It’s the first day of your new job. You get there twenty minutes before they said that you needed to. Your hair is styled and you’re wearing an outfit only slightly less dressy than what you wore in your interview. You’re listening intently during your orientation but you’re also antsy for it to end because you want to get going on your job. When you start actually working you’re in the zone all day. Every task they give you is promptly knocked out of the park, and you’re already brainstorming ways you could improve the company beyond your duties. On top of this you still manage to introduce yourself to everyone that you encounter. And at the end of the day you invite your new coworkers to grab drinks down the street, first round’s on you!
Some time passes…
You walk into the office no earlier than ten minutes late, large coffee in hand. You’re wearing an untucked button shirt that may or may not be clean. When you first sit down at your desk you spend roughly half an hour scrolling through Facebook and Twitter before you even start working. You spend most of the day plugged into headphones, and don’t talk to anyone. You do what you need to do to not get fired. And at the end of the day,all you want to do is go home, sit on your ass and binge Daredevil on Netflix.
We almost always feel excited when we start a new job. On day one we feel like the world is our oyster and that it’s a start of an awesome new chapter in the book of our lives. But every chapter needs to end at some point, and sometimes you just need to get the hell out of whatever job you have.
But realizing that you need a new job can be difficult at times. For one thing, that feeling of sheer excitement and possibility that you feel on your first day will fade even if you’re overall happy with your job. Also, all jobs have their ups and downs, so it can be hard to tell if you’re truly unhappy or if it’s just been a rough period. So here’s a few signs to help you know if you should dust of the ol’ resume.
1. You’re Unable To Hang Out With Your Work Friends Without Complaining About Work
No job is perfect. At every job there’s always going to be someone who’s an asshole for no reason. There’s always going to be a manager who overworks you. There’s always going to be a really unreasonable client. There’s always going to be someone who only got their job by kissing someone’s ass. There’s always going to be systems in place that are inefficient and that waste time. There’s always going to be parts of your job that sometimes make you want to rip your hair out.
And sometimes, you need to complain about that shit. That’s why work friends are so important. They understand the parts of your job that suck just as much as you do. They’re your comrades, your brothers and sisters in arms in the war that is corporate America.
But if you and your coworkers can’t ever go out for drinks without having a massive session of shit-talking, there’s something wrong with your company. Obligatory office bullshit aside, you ultimately need to be able to respect your company and the people who work there. If you can’t respect them; then you won’t be motivated to do your job to the best of your abilities, and you’re going to feel like your soul is getting sucked out a little more every day.
2. You’re Constantly Feeling Burnt Out
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Work is hard. Shocking, I know, but it’s true. Whatever your job is, it shouldn’t be easy for you. It should challenge you. It should push you beyond what you think your limits are, and help you reach your full potential.
But working too hard, is a very real thing. If you’re being overworked for too long, you will feel it. And soon enough you will reach your limit and no longer even be able to function at your job.
Now feeling drained at the end of the week is one thing. But when that feeling of being almost completely out-of-gas becomes the norm on any given day, then something needs to change. Because if you try to soldier on in that state, something very unpleasant will eventually happen. So if you’re feeling close to a total burn out, take a step back and think about why you are feeling this way. Because it could very well be a sign that it’s time to move on.
3. Your Company Has Terrible Customer Service
Due to past experience, I’ve learned to look up every company I apply for. And if a company has a reputation for bad customer service, that is a huge red flag for me. Because customers are the key to profits for literally every for-profit business. If a company won’t even treat their customers well, how do you think they are going to treat their employees? Probably not well. So if your company has a reputation for sub-par customer service, and you don’t see steps being taken to rectify this nor are you in a position to do anything about it, start planning your exit strategy.
4. Your Life Outside of Work Isn’t What It Used To Be
I actually have some personal experience that illustrates this point.
I recently had a job that, to put it lightly, wasn’t exactly where I wanted to stay for the rest of my life. But I wanted to try and stick with it for awhile since it was good experience and I didn’t want my resume to make it seem like I wasn’t loyal. But soon, I began to notice changes in my out- of-work behavior.
At my previous jobs, I would regularly go out after work. It usually wasn’t much beyond getting a drink after work but I could still go a little crazy during the week and be ok the next morning. But after I started this job, I found myself almost incapable of going out after work unless it was just down the street from my house and not past 9pm.
Now I’ve always been a bit of an introvert, and as such I always need some regularly-scheduled alone time. But it got to the point where sometimes if I went out during the week, I would basically shut down after awhile. I distinctly remember a time when I went to a concert one night with my girlfriend. And for the life of me, I was unable to engage with anything. A couple songs into their set, I felt like I was suffocating. When the music was done I couldn’t get out of their fast enough. I had to stand outside away from the people for a good 10 minutes just breathing slowly to calm myself down.
That kind of thing NEVER used to happen to me. This job was draining me so much, that I could no longer enjoy doing the things I used to love. Trust me on this one, if you are experiencing something like this, you ned a new job yesterday.
We’re all going to have to work a job we don’t like at one point or another. Sometimes we need to grab a large coffee and power through it. But unless you have a VERY compelling reason to stay, you can’t stay in a terrible job forever. So even if you aren’t in a position to leave a job you hate right at this second, never stop looking for other opportunities.