It’s too easy to get stuck in a work rut. Getting up, going to work, clock watching until home time…same old routine every day. Sometime it’s easy to confuse being unhappy in your work with just being bored of your routine. Or maybe you’re suffering from both.
Either way if you find yourself agreeing or relating to any of these following signs, then you’re probably better off looking for your next big challenge and getting out.
- You dread going to work in the morning
By this I don’t mean you dread getting out of bed because you’re not a morning person, I mean you literally dread the thought of going into work. Not because it’s too early, not because it’s Monday, but because you would rather be anywhere else than there. There is a massive difference between not wanting to go to work because you can’t really be bothered today, and because you hate the place. Imagine working somewhere that you genuinely don’t want to be at all, until retirement! Who wants that? My guess is nobody. Dreading the thought of going into work is a major sign that you should be looking for something else.
- You don’t get along with your boss or your colleagues
Okay, so chances are nobody is crazy about their boss, but if you really don’t see eye to eye it can cause you to feel uncomfortable in work. Same goes if you don’t get on particularly well with your colleagues. If you think about it, if you work full time, you are spending 5 8-hour days a week with these people. That is a huge portion of your time to spend with people you don’t get on with, or laugh with, or can go for an after work drink with. Eventually it will cause resentment between people and make your work place a very unhappy place to be.
- You feel like you can’t progress any further
You may have come to a point in your career where you feel like your current employer cannot offer you anything anymore. I think a lot of people assume that if they are good at what they do then they should stick with it since they are lucky to have a job in the first place. However, if you feel like you have much more to give, but there are no opportunities to expand your horizons or better yourself in your current place of work, then it is time to move on. You may feel guilty if you have worked there for a lengthy amount of time, or you may feel apprehensive about something new since you know your current role so well and you know the people so well, but nobody will begrudge you the chance to earn yourself a higher salary or a better job and your work friends will be happy for you.
- You have no work/life balance
I’m one of those people that firmly believe that work should be left at the office. Unless of course you are a teacher etc. in which case that’s impossible (hats off to you). Of course there are those lucky people who do what they love and have made their hobby into a career, and they probably take work everywhere with them! My point is, if you work a regular job, and are not a Director or C.E.O or whatever other important roles require some extra homework, then you need to make sure you have a healthy work/life balance.
Struggling to find a balance can be identified in a number of ways. For example if you are stressed at work, then arrive home aggravated and in a bad mood because of this, it is inevitably going to affect your family life eventually. Or if you rarely even see your family or friends because you are always staying late at work to finish something, again you are affecting those around you, and that shouldn’t be the case. Home, or out with friends should be your sanctuary where you turn off, unwind and soak up a happy atmosphere.
If this is not happening, and work is the reason for it then get out and find something new. Something that will make you happy. That way you can be happy in and out of work. Bonus!
- You are bored and fed up
You may not necessarily hate your workplace or the people there, but you find the job mind-numbingly boring and the days seem to drag. A stagnant, tedious work environment will make you restless in your work. Imagination, creativity, debates, interaction etc. are qualities that most people desire from a job (or so I would imagine). If you are bored in what you do, and you lack passion in what you do, then you are definitely stuck in a rut and need to do something about it pronto before you become boring and unimaginative too!
If you find yourself agreeing with any of these symptoms of being unhappy at work then do yourself a favour and make a change as it’s probably time to move on. Most people work full time for more than forty years of their lives. Is it not better to spend those years in a happy, positive environment, surrounded by like-minded people, and not bringing unhappy work lives into your home life?
If you’re happy to settle and stay in a job that makes you miserable just because it is the easiest option, then that of course, is your prerogative. I’m going to assume that the vast majority of people don’t want that though, so don’t let any reservations about your experience, knowledge, age etc. hold you back from applying for a job you know you will enjoy. As they say ‘if you don’t ask (or apply in this case) then you don’t get’.
Written by Katy James