We all have days when the last thing we feel like doing is getting up and going to work.
This is especially true if you are returning from a long holiday or are going through a stressful time at work.
It’s to be expected, but usually within a few days most people find that their enthusiasm returns.
But what if lately you have been feeling bored or frustrated at work most of the time?
Or perhaps you have always felt like this but didn’t think you could do anything about it.
Life is too short to stay in a job you are not satisfied with and if any of the following warning signs sound familiar it may be time to make a change.
You are not learning
Are you in a job where you feel that you are plodding along and ticking boxes, but not really excelling?
There will be times in every role where you feel that you are treading water, but this should not go on forever.
At the end of the day you need to feel that there is some sort of career progression to look forward to.
Look around you.
Is there a job you want, other than the one you are currently in?
If you feel you are in a position where there are no opportunities to advance yourself or learn a new skill set then you may be in a dead-end job.
This may be because of a manager who is afraid of change or of nurturing talent, or it could be because the company you work for is quite small and offers little scope for the kind of development you are after.
Either way, don’t be afraid to ask yourself whether you are being truly challenged.
You are doing it for the money alone
So many people are toiling away at jobs doing something that their heart just isn’t in.
Often they took the job thinking it would be a temporary thing — something they could quit when a more suitable role came along — but then a year, sometimes two, passes and they find it hard to quit.
They are attached to the salary they are earning — there is a mortgage to pay, after all — and they can’t see a way out of the mess.
But following your true ambition doesn’t have to mean poverty.
There are steps you can take, such as working part-time at your job to fund a new venture, to ensure you don’t starve.
If the only thing you like about your job is your salary, it is time to look for a new and more rewarding one.
You don’t fit in
Recruiters call it ‘cultural fit’ and it has a big impact on how well you get on with your co-workers.
You may be the most qualified person for the job, but if your values don’t align with those of the organisation then it is unlikely you will end up loving the position, too.
A bad cultural fit can result in a lack of enthusiasm and un-necessary bickering.
Not that you have to get on with everyone you work with: that would be unrealistic.
But you should at least, for the most part, share a sense of common purpose and work in harmony with the culture of the organisation.
After all, you spend a lot of your waking hours with your fellow employees so make sure that the “fit” is right.
It does not align with your values
Some people, particularly younger workers, change their values over the course of a few years.
Maybe when they first took a job they were still working out who they were and now that they know what is important to them they are struggling to enjoy their work.
This could happen, for instance, in the case of a community-minded worker who would prefer to be working for a cause or campaign.
A white-collar job in a corporate office is clearly going to clash with these values.
If you’re someone who values autonomy and working by yourself then you need to think twice before taking a role in a large team headed by a hands-on boss who requires regular communication.
This would be a clear cash of misplaced values.
In these above instances, neither camp is wrong.
Sometimes people struggle to perform at work simply because they are not honest about what their values are and they lack the ability to identify the roles that are best suited to matching them.
You are being bullied
This one is absolutely non-negotiable.
If you are being abused or bullied at work and nothing is being done about it then it is time to leave.
In some cases, companies will respond vigorously to bullying complaints.
The matter will be investigated, mediation will take place and the bullying offender put on notice.
In these cases, employees need not leave their job, which is the ideal situation.
However, if you have taken all of the right steps to address the behavior and nothing is being done then you need to look after yourself and leave immediately.
Also published on Medium.