There are a ton of articles out there that talk about why you should leave your toxic workplace or dead end job. But when you’re in the midst of it, especially during a pandemic when jobs seem scarce, it can be hard to trust your instincts. Based on my experience, here are 5 signs that it may be time to leave.
1. You’re bored.
For Type A overachievers, being bored at work is painful. If it’s been months since you’ve done something that’s remotely intellectually stimulating and it’s unclear when things will become more interesting, it might be time to leave. Earlier on in my career, I was in situations where I was bored but too scared to talk to my boss about it out of fear that she/he would think I was unappreciative or not being a team player (classic millennial behavior, I know). That was definitely not the right approach. Boredom happens and is normal. There may be plenty of work to do but you’ve been there, done that, and it’s not challenging anymore. In either scenario, chat with your boss. If you genuinely like the company, there might be another project you can take on or a new team you can join. If your boss isn’t helpful in this scenario and doesn’t offer solutions, then it’s probably time to look elsewhere.
2. You have a bad manager.
Unfortunately, this is way more common than not. Not all managers should be managers and that is a real thing. Micromanager? Bad decision maker? Unable to provide guidance and feedback if you need it? Having a good manager is critical for growth. A good manager provides constructive feedback to help you grow, guides you when you’re unsure how to tackle a problem, and trusts you to do the job that you were hired to do. Not all managers need to be inspirational, but they should give you the tools you need to succeed and also be your advocate. I’ve had exceptional managers and I’ve also had terrible ones. The exceptional ones saw the potential, pushed me to do my best work, trusted me, and were available to help me grow. The bad ones, well, they were micromanagers, didn’t advocate for their teams, and were personally demotivating. When the latter happens, it’s time to go or think about switching teams internally.
3. There aren’t opportunities for growth.
Maybe you’ve been killing it at your company but despite having tons of conversations with your boss about growth opportunities, you’ve hit a wall. Maybe you work somewhere with a lot of red tape and you have to wait years before the next big growth opportunity. Or, maybe you’re not surrounded by the right team. It’s not fun to work with a team who isn’t on top of their game like you are, right? Whether you’re a Gen Z or Millennial, you’re still early on in your career and if you’re not learning and growing, it’s definitely time for a change.
4. The overall environment is toxic.
Are your colleagues gossiping about other colleagues or how bad their bosses are? When you hop into a Zoom meeting, does everyone look miserable? Is leadership either oblivious to everyone’s misery or literally just doesn’t care? Are people leaving for other jobs on the reg? Is the environment affecting your health, mindset and/or productivity? Then it’s time to start looking.
5. You’re comfortable and you know it.
Hello, stagnant. You might be bored or miserable or even both but ooooh, those benefits are so good. That job security, delicious. The ability to coast, so ideal. You convince yourself on daily that even though it’s not your dream job and you’re going slightly crazy inside, that you have a good thing going. But if you’re not happy, is it worth it? Yes, coasting is appealing when things are so uncertain but if your career is something important to you then why not spend it doing something you’re into?
withSarina Career Coaching works with Gen Z and Millennial job seekers and solopreneurs to equip them with the tools they need to succeed.