and negotiations.
If they point blank reject your request with no mention to your future at the business, it’s definitely time to find a new job. Taylor said, “If the company doesn’t agree that you deserve pay that’s consistent with your workload, then it might be time to find a company that doesn’t make you feel like they’re doing you a favor by paying you.”
9. You continuously complain about work
We all have the odd gripe about work here and there, but if you’re continuously complaining about that cow Donna in Marketing, now might be the time to change your job before it affects your personal relationships. Your conversations about work should be productive, engaging and interesting, rather than just constant moaning.
Taylor says, “Because we spend the majority of our waking hours Monday through Friday at the office, our jobs tend to easily spill into our personal lives” and “it’s natural to come home wanting to vent but this kind of thing can wear thin on your partner over time, as they may feel helpless.”
Fix it: Listen to what you’re saying and try to address the problem head on, rather than just complaining about it. Take a solution to your manager, not a problem. If no-one at your work listens, or even cares, why are you still even working there?
10. You’ve got trust issues
If you work for a company that partakes in questionable or unethical activities, it’s time to re-evaluate your position there before your good name is tarnished.
Taylor said, “You should never feel pressured to comply with activities that could hurt your career. And if you’ve lost trust in your boss, due to anything from lying to false promises, it’s hard to stay put.”
Fix it: This is a difficult one. If a company is partaking in something illegal, you do have the option of raising the issue with your manager. Lawyer, Janette Levey Frisch said, “Hopefully the company will investigate the matter. If no one within the chain of command responds, then there is generally a government agency with whom one can file a complaint. If the government agency investigates, it usually will not reveal how it decided to target the company or who may have tipped them off.”
However, if your employer gets wind that you are the whistleblower, the chances are that they won’t be best pleased and they’ll make life very difficult for you in future, so tread carefully.
11. You’re using coping mechanisms
We all like a cheeky drink after work, but if you feel like you’re drinking, smoking or using narcotics to excess as a way to cope with the stress of work, this is a clear indicator that a change is needed.
While alcohol may help with stress in the short term, heavy drinkers are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety in the long run, which makes stress even harder to cope with.
Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at the University of Lancaster, claims that getting drunk is basically an avoidance strategy. She said, “You’re not properly confronting the issues that make you feel stressed in the first place.”
Fix it: If you know the cause of your stress at work, speak to your manager and see if they can help. Prevention is better than cure right? If they’re not interested about your wellbeing, you know what to do.
12. You’re thinking about retiring, at 29
Sorry to burst your bubble, but unless you win the lottery, the chances are, you won’t be retiring anytime soon.
Fix it: Instead of counting down the days until you retire, why don’t you invest the time into yourself? Spending even ten minutes a day on something that will positively impact your future career is time well spent. Learn a new skill, read industry news or even browse your preferred job board to see what other jobs are out there.
13. You can’t sleep, or wake up in the night thinking about work
Sleep is very important to you health so disrupted sleep patterns are a big problem. If you’re already struggling at work, a lack of sleep will only exacerbate your problems further. While the common symptoms of being sleep deprived are yawning and having less patience, long term sleep deprivation can impair your memory retention and increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression.
Fix it: When you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work, write down what is worrying you. Address this problem head on and you’ll be back to getting your beauty sleep in no time.
14. You don’t get on with co-workers
If you just can’t see eye to eye with your co-workers, you probably won’t be enjoying work that much. If you feel like you’re constantly watching what you say and worrying about how you’ll be interpreted, you’re probably just not a good fit for that working environment. Perhaps you just need to find somewhere where you can just be you.
Fix it: Workplace disagreements are inevitable but if you do want to stick it out, speak to your co-workers. Keep an open mind, listen to what they say and try to find a common ground.
What to do next…
If you’ve decided that it’s time to move on, congratulations! Making that decision is just the first step towards your new future. Don’t just quit though, it’s much easier to find another job when you’re already in work. Click here for tips on how to write your resignation letter.
Can we help you?
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