Dread going to work? Worried you’re going to lose your job? Feeling burned out or left out at the office?
How do you know when the trouble is just a little blip you’ll soon get past, and when it’s time to dust off your resume and start perusing job postings? “Some of the best signs that it’s time to move on will come from you, not the workplace,” says Ed Muzio, the author of “Make Work Great.” For other signs, you may need to look outside yourself.
Check out these 15 signs that you might want to consider leaving your job, as related by career experts–and employees who have “been there, done that.”
You dread going to work. Leadership expert Sharon Lamm-Hartman says it’s a big red flag “when you repeatedly have mornings where you pray and wish like mad you could stay in bed for the entire day or possibly even clean the bathroom if it kept you out of going into work.”
You feel physically sick whenever you think about work. Writer Laura Milligan has had personal experience with this major warning sign. “I used to wake up in the middle of the night with near-migraines because I was so stressed about (work).” she says.
You feel stuck in the wrong career. If you daydream about the job you really want to have, you should consider another line of work, advises Lamm-Hartman. “Some people lose sleep thinking how they’re in the wrong job and secretly wishing for the next pink slip, including severance, so they can finally have the courage to do what they’ve always wanted to do.”
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You lose your passion. Passion is paramount, says executive coach Suzanne Saxe-Roux. “If you have no passion for your work, you are spinning your wheels and unable to do the very best work you can do,” she says.
You are bored. “If Facebook and texting are the only things that help keep you from falling into extreme boredom, it’s time to seek out new challenges,” says Lamm-Hartman.
You find out you’re paid far less than others. If employees who have similar responsibilities in your company are making a lot more than you are, it could be a sign that your work isn’t valued, says Berit Brogaard, associate professor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.
You have boss problems. “Watch out when your boss plays favorites, and his favorite isn’t you,” says Brogaard. Other signs of potential problems include having a boss who doesn’t appreciate your work, overworks you, or hasn’t given you a raise for a couple of years. (Be your own boss. Take an entrepreneur test for insight into your entrepreneurial potential. )
The work just isn’t there. On the flip side of being overworked, another possible warning sign is when your boss doesn’t give you any interesting or long-term projects, says Joellyn Sargent, president of Brand Sprout Marketing.
Your colleagues aren’t treating you the same. If you’re on shaky ground at work, colleagues may know about it before you do. Some signs, according to Sargent: “People won’t look you in the eye, and when you walk by a group, they suddenly stop talking, change the subject, or disperse.”
You lose your best advocate. Transfers, layoffs, and retirements all can change the landscape of who’s in your corner, says Darcy Eikenberg, leadership and workplace coach. “If you suddenly lose your best advocate for your career success–whether that be a leader, manager, or peer role model–it’s time to consider a change,” she says.
Managers want your info. If people start asking you for the contacts or resources you use to get your work done, says Sargent, this could be trouble. Seemingly innocent questions like “How do I get in touch with the Web designer?” could mean they’re paving the way out the door for you.
All of your work is given to the new kid. It’s a big red flag if your job duties are transferred to someone else, says Milligan.
The work you do can easily be automated. If that’s the case, it’s usually just a matter of time before your company decides that a machine can do your job for less money,” says career coach Cheryl Palmer.
There are frequent closed-door meetings with execs from HQ. “Usually these closed-door meetings mean management has decided to make some changes at your local office, and your job could be vulnerable,” says Palmer.
Your company has the budget blues. Employees aren’t always told directly that their company is financially floundering, says Frances C. Jones, the author of “The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business.” “But there are plenty of signs, like having high-octane accountability conversations about expense reports, and day-to-day office maintenance cutbacks like flowers and supplies,” she says.