You feel bored. Uninspired. Stuck in a yawn-inducing rut. When you first started your job, you were optimistic, budding with excitement over the prospect of learning new skills and facing new challenges. Whether you’ve been working in your current role for 5 months or 5 years, when that vibrant enthusiasm begins to fade, it may be time to ask yourself, “Have I outgrown my job?” Staying in a position that feels stale and restricts you from growing personally and professionally is like squeezing into a shirt that you wore in middle school – uncomfortable and restricting.
If you’re unsure as to whether or not you’ve outgrown your current job, here are 6 signs to consider.
Professional Growth Is at a Standstill
Do you voluntarily elect to sit idly in standstill traffic? Like me, your blood pressure probably skyrockets and you break out Waze in hopes of finding an alternate route. On a similar level, no one willingly wants their professional growth to plateau. If you’re not learning any new skills, work has become monotonous, and you’re no longer feeling the intoxicating thrill that comes with getting a new challenge or project, it’s time to put your long-term career goals into perspective.
In an era defined by the constant advancement of technology, simply surviving will hurt you in the long run. Continuously adapting to change and expanding your breadth of skills is the only way to remain marketable and protect your future career. Don’t be afraid to sit down with your manager and ask if there’s an opportunity to take on more responsibilities or even move within the company so you can continue to evolve and progress. If your company does not invest in professional development or place value in enhancing their employees’ skills, it’s time to consider moving on.
You Have an Unhealthy Work-Life Balance
Once you begin skipping lunch breaks, answering emails in the middle of the night, and spending vacation time buried in piles of paperwork, it’s time to reevaluate your job. From perpetual feelings of fatigue and anxiety to a never-ending battle against a stuffy nose, when there’s no clear line between your personal life and your professional one, your health will start to feel the effects. No job or paycheck (even one donning an attractive string of zeros) is worth putting your physical and mental health in jeopardy.
Exposing yourself to an unhealthy work-life balance can increase your risk of developing depression, type 2 diabetes, and a number of other diseases. If this sounds familiar, address the situation with your manager to discuss possible solutions for lightening your workload. Remember, your health comes first. If your position becomes detrimental to the well-being of your body and mind, you need to take action.
A Dark Cloud Follows You Home from Work
When you’re working under conditions that crush your self esteem, are not personally fulfilling, or fail to meet your basic needs, your level of happiness will begin to deteriorate. If you continually find yourself channeling negativity or carting home your bad mood night after night, you may want to find yourself a more favorable office culture. Do you really want a doom-and-gloom mentality to permeate your personal life? Sure, you’re going to experience some lows; but when you’re trapped in a perpetual state of misery, it will begin having a negative impact on your health.
Where’s the Moolah?
Everyone deserves to be compensated fairly. However, make sure your expectations are realistic here; your employer isn’t going to dish out a 10% raise after 6 months on the job. If you’ve been with the company for over a year, are earning praiseworthy performance reviews, and notice your less experienced coworkers are receiving incremental salary increases, you need to decide whether the issue warrants a conversation with your boss or if you’d rather take your talents elsewhere. While talking about salary can be intimidating, you must approach the discussion with a strong case about why you deserve a raise, incorporating specific facts and figures to support your reasoning – and speak with confidence!
You Swear You’re in a Three-Ring Circus
Because a bulk of your life is spent at your daily grind, it’s not only important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals, but you should also genuinely enjoy the people you work with – from your colleagues to your boss to your customers. If the sound of your alarm clock each morning makes your blood boil with disgust at the thought of spending another second with the people at work, it may be time to move on. Often times, it’s simply a matter of the culture being incompatible with your particular working style or preferences. Don’t let it discourage you, it happens more frequently than you think.
The Company Isn’t Adapting to the Times
Does your company refuse to swap out their outdated strategies and tech for more modern-day practices? Not only does being married to old methods make it harder for you to do your job, but it’ll thwart your ability to grow as a professional. Companies that use modern technology and incorporate new procedures into their workflow are providing the necessary means for their employee’s to acquire new skills and advance their expertise.
Before making any rash decisions, invest the time in evaluating your circumstances, analyzing the pros and cons, and preparing for all possible outcomes that may arise should you choose to leave. Opting to search for a new job opportunity and resign from your current employer is no walk in the park, and the decision should not be taken lightly. Always remember this: you deserve to work for a company that values and challenges you, so you can advance professionally and feel proud to go to work each day.