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11 Signs That You Should Leave Your Job

11 Signs That You Should Leave Your Job

We’ve all struggled with our motivation to go to work from time to time – the alarm goes off and we go, “Ugh, not again!” In fact, until we’ve had our coffee, it’s as if the human race hasn’t evolved at all. (I don’t think I end up saying coherent syllables until 10 a.m.) But what if it’s more than that? What if that heavy sense of dread about work follows you everywhere you go? Does that mean it’s time to leave your job?

You’d think a job that makes us feel awful would be easy to leave, but for many of us it’s not the case. Either we feel it’s impossible to find something better, or we worry that if we leave, we’ll end up in a worse position than we’re in now. Here’s what I’ve learned: no job is ever worth your health. In fact, nothing is! Yet our need for financial survival constantly gets the best of us. It’s time to start doing what it takes to get a grip on your well-being.

Here are 11 signs you should leave your job:

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1. You dread going to work in the morning.

If when your alarm goes off you feel compelled to start sobbing into your pillow, it’s seriously time to rethink your job status. Dig deep and look at what’s really bothering you: Is it a specific chunk of tasks you have to accomplish? Is it not what you work on, but who you work with? Or are you just bored by the monotony? Getting specific about your dread will help you figure out what to do – whether it be discussing new opportunities with your boss, or deciding to leave your job entirely for opportunities elsewhere.

2. You have absolutely no interest in the work you’re doing.

There’s nothing more draining than a job that has nothing to do with your ultimate goals or personal interests. Regardless of what you’re being paid, you’ll never fully enjoy your life or reach your full potential if you’re saddled with so much apathy – it will eventually spill into other areas of your life and dim those as well.

3. Your job is so routine, it’s become boring.

If your workday has become so monotonous you’re constantly fighting boredom, it’s time to seriously consider moving on. If you’ve talked to your boss and either there’s no follow-through on the promise of change or the changes aren’t shifting how you feel, then it’s a good indicator it’s time to leave your job.

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4. You feel stuck.

If you feel like you’ve learned all there is to learn in your job or moving up the ladder has not fulfilled you in any way, bust out the want ads.

5. You’re concerned about the financial stability of your company.

Even though after rounds of lay-offs you’re still standing, you are now left with a permanent feeling of uneasiness.

6. You’re not “you” anymore.

You’ve lost your “spark.” Instead of looking forward to your day, your only focus is surviving it.

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7. You’re noticing physical changes because of the stress.

Where and how we work impacts our body. If you’re losing or gaining weight, experiencing excruciating body pain, anxiety attacks or consistent feelings of melancholy, it’s time to reflect and consider other options.

8. Your boss needs an exorcism.

If your boss leaves you in a permanent state of panic – so much so that you’re losing sleep and experiencing constant feelings of inadequacy – run! Run away screaming! Especially if they’ve been approached about these issues before and are in complete denial.

9. You’ve entered a spiral of negativity.

If you’ve lost the will to care and are putting zero effort into not just your work, but how you dress, act, or complete the smallest of tasks, there’s no doubt it’s time for a change.

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10. You have no time for yourself.

If you’re working so many late nights you don’t feel like a person anymore, leave your job and find one that allows you to have time for yourself. What’s the point of making a living if you don’t have time to actually live?

11. You feel like an outcast.

If you don’t fit in with how your company operates, or don’t believe in what you’re doing and it makes you uncomfortable, it’s time to move on. I’m not naive – I know leaving your job is one of the hardest decisions to make, never mind actions to take, but your health and well-being depend on it.

You know what’s scarier than leaving your job? Staying.

Is it time to leave your job? What signs would you add to this list?

More by this author

Krissy Brady

A women's health & wellness writer with a short-term goal to leave women feeling a little more empowered and a little less verklempt.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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