Over half of Americans are satisfied with their jobs, according to a 2017 survey conducted by The Conference Board, so if you’re not a part of the majority of U.S. workers who are happy with their careers, it might be time for you to find a new one.
Although a lack of overall job satisfaction is a good indicator that it’s time to start the job search, other warning signs might not be as obvious. GOBankingRates spoke with career experts to find out the signs that show it’s time for a job change — and some might surprise you.
Click through to find out when it’s time to leave a job you hate for a job you’ll love.
You're Not Being Recognized for Your Strengths
“A key sign that you need a new job is when you are not being recognized and valued for your unique strengths, talents, passions and virtues,” said Sarah McVanel, a speaker, coach and founder of Greatness Magnified. “At the extreme, it’s when you are being criticized or unsupported.”
If this is the case, you’re best off leaving your job for another employer that values you or working for yourself. To mitigate feeling down about the lack of recognition at your current job during your search for a new one, McVanel said you should “showcase your greatness by serving others.”
“Write LinkedIn posts, do live videos, contribute as a guest blogger or podcaster or do some freelance work. Showcase your talents and expertise, both to those who will hire you and to remind yourself of your value,” she said.
You're Jealous of Friends and Peers Who Have Changed Jobs
“If an individual admires the moves their peers, friends or former classmates are making in the marketplace, that can motivate someone to seek change,” said Mark Anthony Dyson, career consultant and founder of the blog The Voice of Job Seekers. “We’re naturally competitive with people we know, and we want to keep up.”
This jealousy can actually be useful as you search for new jobs.
“The future of job search is not to disengage from the job market trends, but to stay abreast so when it’s time to change, you have already imagined your strategy,” said Dyson. “While watching your network, you’ll hear things from others like ‘brand-building,’ learning the latest technology, and how these new skills are advancing their careers and increasing their salaries.”
You Feel a Sense of Dread on Sunday Nights
Many people are prone to the “Sunday night blues,” but if you find that you’re regularly dreading the start of the workweek, it might be a sign you should start looking for a new job.
Ideally, on Sunday evenings you should experience a “pleasant anticipation of a productive week ahead,” said Lynda Spiegel, a job search coach and founder of Rising Star Resumes. “Don’t aim for a constant state of bliss — it’s not realistic. But when you find a job where you feel valued for your contribution, you’ll be satisfied.”
You've Stopped Caring About Your Job Performance
“If you’ve hit the point of not caring when you miss promotions, or aren’t asked on the important business trip, or realize you overslept and missed the boss’s big meeting, it’s time for you to pack up your bags,” said success strategist Carlota Zimmerman. “If you don’t care, why are you there? How can you possibly do any good work if you don’t care? And if you don’t care, why should your colleagues care about you?”
Zimmerman advised searching for a new job that excites you.
“Find a job that actually engages your intellect, where you want to be part of the team,” she said. “It’s incredibly dispiriting to spend eight to 10 hours a day in a situation, not giving a damn. It’s tedious as hell. On the other hand, it’s incredibly liberating to go home and think, ‘What I do matters.'”
Your Manager Is Holding You Back From Moving Up the Career Ladder
If your manager is knowingly or unknowingly preventing you from advancing in your career, that could be a sign you should start looking for a new job where there’s room to grow, said Jo Miller, a women’s leadership coach and CEO of Be Leaderly.
If your boss or manager won’t let you take on new responsibilities or challenges, despite showing that you’re competently completing everything that’s been asked of you; won’t let you speak directly to your skip-level manager or to stakeholders or customers you need to work with to be effective in your role; or won’t sign off on a request for training or help you find another leader to be your mentor, it’s likely you’re being held back from advancing at your workplace. But before you jump ship, talk to your boss or manager about your desire to grow in your role.
“If your boss doesn’t seem invested in your development, it’s important to ask them for feedback,” said Miller. “If none is forthcoming, no matter how much you might enjoy your role or your company, it’s time to find a new boss — even if that means finding a new job. By leaving a bad boss for a true leader, you’ll ultimately find a much more fulfilling career.”
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You've Stopped Feeling Challenged
If you haven’t done anything particularly challenging on the job in six months or more, it’s time to look for a new one, said Nicole Littmann, management coach and founder of Aurelian Coaching.
“Being challenged in your job means that you are using problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and these are important for brain plasticity and personal growth or development,” she said. “Being able to find solutions to challenging issues on the job can promote feelings of self-worth and contribution, as well as build confidence. If you are not being challenged, you are not growing, and this may result in feeling stagnated.”
Getting a new job can alleviate this feeling of stagnation.
“Putting yourself in an entirely new environment or job condition will require use of problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which might feel uncomfortable or scary at first, but can really have upsides if you power through it,” said Littmann. “These skills may be put to the test when first navigating new policies and requirements … and even perhaps negotiating politics and flexing emotional intelligence skills in ways you haven’t had to before.”
You Hate When People Ask What You Do for Work
If you’re wondering if you should leave your job, think about how you feel when people ask, “What do you do for work?”
“You spend literally a third of your life at your job — anything you devote that much time to should be worth talking about,” said career happiness consultant Alice Hoekstra. “If you feel shy or embarrassed talking about your work, it means you’re in the wrong position. Maybe you’re not passionate about your work; maybe it doesn’t fit the image of where you’d like to be headed in your career; maybe you just don’t like your job and don’t want to talk about it. Whether or not you can pin down the reason why you don’t like talking about work, you need to take ‘I don’t want to talk about my job with others’ as a red flag.”
You're Having Petty Fights With Your Roommate or Significant Other
This behavior might not seem work-related, but feeling irritable could be a direct result of workplace stress.
“Stress at work tends to find its way into every other area of our lives,” said Hoekstra. “If your stress at work has started causing you to be short-tempered at home, it’s time for a change. After all: The most important things in life aren’t things — they’re people.”
Most of Your Superiors Were External Hires
“If you’re wondering whether your company provides growth opportunity after a year or two of feeling stuck, look around: Has anyone else been promoted in your company, or does your company simply hire new managers when current managers leave?” said Hoekstra. “If many of your superiors were outside hires, consider looking for a new job at a company with more mobility.”
Your Company Is No Longer Profitable
If your company is suffering financially, chances are you will too.
“If the company isn’t able to pay its bills on time, it’s likely it will eventually impact their ability to pay their employees in the future,” said success coach Michelle Gomez.
It can also mean a tightening of resources, which can increase your workload. “If the company eliminates resources — such as software, hardware, e-commerce resources or employees — but still expects tasks to be done on time and with accuracy, that is a clear indicator of a stressful environment in the making,” she said.
A company in financial turmoil will also likely begin downsizing. “If people are being dismissed from their jobs due to downsizing, it’s likely you will be on the chopping block eventually,” said Gomez.
In these scenarios, it’s best to leave on your own terms.
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