How did you feel when you won your present job? Hopefully you were excited because you saw it as a new challenge. On the other hand, you may have experienced an immense feeling of relief that at last you’d managed to escape from your difficult or unhappy situation.
There are many perfectly valid reasons why people decide to leave a job: long commutes, a nasty co-worker, workplace politics, a change in personal circumstances will all take their toll. Sadly, the reason may simply be that they feel trapped in a dead-end job that seems to be taking them nowhere. Some employees find it hard to articulate the reasons why they want to leave, only that they feel depressed, unappreciated and stale. Monotony can have a deadly effect, even on skilled employees being rewarded with a decent pay cheque. Another frequently mentioned reason is a lack of challenge or career advancement within the company.
How do you really know when it’s time to move on? Research tells us that there are seven vital warning signs that should be considered:
- You are feeling very negative about work in general.
- You hate getting out of bed knowing you have to go to work.
- You tell people ‘If it wasn’t for the money…’
- Your income or position has not grown the way you expected it to.
- Your health and home life is suffering because of the impact of work problems.
- You are a victim of bullying or discrimination.
- Office politics are having an effect on you and your performance.
Sometimes it is surprisingly easy to do something about it. Often the employer has no idea that their employee is feeling like leaving. All too often the brave face has masked the inner turmoil.
Employers should be aware that dissatisfaction within the workforce will lead to problems with both work and family relationships, and perhaps further down the line, with the organisation. The only way forward in this situation is to communicate. If the manager or employer is not willing to listen or to work with their team member to find a solution, the solution becomes obvious. Find a job where your opinion is valued.
Team members are naturally fearful of loss of income and the prospect of not quickly finding another job. The best way to approach a resignation is to plan ahead rather than simply walking out on the organisation. The first step in finding a solution is to operate with your head, not with an emotional heart. Take stock of what you have achieved in your present position and decide if your current role is one you want to pursue. Perhaps you have outgrown it or found something else you’d rather do.
What skills do you have now?
Should you upskill yourself, polish up your personal brand or pursue further studies in order to move up the ladder?
A proactive approach will build confidence and encourage you to take further steps towards a position or career that will ultimately satisfy you far more than the situation you are now experiencing.
A prospective employer will appreciate an applicant who is putting in the time to gather further the right qualifications and skills. Working for an appreciative leader or manager is the basis of a healthy working environment. And of course, if you can shed the protective shell you have been wearing for the last little while, your renewed enthusiasm and performance will mean the move was worth it.
Remember those seven warning signs. Even if you put a cross beside only one, it’s time to take stock and ask yourself if you really want to keep putting up with more of the same. It’s your life, make the decision to transform… it’s all up to you.