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There comes a time in everyone’s career when they start to feel like they’ve been in their job for too long. Whether it’s a lack of growth opportunities, feeling unchallenged or unfulfilled, or simply feeling burnt out, there are many signs that it may be time to move on.
This week, we’ll explore the red flags that indicate you’ve stayed in a job for too long and what you can do about it.
5 Red Flags
1. You’re no longer learning
One of the most important reasons to have a job is to learn new skills and gain experience. If you’ve been in your position for a long time and you’re no longer learning or growing, it may be a sign that it’s time to move on.
Staying in a job that doesn’t challenge you can lead to feelings of boredom and frustration and can ultimately impact your motivation and productivity, not to mention your physical and mental health.
2. You’re not being valued
Feeling valued and appreciated at work is essential for job satisfaction. If you feel like your contributions are not being recognised, or you’re not being given opportunities to showcase your skills, it may be time to reassess your situation. When you’re not valued, it’s easy to feel unmotivated and unenthusiastic about your work which will undoubtedly impact your personal life too.
3. You’re not enjoying your job anymore
It’s normal to have bad days or even weeks at work, but if you find yourself dreading going to work every day, it’s time to consider a change. When you’re not enjoying your job, staying motivated and productive is difficult, and this can again negatively impact your mental health and well-being.
4. You’re not being challenged
Feeling challenged is a critical factor in job satisfaction. If you find that you’re not being challenged in your role anymore, it’s time to re-evaluate whether you’re in the right job. Without challenges, you may lose interest in your work and become complacent, which can be detrimental to your professional development.
5. You’re not being compensated fairly
If you feel like you’re being underpaid or undervalued in your current job, it may be time to look elsewhere. Being compensated fairly is essential for feeling valued and appreciated at work. If you’re not being paid what you’re worth, it’s easy to feel resentful and undervalued, which can negatively impact your motivation and productivity.
(FYI, I have written on this topic previously, ‘Why We Stay Too Long’. Click here to read.)
What To Do About It
So, what can you do if you’re experiencing any of these red flags?
1. Talk to your boss
If you’re feeling undervalued or unchallenged at work, it’s worth having a conversation with your manager. They may not be aware of how you’re feeling, and it’s possible that there are opportunities for growth or development that you’re not aware of. Be honest and open about your concerns, and see if there’s a way to work together to improve your situation.
2. Look for opportunities within your current company
If you enjoy working for your company but feel like you’re stuck in your current role, it’s worth exploring opportunities for growth and development within the company. Look for opportunities to take on new responsibilities or to work on different projects. This can help you feel challenged and valued and can provide opportunities for professional development.
3. Start networking
If you’ve decided it’s time to move on, start networking and looking for new opportunities. Reach out to your professional network, attend industry events, and consider working with a recruiter to help you find your next job. Again, being proactive and taking control of your job search is essential.
4. Take time to reflect
If you’re not sure whether it’s time to move on, take some time to reflect on your situation. Think about what you want from your career. I work with so many people who get to a point and realise that they are unfulfilled and don’t know what to do next.
Speaking to a coach or doing my complimentary ‘Get Clear’ mini-course can be a great way to start exploring the things that are important to you. Click here for free access.
Time for a Change?
So many people do not consciously choose their careers. Clients will often tell me:
- ‘I just sort of drifted into it.’
- ‘It’s what my parents thought was best for me – but I’ve never enjoyed it.’
- ‘It was the first job I got after college. I never intended to stay, but I’m still here 20 years later.’
Of course, there are many reasons why we don’t leave, which I wrote about in a previous article.
However, to me, the very worst of all the excuses clients tell me is, ‘I’m completely miserable in my job, but I retire in 15 years and don’t want to risk my pension.’ Oh my goodness, that’s the one that hurts the most to hear.
The fact that people are willing to risk not only their happiness but their health for something they may never reach is horrifying to me. Stress is a killer. We know that. It’s well-documented.
It’s insidious and affects every part of our lives. Unfortunately, however, some people would still rather be miserable every single day of their lives than chance their pension.
I get it. As I’ve said previously, our brains are wired for certainty, even if that certainty is painful. So, it will keep us in known pain rather than allow us to work towards potential pleasure.
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
I fell into HR in my early twenties and did really well working my way up the ladder, but I absolutely hated it! So, I have first-hand knowledge of how scary it can be not just to leave a job but a well-established career – with nothing to go to! It takes guts, and it isn’t for the faint-hearted.
However, it’s important to know that there are ways to do it so it won’t be so scary. I’ve helped thousands find new jobs, change careers, and start their own businesses or side hustles. So, by now, I think I’ve heard every excuse, objection, mental block, and fear that there is for staying put.
But, I can say with complete certainty that of those thousands of people, I can’t recall one that ultimately regretted the move. Whether it was forced via job loss or they chose to take the leap themselves.
So, if you’ve been considering a change and have been making the following common excuses, maybe it’s time to think again:
- ‘The job market is too uncertain.’ (There’s always a slight risk whenever you move. However, there are some fantastic opportunities out there at the moment).
- ‘I’ve been doing this job/career too long to change.’ (It’s NEVER too late to change.)
- ‘What about my pension?’ (I know a brilliant financial advisor who can help you with that. Message me, and I’ll send you the details.)
- ‘I’m too old.’ (Nope – you’re definitely not – you’re putting obstacles in your way that aren’t there.)
- ‘I’m too young.’ (Nope – see No 4)
- ‘There are no jobs in my industry, area, location, at my level, etc.’ (Not true. Not every job is advertised. There are lots of places to look for new roles, as I explain in my online course – ‘Finding Your Dream Job‘)
- ‘No one will give me the flexibility I have now.’ (How the heck do you know? If your current company does, someone else probably will too!)
- ‘I’ll never get the same salary somewhere else.’ (If your current company will pay that much, there’s a good chance someone else will too.)
- ‘I hate interviews – I’m rubbish at them’ (You can prepare for up to 85% of any interview. I take you step by step through the process in my online course, ‘Foolproof Interview Skills’.)
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE UNHAPPY!
I know it can be scary to leave a job. However, it’s far more upsetting to look back and feel like you wasted so much of your life being unhappy when you didn’t need to be!
I know I’ve mentioned my courses throughout this article (which I don’t typically do). However, I do run a business and provide courses that have worked 100% of the time for literally thousands of people.
So, if you want more information on my full range, including my ‘Your Dream Job’ programme, click here. As a thank you for your support, enter code ETSY10 for 10% off all my current full-price online courses.
In addition, I also have a range of books on finding and landing ‘Your Dream Job’. Click here for more information.
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(Disclaimer – The information in this article is meant for entertainment purposes only and is in no way meant as a replacement for professional medical or psychological support. Please seek the appropriate advice from a healthcare professional should you feel it necessary.)