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9 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job

9 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job
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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.

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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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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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