"Welcome to Dumpsville. Population you."
Those are words aren't going to come from your boss. She thinks you're an angel. You're well liked at work. You belong to one of the friendliest teams in the world and you’re on first name basis with the cafe barista next door to the office. Life is easy. You live a convenient 15 minutes walk from work and while weekdays are slow, Friday nights are a blast. Despite these small victories, you can feel it. Something is out of sync. Is it time to change jobs?
Here are 7 ways to tell:
1. You daydream about ways to get out of work.
“Dear boss, I sprained my ankle, my dog is sick and my car has broken down.” It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re wishing Monday’s didn’t exist. You draft excuses in your head and contemplate which one is the most believable. By Monday morning, guilt stops you from dialling into your manager with white lies, and you drag yourself to work.
2. You’ve stopped learning new things.
When you first started out in this role it was exciting. The first couple of years you were like Daniel- san from the karate kid, you waxed on, you waxed off, and you gained great lessons and skills. Now your learning curve has flatlined. Mr Miyagi’s no where to be seen and your opponent feels like a fat kid with no upper body strength.
3. You don’t want to learn the things that are now part of your job.
In this scenario, you are being challenged, but in all the wrong ways. The problem isn’t the learning curve, but the experience and skills you’re adding to your toolbox don’t seem relevant to what you want to be doing in the future. You ask for opportunities that are more aligned to your interests and are told that’s not part of your role.
4. You don’t respect the leadership in your team.
In meetings, you cringe when you hear your bosses talk about “giving 110%” and thinking “outside the box” when they do nothing of the sort. They’re not as bad as the boss from The Office, but they don’t inspire you to strive for greatness either. A research poll published by Gallup in 2011 showed that 80% of people leave their jobs because they can’t manage the relationship with their boss and not the demands of their job. If you don’t respect the leadership in your team, your motivation is going to take a dive.
5. You aren’t proud of the work you do.
The question “What do you do for work?” almost always comes up at Friday night drinks when you’re introduced to any new person. Outside of the office, you hate talking about work because you’re not particularly proud of the fruits of your labour or the company you work for. In fact, you’re sometimes embarrassed by it. You quickly change the subject, make a smart ass remark or shift the attention back to the person you’re talking to hoping that’ll fly.
6. You spend way too much time on Facebook and Linkedin.
Let’s be honest, compared to what you know you’re capable of, your productivity sucks. You regularly escape your office cubicle by scrolling through Facebook and Linkedin. You justify looking at social media as “keeping on top of trends” and distract yourself from any real work. When someone makes a post about how much they love their job, you feel waves of jealousy and secretly wish they’d put a lid on it. You click on another cat video.
7. You feel drained.
You used to go to work engaged, full of life and ready to smash it. These days nothing happens before you’ve had a coffee and your will to work drops off dramatically after lunch. You look forward to afternoon tea way more than any of your work meetings but get depressed at the thought of what that’s doing to your waistline. You walk out of work feeling drained and don’t really feel you achieved anything meaningful with your day. Sad face.
These are seven signs it’s time for a change. Sometimes it’s possible to shift the dynamics within your job and re-engage but that requires focused cooperation from both you and your boss. Falling out of love with your work is normal. It’s happened to all of us at some point, and the important thing is to know when it’s time to break up.