I encounter clients every day who absolutely know when the time is right for them to make a career move. They are the folks who call me and sign right up for resume writing services. In today’s economic climate, changing jobs can be a scary proposition, so I admire those folks with the guts to go full speed ahead and plunge into finding a better way of life for themselves. But there are many others who stand still, paralyzed by fear but stuck in a job that does not make them happy.
Let’s review four scenarios when it is smart to begin a new job search:
1. Your health is being compromised
I don’t mean a couple of sleepless nights; I am talking about things like your hair falling out, when you are suffereing from chronic anxiety, when work is negatively affecting your personal life, perhaps causing you to have problems with your spouse or children. One thing is for sure: there is a clear destructive domino effect that happens to everything else in your life when you are unhappily employed.
2. You sense something is changing
Perhaps you notice that your manager’s behavior is not the same as it once; he or she is treating you differently and perhaps your responsibilities have been changed. You sense that something is happening behind the scenes—I call this using your “situational awareness.” It’s critical to be aware of changes in the office environment and pick up on clues that something might be shifting. When I noticed that the owner of my former recruiting agency was updating her law license (and she hated the practice of law), I knew she was hatching her plan B if her company failed. So I simultaneously hatched my own plan B: I launched my own business.
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3. You dread your workdays
Does your current job pass the “Dread Test”? You know what I am talking about. This is when you absolutely cannot stand to work for an inept supervisor or with toxic coworkers, and you spend your days watching the clock. I know good jobs are hard to come by, but if you dread your job so much, you have to believe you can find something better. The good news is that other people transition to new, better jobs every day.
4. You’re dreaming of a better situation
Are you constantly daydreaming about being happier? Of finding a position in another company where you are fulfilled on a daily basis? A place where you can thrive, in a company with the same values as yours and a working environment that is a better match than the one you are currently in. Dreaming can be a powerful motivator, but in the end you must take action to turn those dreams into a reality.
If you determine that you fit into one of these four categories, it is likely time to find a new situation. Consider making an investment in career counseling, which can help you determine if your career is on the right path, and provide you with actionable steps to finding the job you will love.