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9 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job

9 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job

Do you dread going to work each day? Is your stomach in knots just thinking about what you have to do today? Are you constantly irritated with people at your job or constantly irritated with your family because of things going on at work? Sometimes you feel trapped in a job because you need to make a certain amount of money or because there are no other jobs in the area.

If you’re not sure yet, but think it might be time for you or a loved one to move along from your current job, consider these signs.

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1. You need caffeine all of the time.

Are you constantly daydreaming about doing other things? Do you find it difficult to focus on the task at hand without a cup of coffee or an energy drink? Caffeine is a stimulant that can be overused, giving you a false sense of enthusiasm about your work. If you find that you need a cup of coffee just to get through the next hour, you might want to consider a new occupation.

2. You don’t care about the quality of your work.

Are you just going through the motions? Do you lack passion? Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT): How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior, says that if you lack passion in your job, you will never reach your full potential. If you are considering leaving, try to stay on task and remain enthusiastic until you go. This will help you with references and employment in the future.

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3. You are obsessed with checking your email.

This is a sign that you are constantly looking for a new distraction. If you are always looking at your email, Facebook or other social media, you are not focusing on the task at hand and likely need to look for a job where you are enthusiastic enough about it to remain focused.

4. You are in pain constantly or think you are.

Have an ache that won’t go away? A little pull in your back? Or are you on your feet all the time, and you can’t stop thinking about that nagging pain? If you have a physically demanding position that is causing real health issues, you might need to consider a new job to save your health. On the other hand, if you find yourself noticing every little ache and pain all of the time, this might be a new distraction that is keeping you from doing your job.

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5. You eat for fun or comfort.

Looking forward to lunch just so you can eat at the cool, new place around the corner? Have a handful of snacks in your desk drawer? Constantly trying to sneak away to your car or the break room so you can have another muffin or bag of chips? You may be looking for satisfaction in the bottom of the chip bag and unfortunately, you won’t find it. Eating pleasurable items releases endorphins that can make us feel good, but if you can’t find a way to cope with your job without resorting to comfort food, you may have to quit your job—and get a new gym membership. Try taking a walk at lunch time instead. Walking also releases endorphins, and until you can find a new position, it will be a better way to deal with needing a boost during the day.

6. You can’t put the phone down.

Sometimes in our jobs, we have to have our phone nearby, especially if we are on call or have an important project going on. But if you can’t even put your phone down during a party or class with people you like, you may need to find a new position. Everyone needs down time, even workaholics. You need time to be with your friends and family, clear your head and have some fun. If you are always expected to be “on,” you may want to find a new position.

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7. You are constantly disagreeing with coworkers.

Is everything your coworkers suggest wrong? Do you find yourself working with the most irritating, unreasonable people? Well, they might think the same thing about you! If this is the case, you might want to start looking for somewhere else to work. Whether it’s a personality conflict or you just don’t think the people in your job understand important issues, you might want to find a position where you don’t have to deal with so many people—or perhaps you can be the boss.

8. You dread Sunday night.

Are you dreading Sunday night because it means you have to wake up the next morning and go to work? If you find yourself in a panic about having to go to work the next day, you might need to evaluate just what the issue is. Perhaps a new job is in order, or maybe you need to start doing activities that relax you to help you take away that feeling of dread.

9. Your company is sinking.

Maybe you like your job, but the company itself is starting to fail. I once worked for a publication that was failing, and it got to the point where I was surprised each morning when I got there and the door wasn’t locked. If you are concerned that you may not have a job one day soon, don’t go down with the ship, Taylor says. Go find a new job before you’re competing with all of your old co-workers.

The bottom line is if you can’t find a reason to go to work everyday—including the paycheck—you need to find something else to do. There are lots of ways to find and pursue a passion that pays. Teach classes. Write a book. Try something new.

More by this author

Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

1. Make Time for You

If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

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2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

4. Work on Your Personal Brand

Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

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Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

5. Be Accountable

Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

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This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

8. Learn to Embrace Failure

Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

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“I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

9. Build Your Resilience

Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

10. Ask for Help

It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

  1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
  2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
  3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

Final Thoughts

You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

Reference

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