Two closely-related upheavals have changed the face of American life in the past years. The first was the COVID-19 pandemic. The second has been dubbed the “Great Resignation,” and it continues to affect us today. American workers are tired of low pay, disrespect from employers, and a sense of stagnation—and they’re acting on their dissatisfaction. 47.8 million workers quit their jobs in 2021, more than any other year on record.
If you’re like many of today’s workers, then you’re also wondering whether it might be time to find a new job. Quitting and starting anew is a big commitment, but it could be the right move for your life and your career. Here are 11 tell-tale signs that you’re ready to chart a new course.
You hate Monday mornings
While it’s normal to be sad that the weekend’s over, you shouldn’t be dreading the idea of another week at work. If your job is right for you, then a bit of excitement should mix with the dread: “Yes, waking up early and dealing with those obnoxious customers will stink, but at least I can enjoy chatting with my work friends during cleanup!” When those Monday clouds come without a single silver lining, you know it’s time for a change.
You no longer care about the mission
Every job has its objectives. Delivery drivers have to get the food to customers on time. Graphic designers strive to create beautiful images. Line cooks need to keep their restaurants stocked with food. Successfully accomplishing your job’s mission is what gives your work day its purpose. If the mission has become meaningless for you, then you’ll have a hard time gaining a sense of fulfillment at work.
There’s no room for professional growth
People are prioritizing professional development like never before. That’s because they understand that acquiring new skills can have a massive effect on satisfaction and career advancement. If you feel you’ve reached a dead end and can’t learn anything new in your current position, finding a job that lets you continue your upward trajectory is probably your best option.
It looks like a layoff or furlough is imminent
There’s no sense staying on a dead-end road when the end is already in sight. Layoffs and furloughs are often devastating, and they’re especially painful when you haven’t prepared for them. Rather than letting yourself get caught off guard, take the initiative to secure a new job before the layoffs hit. That way, you can enjoy a smoother transition on your own terms.
Your work performance starts to slip
Happy workers are effective workers. Unhappy workers often see the quality of their performance drop dramatically. If you notice you’re making more mistakes than ever before, it could be a sign that you’re ready for a new challenge. Rather than berating yourself for your mistakes, consider what your subconscious mind is trying to tell you.
You’ve maxed out your earning potential
While compensation isn’t the only important factor when it comes to your career, there’s no sense denying the value of decent pay. Striving towards higher earnings is a major part of career advancement. If you feel you can’t add to your income in your current position, it might be worth looking for an employer who offers a higher ceiling.
You simply want to make a career change
Sometimes, our motivations in life are mysterious. You might not be able to articulate why you want a new career, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act on your intuition. Simply wanting a change is often a good enough reason for making the change happen.
You are about to get fired
Whether you’ve made a serious mistake or simply fallen out of favor with management, you might feel that the ax is about to drop. Instead of waiting for the fateful day to arrive, be proactive about finding a new job right away. Not only will quitting feel better than being fired, but it will also prevent a costly employment gap.
You are bored and the position doesn’t mentally stimulate you
Most positions have their boring parts, but something about the job needs to be engaging if it’s going to provide satisfaction. If you’re no longer interested in the problems your job asks you to solve, then it won’t be long before boredom sets in. Finding a job that stimulates you will help you maintain a positive career trajectory – and live a more purposeful life.
You are desperate to leave and you look at other jobs around the clock
Do you watch other people heading to work and wish you were one of them? Do you fill every spare moment looking at job listings? Does every workday feel like an interminable slog? If you answered “yes” to these questions, it’s probably time to listen to your inner urges and make a clean break.
You’re not in the loop and it feels intentional
We’re social beings, and working together with teammates is a big part of what makes a job satisfying. If your colleagues are intentionally pushing you out of the collaborative process, then you’re right to feel hurt and mistreated. If talking with your team and manager haven’t resulted in any change, you’re better off cutting your losses and finding a new organization that will value your contributions.
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About the Author: Ben Clabault is a freelance writer from Sandwich, Massachusetts. He has spent much of his adult life traveling through Latin America. He currently lives with his fiance in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. His areas of expertise include travel, marketing, SaaS, and global cultures. You can find his work on Copyfolio and reach out to him on LinkedIn.