Companies are scrambling to fill vacancies, and this could be the time to consider greener pastures if you’re unhappy in your current job.
Unemployment ended 2018 at a very low rate of 3.9 percent. With more options in the job market, the percentage of workers who chose to quit their jobs last year hit a 17-year high. Should you join them in making a change? That’s not always a simple answer. After all, the strong employment environment gives you a great deal of leverage in your current job.
Still, it’s easy to get stuck in a holding pattern over time at work, and you have heard the phrase, “Strike while the iron’s hot.” If you’re noticing one or more of the following red flags over an extended period, it may be time to at least explore the possibilities.
Here are five warning signs that it’s time to move on. To learn the other 11 warning signs, be sure to check out my full article with Psychology Today.
1. Your boss makes you miserable.
You’ve tried new strategies for interacting more effectively with your manager and even adjusted your own behavior, hoping to see improvement. Despite trying everything to smooth the relationship, it remains toxic.
2. Your pay isn’t keeping up.
You’ve asked for a raise but were told to hang in there . . . three years ago (!). The waiting game is growing old. Now that you’ve done the research and know you can earn more at another firm, resentment is building about being underpaid.
3. Your talents aren’t being tapped.
You started your job fired up about tapping into your skills, but instead you’re so bogged down in daily tasks that you never have opportunities to leverage your talents. When you’ve asked to apply them, managers say they’ll keep you in mind, but nothing ever materializes.
4. Other jobs look exciting.
It’s getting harder not to daydream about other opportunities. You envy your friend who attends interesting professional conferences and another whose job allows her to work with the latest technologies. Just reading job ads makes you ponder the possibilities of moving on.
5. You’ve tried talking to your boss to no avail.
The frustrations you have with your job simply aren’t getting better, despite addressing your concerns multiple times with your manager. You’re stuck using buggy software, you get bombarded with unnecessary last-minute requests and remain seated next to an inconsiderate colleague. It’s like you’ve never even asked your boss for help.
If you’re nodding your head to these signs, it may be time to walk. One word of caution, though: If you’re relatively happy, don’t be overly swayed by a strong job environment, as market conditions can change within months, and tenure has its value if you’re producing solid results. Always do what you can first to salvage your current job before you leap. Learning how to manage up in difficult situations is a crucial skill you will likely need wherever you are. And regardless of your decision, taking control of the reins of your career will be liberating.
If you’ve tried virtually every avenue to make your current job work with no significant improvement, however, this could be the moment for change, knowing you’re ready for a new chapter of empowerment, confidence and happiness.