The average person changes jobs 12 times throughout their career. If that sounds like a lot, consider some of the reasons why. Now, more than ever, employees want more than basic benefits and a less-than-stellar work environment to keep them loyal to a company.
If employers aren’t willing to do more, it’s easier for some people to move on than to feel stuck in a stale career.
The reality is, you should never settle in your career. Sacrificing your happiness and giving up on your dreams will impact your personal life and could leave you feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. If you feel like your current career is taking you down the wrong path, it’s never too late to make a change.
But, how do you know when it’s time? Let’s cover some of the larger, sweeping signs you need to look for a different career, so you can examine how your job might be affecting you.
You’re in a Toxic Work Environment
A positive work environment is crucial. Unfortunately, people far too often deal with hostile environments without saying anything. Toxicity in the workplace can start small. Maybe you feel as though your employer doesn’t care about your wellbeing. Do employees frequently sustain minor or major injuries in the workplace and your employer isn’t approachable about them? Do they encourage movement and breaks throughout the day? Even if you work a desk job, you can experience overexertion and injuries, and your boss should care about that.
On a larger scale, there are some more noticeable signs of a toxic work environment, including:
- Bad communication
- Poor leadership
- Unmotivated employees
- High turnover
- No forward movement
There are even more extreme issues some workplaces face, like blatant discrimination or sexism. If you feel discriminated against in your career, and there isn’t a likelihood of change, it’s important to know you don’t deserve that behavior. You should consider finding a new place to work, or even starting up your own business with a dedication to treating all genders and ethnicities with equality.
It’s easy to deny or minimize some “bad behaviors” in the workplace, but you shouldn’t have to. Don’t stay in a job that makes you uncomfortable or a business with practices you know are wrong. Something better is out there.
Your Job Lacks Joy
We’re not saying you need to be Marie Kondo when it comes to everything about your career. But, there should be something about your job that “sparks joy.” There’s no question as to how important a work-life balance is to millennials. One FlexJobs survey found that 83% in this generation rank work-life balance as the most important factor when evaluating a job opportunity. If your career is taking away from your personal life – and your joy – it could be time to move on.
In addition to striking a healthy work-life balance, consider how you feel when you’re actually at work. It’s important to know that you’re in a job with opportunities. Is your current employer letting you utilize your skills and qualifications? If not, and you’re considering leaving, you’re not alone. In fact, one study found that half of millennials would leave a job for another one that offered a raise of just 20%. If you feel like you don’t have any loyalty to your current job, consider why. Would you leave if something remotely better came along? Have you been thinking about it already?
You should never feel stifled or held back at work. The environment is one thing, but how do you, personally, feel about what you’re doing? If there is no room for growth, no positive reinforcement, and you can’t see yourself feeling “stuck” there forever, it could be time to look for a different career. Take the time to find what you love to do, and focus on that aspect of your work, rather than the idea of “making it.” With that mindset, you’re more likely to jump into a career you love for the long haul.
About Beau Peters