A significant percentage of my coaching clients struggle with whether or not to stay in their current job or career. For people who are underpaid, overstressed, have a toxic boss or want to relocate for lifestyle reasons, the decision to move on usually comes easy.
However, many clients are paid well, enjoy certain aspects of their job, have developed friendships at work, or feel insecure about the future. These and other factors can create paralysis. Even when clients have a strong gut feeling the time is right to move on, they can remain in a state of inaction for years.
Below is a list of four signs the time may be right to commit to finding greener pastures.
Values gap. This occurs when there is a misalignment between what you experience day-to-day versus how you want to live your life. The larger the gap (or gaps), the more discomfort your experience. For example, if your highest value is compassion, and you work for a company that treats its customers or workers poorly, the gap often manifests itself as stress, frustration and disengagement. (Tip: pick your top five values from this list and compare them to what is valued at work.)
Dead end. If you look at your supervisor and say, “I don’t want that job!” it is time to consider whether you are comfortable in your present position for the foreseeable future. If you want to move up, it may be time to prepare to do it elsewhere.
Another version of the dead end is that you find you are no longer challenged at work, and are on autopilot most of the time. If your one-up is unable or unwilling to provide new challenges, it is a sign your are on the path to…
Boredom. In the workplace, boredom is defined a lack meaningful work to absorb your energy. It impacts people at all stages of their careers, from entry-level to executive positions. In addition, research suggests extroverts, high performers, and younger workers are at greater risk for boredom.
John Eastwood, Ph.D., one of the authors of “The Unengaged Mind,” writes boredom is associated with a host of unwelcome effects such as increased drug and alcohol use, overeating, depression, anxiety, and poor performance.
Same time next year. When I lived in the corporate world, I took time out around my work anniversary to assess if I wanted to be working for the same people/company on my next anniversary. When I didn’t want to, I quietly began to take steps to find another position. If your stomach churns at the thought of one more year doing the same old – same old, determine why and either fix it, come to terms with it, or begin to move on.
If you are struggling in your current position, or want to clarify whether the time is right for you to move on from your current job, please contact me at Galford@acceleratedcoachingandconsulting.com for a free, no obligation one-hour Power Session.
Gregory Alford, MS. Psy., is founder of Accelerated Coaching & Consulting LLC, and specializes in business, leadership and life coaching and Marcom consulting.