Warning Signs You Need a New Job

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 7, 2020

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It’s a sad but true fact of modern life — a majority of workers feel stuck in their jobs. If you’re here because you are unhappy with your job, you have lots of company. However, it can often be challenging to decide whether to stick it out and see if things change or make an empowered decision to find a new job.

If you’ve been wondering about whether or not you need to make the switch, read below for ten warning signs that you need to find a new job.

10 Warning Signs You Need a New Job

  1. Your job is creating destructive habits. If you find yourself engaging in any bad habits or poor coping mechanisms due to your job, it may be time to re-prioritize. This can take many different forms.

    You may have trouble falling asleep at night or waking in the middle of the night, worrying about work. Maybe your eating habits have changed, and you’re consuming too much or too little food or drinking too much alcohol. Or perhaps you’re always angry or irritable and lashing out at loved ones.

    Whatever it may be, if your work is causing or encouraging a harmful habit, it may be time to begin a job search. Increases in destructive habits can be a sign that your current job is causing excessive stress, and it may not be the right fit for you.

  2. Your job is causing health issues. Stress is a normal part of life and work, and you expect a little bit of pressure in any job or any activity that’s worth doing. However, if your job makes you feel stressed or emotionally disturbed at a level you can’t deal with, that’s a huge red flag that you need to start looking for a new job

    This includes feelings of chronic stress or being constantly burnt out by work. Excessive stress can also exhibit bodily symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, physical pain, or frequent colds. In severe cases, you may even be experiencing clinical depression or anxiety due to your work.

    If this sounds like you, it’s definitely time to hit the job boards. You may even want to consider whether or not to embark on an entirely new career path. Whatever you choose, remember that your physical and mental health are always of chief importance.

  3. You spend most of the day bored. Be honest — do you spend most of the work day aimlessly scrolling on social media, watching videos, or playing games on your phone? If so, this can be a sign that you’re chronically bored at work, and you need to find something that utilizes more of your energy and attention.

    If you aren’t engaged by your work and find yourself monotonously droning through your tasks, you should consider finding a better, more interesting use of your time. This is especially true if you have already asked for new or more challenging responsibilities, and they haven’t come your way.

    You deserve an opportunity to show off the best of what you can do. Start looking for a job that involves a healthy amount of challenge so that you can learn and grow professionally.

  4. Your work environment is toxic. We all might have minor issues or gripes about a coworker or our boss, but if the entire workplace seems to be full of relational issues or is built on a toxic system of behavior, it’s time to jump ship.

    Perhaps this looks like higher-ups who cannot deal with conflict in a healthy way and end up screaming at you or putting you down. It also may be a workplace full of gossip or constant jokes and conversations that make you uncomfortable. There may even be some unethical or even illegal business practices.

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    You don’t have to put up with a social environment that makes it impossible for you to enjoy your job and do it well. If you have brought up concerns about this and they’ve been swept under the rug, it’s definitely time to do yourself a favor and look for a job that values your wellbeing.

  5. The organization or staff changes too frequently. Constantly re-structuring a business organization to the point where workers don’t even whom they report to is a bad sign. It can indicate incompetence on the part of the leadership or a lack of strategic planning. And it’s just plain confusing and a difficult condition to work effectively under.

    Another bad sign is a turnover rate that’s way too high and an inability to keep talented workers around for long. If you notice that the best employees or managers always end up leaving, that’s a clear sign that there are better opportunities out there.

    If this sounds like your workplace, there could be some serious issues behind the scenes you aren’t aware of yet. It’s better to get out now before you have to find out what those issues are the hard way.

  6. There are no opportunities for growth. Opportunities for career advancements are necessary to feel excited by what you do and motivated to do a great job. If there are no opportunities for advancement in sight, it can be challenging to stay focused on your work. There’s no need to stick around and wait.

    If there are no new skills to learn, no new opportunities or responsibilities, and no raises on the horizon, there’s not much of a point in staying and waiting until boredom overtakes you. And if there are no opportunities for a promotion, the chances of your career moving forward here are slim to none.

    If you’ve been at this job for a while and you’re still doing the same thing you’ve been doing since day one, your talents may be better served elsewhere.

  7. The company is failing. If there are obvious signs that your company is tanking, pay attention to them. Are people consistently getting laid off? Are there frequent or prolonged salary freezes? Do the stock prices just keep falling? If so, you may have to start job-hunting, whether you like it or not.

    Any normal company will have good times and bad times, but it may be in a dire situation if the bad times never seem to end. Or, at the very least, the organization is dysfunctional and needs to make some significant changes.

    You aren’t abandoning your post or acting selfishly if you want to get out before you’re forced out. Start a job-hunt sooner rather than later and work for a company with a brighter future.

  8. You can’t create a work-life balance. A stable work-life balance involves focusing on work when you’re at work or have explicitly set aside time to work and concentrating on other essential aspects of your life when you aren’t working. If you find that you can’t let go of work stress even when you’re done with work, this is a warning sign.

    Constantly complaining about work to your friends and family to the point where you can’t seem to talk about much else is another sign of a poor work-life balance. If your boss expects you to be available at all hours, or if you find yourself dreading your next work day even when you’re at home, these are all ominous signs.

    Work shouldn’t make it difficult to engage in other meaningful parts of your life, such as spending time with loved ones or taking time to unwind. Finding a job that allows you to have a work-life balance you are comfortable with is critical.

  9. You don’t find meaning or fulfillment in what you do. A large part of the reason we work is that we want to be engaged in meaningful, useful projects. If you think your job is “useless” or serving a means to an end you don’t care about or disagree with, it can be impossible to stay committed.

    This may also look like not being treated as an individual at work. If your job continually reminds you that you are replaceable, it’s probably time to let them find your replacement and go somewhere you are valued.

    You deserve to be passionate about the thing that you spend a large part of your day doing. It’s possible to wake up in the morning and actually want to go to work; you just have to keep searching.

  10. You keep thinking about getting a new job. If you’ve thought more than once about quitting and finding a new job, especially if it’s a frequent recurrent thought, it may be time to listen to your intuition. These thoughts have come up for a reason, so figure out what’s going on to make these thoughts arise.

    You may just need to make a significant change at work, but it’s also likely that these thoughts are trying to tell you something important. If you keep finding yourself saying or thinking, “I need a new job,” chances are that you do.

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Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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