It’s Sunday night, and you’re filled with a feeling of dread.
You don’t want to have to go back to work tomorrow. But then you make it through the first day of the workweek – and you keep feeling the Sunday Scaries on Monday night, then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…all through the week. You don’t find relief until after work on Friday.
Or perhaps you’re just waiting for your company to fold. Many of your colleagues have already been let go, but your organization still hasn’t rebounded. You know your pink slip is likely imminent, but you’re still hanging on.
These are two clear red flags at work. If the prospect of going to work fills you with anxiety, there’s something wrong with your situation. Alternately, if your employment feels less-than-predictable, too, you should be looking for the quickest way out.
What other factors signal that you should be looking for the exit? Here are our seven red flags at work you may be ignoring.
You have trouble getting out of bed on workdays.
If you’re struggling to get motivated because the prospect of going to work is so distasteful, you should take that as one of the signs you need a new job.
“Boreout is a syndrome caused by mental underload in the workplace and can manifest in serious ways, such as depression, insomnia, and listlessness,” Workable noted.
Try to change your situation before quitting by requesting interesting projects or seeking new challenges. However, if you’ve already tried this and nothing happened, then it’s time to look for employment elsewhere.
You haven’t learned anything new for a long, long time.
One of the reasons you could dread going to work is that you’re bored with the same old routine.
If you’ve already mastered your role and aren’t given opportunities for new challenges, you’re likely to feel discouraged. After all, who wants to do exactly the same thing day after day?
“A new job can be exciting as you learn new policies, procedures, and protocols. After some time, though, you might feel as if you’ve outgrown your position, especially if you’re not learning anything new,” said FlexJobs’ Jennifer Parris.
Your job doesn’t give you the flexibility you’re seeking.
Even if you’re satisfied with the work you do, you may feel less satisfied with post-pandemic office policies.
Many workers recognized how liberating it was to be able to work their own hours and do their jobs wherever they liked. In fact, 95 percent of respondents wanted to be able to work flexible hours, and 78 percent found flexible locations appealing.
If this is your desire, but your current workplace is stuck on traditional workplace expectations, you’re facing one of the clear signs you need a new job.
Your boss doesn’t notice your hard work.
Not being appreciated by your boss is one of the hardest pills for workers to swallow.
A StudyFinds poll found that nearly 60 percent of workers had never had a boss who fully appreciated their work. While some of that dissatisfaction can be mitigated if their colleagues recognize them, the same study found that most employees need their work validated to feel appreciated and welcomed at an organization.
If your boss doesn’t support your success, then it may be time to move on.
Your colleagues aren’t your cup of tea…or they’re downright hostile.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what it would be like to work somewhere before you take a job.
You may simply not fit into the company culture. Perhaps your colleagues are all extroverts, but you’re an introvert. Maybe most of them don’t use strict boundaries and expectations while you thrive on them.
These problems warrant a conversation that, unresolved, may lead you to decide to look for employment elsewhere.
However, hostile workplaces should have you eying the exit immediately.
“You may find that projects you’ve approved or decisions you made are being overturned by others, behind your back, or openly. Second-guessing and making changes without your input is disrespectful and mean your work isn’t valued,” said Monster writer Catherine Conlan.
Your company doesn’t have roles that would let you advance.
Many employees join companies with the goal of advancing their careers there.
However, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes, you realize that your organization simply doesn’t have a position at the next level above your current role – and they’re not going to create one. Other times, someone else might already have your dream role – and they’re not going anywhere.
“If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, consider where you’d like to see yourself and what you can do to get there. If your current place of employment doesn’t have the intention or resources to support your goals, it’s time to hitch your wagon to another star,” added Workable.
Your company is declining.
If your company has had several rounds of layoffs, you may want to consider if you’re willing to keep working there.
It isn’t healthy to always worry if your next office day might be your last.
“Businesses do falter occasionally and eventually recover their footing. However, a company that’s losing market grip continuously and, worse, management hasn’t shown or inspired a solution to stop the bleeding is a sign that the sinking is for real,” argued Finances Online.
You’ve Seen the Red Flags at Work; Now What?
You’ve recognized that your work situation is untenable.
You lack enthusiasm for your job, or your work has become so rote you haven’t learned anything new in years. Or maybe it’s your colleagues who are the problem; your boss doesn’t recognize your accomplishments, or the culture of the organization makes you feel uncomfortable. Or perhaps it’s your company itself; you have no ways to grow, or your organization is no longer stable.
The first step is recognizing that you can’t keep doing what you’re doing.
If you want challenging, fulfilling, and solid work, you have to embark on the job search. Certainly, the fear of seeking a new job is one of the reasons so many people ignore the signs they need a new job.
But you don’t have to be afraid! Take searching for a new job step by step. The way to get started is by setting up informational interviews that give you direction about what you might do next. Read our best practices for informational interviews guide here!