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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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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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