Last week, I developed a sinus infection and had to do something I rarely do – go to a Walk In Clinic. Sadly, my experience wasn’t the greatest and the Nurse Practitioner barely grunted at me as she did her version of an examination. She could have just been having a bad day but my impression was that she HATED her job. This experience got me to thinking about the difficulty of knowing when to make a career change.
I believe at one point or the other most of us have made a decision to leave a job. Sadly, many continue on at jobs where they are miserable for years because of fear. There is fear of not finding another job, fear of financial security and simply fear of the unknown.
Today I wanted to offer a few suggestions on how to know when it’s time to leave your job.
Your Health Is Being Compromised
Do you find yourself struggling with headaches, stomach aches and back pain? Have you developed anxiety and find yourself dreading the thought of returning to work each Sunday? Are you developing depression or anxiety? It is often our physical health that begins to show stress first in our life. This is the first sign it may be time to look for a different job.
You Hate What You Do
Early in our careers we often take on positions which will provide the skills and experience to be promoted. However, if you continue to be doing the same tasks and see little hope of advancement or increased responsibility, it may be time to reconsider your path. Even seasoned professionals (perhaps like the RN I encountered last week) may begin to acknowledge that there is no joy in the day to day work which is done.
You Don’t Fit In
You will spend more of your life with your coworkers and at your company than you often do with your family. Consider the organization’s culture, communication style, mission and values. Is the environment welcoming or combative? It is possible to have the right qualifications for a position but if you do not fit into the team, you will never be successful.
No Work/Life Balance
Is it difficult to spend time with your friends or family because you are consumed with work 24/7? Do you find when you return home that you do not want to speak with anyone? If you are giving all of your energy to your work and have nothing left to give to those that you love then your life is out of balance.