With a third of your life spent at work, it makes sense to question the future of your job from time to time, particularly in the wake of the ‘Great Resignation’ and ‘Quiet Quitting.’ But how do you know when it’s time to look for a new job? Here are 9 signs you may want to start exploring your options:
1. You’re in a toxic work environment.
To begin, an unmistakable sign that it’s time to update your resume and start searching for a new job is when you’re in a toxic workplace. Two of the most common characteristics of a toxic work environment include your boss setting unrealistic expectations and your boundaries not being respected. This article I wrote for Forbes goes more in-depth into how to know if you’re in a toxic work environment.
2. Your mental health is suffering because of work.
If your current role is negatively impacting your mental health, it can be an additional indicator that it’s time to look for a new job. Take note if your current work makes you feel depressed, stressed, or anxious, as these emotions may be warning signs it’s time for a new job. As I’ve shared previously, having more bad days than good days at work is an indicator that your job is no longer right for you. To put it simply, your work shouldn’t harm your mental health.
3. Your work negatively impacts your physical health.
Another sign it may be time to start drafting your two weeks’ notice is when your work negatively impacts your physical health. While there are countless potential links between the workplace and your health, some of the most common ones I hear from clients are headaches and migraines, decreased sleep, and fatigue. These can compound an already increased risk of burnout.
Note: I encourage you to speak with your doctor or medical provider if you believe your work is negatively impacting your physical health.
4. You want more work/life balance.
You may also wish to consider calling it quits if your current job doesn’t allow you work/life balance. Importantly, work/life balance means different things for different people. That said, I often speak with job seekers who are looking for a new role because they want to work fewer hours, embrace a more flexible schedule, or work remotely. If your current job doesn’t support the life you want to live, consider whether it’s time to leave.
5. You no longer believe in the leadership team.
Recently, I’ve witnessed an increase in people looking for a new job because they no longer align with their leadership team. Sometimes their current management team has decided to pursue a new path, while other times new leaders have been brought in, and the organization’s vision changes as a result. Regardless of the reason, consider whether you want to keep working for a company where you don’t believe in the vision and strategy, or if it’s time to look for your next adventure.
6. You feel undervalued.
Feeling undervalued — or unvalued — can extinguish your work ethic and motivation, eventually leading to career dissatisfaction and a desire to work for an employer who values you. Personally, I believe that every human not only deserves a job they love (or at least tolerate) but to also feel valued and have a sense of belonging at work.
7. You’re underpaid.
Speaking of being undervalued, you may also want to put your antennas out there if you feel like you’re being underpaid. Rising inflation and increasing costs of living have many workers believing they are working for less than they deserve. These negative feelings can compound if you are already dissatisfied with your workplace. This article dives deeper into steps you can take to ask for a raise if you feel underpaid at work.
8. You’ve run out of growth opportunities.
Importantly, compensation doesn’t come just in the form of money; it also comes in growth opportunities. If you’re no longer challenged at work, you may feel like it’s time to move on from your job. As a career coach who frequently partners with senior managers and executives who have been with the same company for 5, 10, or 20+ years, clients share that they often decide to seek out a new challenge simply because they’ve learned everything they can at their current organization.
9. You’re curious about the job market.
Lastly, if you’re simply curious about what’s out there on the job market, it’s worth seeing what opportunities are available. Remember that checking out job boards isn’t the same as handing in your resignation; you’re simply being proactive and putting yourself first. You’ve got this!