Hey! Are you at work right now? Searching the internet for reasons to leave your job while at your job is the first warning sign that Restless-Job Syndrome has kicked in. Don’t worry: You’re not alone. The baby boomer generation’s days of spending their entire adult lives in the same cubicle are well over. According to the Wall Street Journal, today a person can expect to average seven different careers over the course of their working lives. And that number looks likely to continue increasing, considering that a recent study found more than half of workers (51%) had stayed in the same job for less than two years.
The good news is that being restive in your career prospects will not negatively affect you. In fact, more often than not it could mean you will earn more over time. A recent Forbes study found people who stay in their job for more than two years earn 50% less over their career. Although top performers earn an average of 4.5% annual raise, switching positions usually results in a 10-20% increase in pay.
With that in mind, here are the six extremely scientific, doctor-approved ways to know for sure that it’s time to jump a sinking office ship for greener cubicle pastures.
1. The Snooze Button on Your Alarm Clock is Broken from Overuse.
Staying out late on a school night for Dave’s birthday is one thing, but when you’re snoozing six to seventeen times a morning just to avoid the office, it’s time for an occupational rethink. Use this time spent cowering under the covers to determine what you really want to get out of the workday. Don’t brood on Karen from HR’s bad attitude or scoff at how your boss clips his fingernails over your desk, because anger won’t get you out of the current situation. It’s time to start of thinking toward your future, and a job for which you’re finally excited to get out of bed in the morning.
2. Your Values and Your Company's No Longer Align. At All.
We get it. When you started at your company, their mission statement hooked you. Laid out all nice and tidy in the About section of their website and touted proudly by the hiring managers and supervisors you spoke to in the interview process, it seemed like the company was out to affect some real change in this crazy, mixed-up world we live in. Now that you’ve been around a couple years, though, you realize that the initially high-minded ideals have given way to a grinding practicality that feels suffocating and suspect. You want something more from the place you spend the majority of your life, and why not? Life’s short, and you deserve to spend it doing something that not only excites you, but do it for a company that not only aligns its beliefs with yours but actually practices what it preaches.
3. Your Skillset is Being Ignored, Not Tapped.
Facts are facts. Often, workers find their skill sets are not being exploited in the workplace. he United States underemployment rate hovers at 15% and nearly 30% of under-utilized workers anticipate they will leave their jobs within five years. Beyond the measurables, though, many workers feel that they’re not being challenged by their bosses in the ways their job description might suggest. Sometimes this can be remedied by thinking outside the box, pushing supervisors for more responsibility, or going to higher-ups to craft a new game plan. Other times, the lack of opportunities can feel stifling, and why not? You worked for those advanced degrees, certificate programs, programming languages or whatever skills you’re most proud of. They deserve to be utilized in the workplace, and you deserve a job that can meet you at your best, not just ensure you’re a functional, brainless cog in the corporate machine.
4. No Raise, No Promotion, No Motivation
A recent study found that the average middle-class American hasn’t gotten a raise -- in inflationary terms -- in 15 years. So while you can’t demand a promotion or a salary spike every six months, there are reasons to believe that if one of the two doesn’t occur within the first couple of years, they might not be coming at all. There are special cases where a job is so fulfilling, so values-aligned and fun to perform that raises or promotions are an afterthought, but for many office workers, lack of movement can be one of the most discouraging and stressful factors of adult life. When you can feel yourself banging against a promotion or salary ceiling time and again, it’s time to start looking outside your company for other opportunities. And the data shows that such a move can actually increase your prospects of a higher salary and a bigger role.
5. You Won’t Shut Up About the Benefits.
If you’ve ever had a conversation about your job with friends and family and used the words, “I’m just staying in it for the benefits,” trust that you are not alone. And also trust that you are staying in a job you dislike for all the wrong reasons. Sure, health care costs are skyrocketing and retirement savings are becoming ever more crucial, but you won’t look back on your career and thank yourself for staying in a stagnant, toxic job just so to avoid doctor premiums. Indeed, stress and discontent in the office can actually contribute to short- and long-term health problems. Occupational health -- or lack thereof -- can often translate into physical and emotional health.
6. Your Boss is a Bozo.
Nothing against bosses -- many of us know how hard it is to do one job and supervise others, as well -- but when they’re bad, there’s little worse for an employee’s mental health. Your boss should be a workplace ally, someone who demands your best work and pushes you to achieve. Often, though, you get a boss who does not care for employee satisfaction -- and occasionally rebels against it entirely. The internet abounds with guides to interacting with your bad boss, but what if your boss is incapable of interacting with you? If you sense a supervisor-employee relationship is on the verge of unraveling, it is often less painful to just cut the cord before the damage gets too severe. This is a difficult choice, of course, but your psyche will thank you for the change of pace.
If any of these signs match your own symptoms, it might be time for a Switch. Join Switch today and receive job opportunities tailored to your interests, experience, skill set and location, directly to your phone. If you’re not enjoying your current job, at least you can enjoy your job search!