Some people have a nagging feeling that the job they are in isn’t right for them.
For me, it was a sudden, powerful realization that something was awry. I was on a business trip for my well-paid job in international education. My role was to promote educational opportunities in Canada, and my work had taken me to Russia in the dead of winter.
I was on the international conference circuit, living out of hotel rooms, going to between 8-10 meetings a day and attending conferences. I hadn’t taken a day of vacation in two years. And I literally broke down.
Finally admitting I was miserable was an important first step. But coming to that realization took time, because outwardly at least, I appeared successful: I had the house, I had the car and I had the six figure job. So what are the signs that it’s time to review your job situation?
You’re exhausted with the day-to-day.
Your days seem to roll into one, and the routine of your day-to-day is dragging you down. Maybe you’re reacting to life more than making a proactive choice about what you do during your day-to-day. Even if you don’t know what it is you’ll want to change right now, the first part is just being aware that your daily routine isn’t bringing you enough joy or happiness to be worthwhile.
People in these situations often feel exhausted, and suffer from low energy levels. Many will choose escapism in the evenings, by self-medicating or numbing out to TV.
You don’t want your boss’ job.
Do you want to be in your boss’ shoes? If not, then why are you trying to rise up through the ranks. Admitting that you don’t want the life, job or responsibilities of your superior is a common sign that it’s time to make a change.
Is your boss burnt out and stressed? If they seem miserable, you have to ask yourself whether having their job is something you ever want to do one day.
You’ve hit the ceiling in your organization.
An alternative is that you can entertain having your boss’ job, but that your boss isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Your superior is onto a cushy number and has no plans to leave. His or her job will only be yours if they retire or kick the bucket ― and neither of those seem likely.
You’re unmotivated and find it hard to be excited about life.
Nothing seems to inspire you or create a spark in ideas or thoughts. Your work or lifestyle isn’t motivating you. You dread Sunday nights and Monday mornings. You know you aren’t performing to the best of your best abilities at work but are at a loss about what to do about it.
You’re not learning anymore.
Not all organizations are capable of helping you learn and grow continuously. We can take responsibility for our own learning to an extent. But if you can’t see any opportunities for learning within your organization then it might be time to move onto pastures new.
Every minute, every hour, and every day is an opportunity for us to make changes that will affect us for the rest of our lives. If your gut instincts tell you that the life you are currently living isn’t in your highest potential or serving your highest valued needs, it’s time for a change.
Repeated nagging thoughts or feelings that can’t leave you alone.
Do you often find yourself thinking about quitting and running off to go traveling? Or that you are in the wrong job?
If you keep having doubts and you’ve tried to resolve issues yourself then maybe it’s a sign that your issues run a little deeper.
Your first job is to acknowledge it and be aware of the clues that are already happening in your life that are pushing you towards big changes, and instigating the feelings and thoughts to explore a better path for yourself.
After the Russian incident, I dedicated the next 9-10 months really finding out first of all what I wanted to do.
I thought about what could I start, and I ended up quitting my job about 10-11 months after that. So it was a journey. And I had to work my full-time job.
But I also worked a part-time job, and I freelanced on the side just to save up enough money to be able to quit.
It wasn’t always a sexy ride, but eventually I got there.
Lydia Lee is the Corporate Escape Coach at Screw The Cubicle who works with talented professionals who want to repurpose their skills towards a more meaningful career. She spends her time teaching people how to quit the jobs that are crushing their souls, discover their hidden talents, and make money doing something they love (and will care about).
Get inspired by 25 stories from ordinary people who left the Monday morning dread behind and found freedom and fulfilment outside of the cubicle.