At some point or another, you’re bound to feel frustration and stress at work. But when your job is stunting your career – and darkening your mood – it may be time to make a drastic change.
In the words of certified executive coach (and one of the 50 Best Women in Business in Pennsylvania) Marsha Egan: “Like LeBron James, you may want to take your talent elsewhere.”
We spoke with her and a couple of other experts on this topic to discuss the most important signs that a position or company may not be right for you. If any of these five signs sound a familiar, it may be time to move on and permit change for the better.
1. Poor Performance Reviews
One major sign of poor job fit is when you’re consistently receiving poor performance reviews. Feedback from your boss is the best indication of how much you’re contributing to the company.
“Two things to look for are if the same issues repeat on your report and if the phrase or rating of ‘Needs Improvement’ is constantly popping up,” Egan said. “If you are unsatisfied with your reviews, take a step back and ask yourself: Do I have a place with this company?”
2. Bad Relationships with Management
If you find that you’re bumping heads with your boss, chances are that he or she won’t be too keen on promoting you—let alone trusting you with critical tasks. Egan emphasizes that a synergic relationship with the management is essential in growing with a company.
After all, “as long as you are employed by your boss, you’re only as good at your job as your boss perceives you to be” Egan said.
3. Under Appreciation
A lack of recognition of your hard work is the quickest way to kill motivation, stunting your professional growth. Realize that just because your work isn’t appreciated at this company, doesn’t mean that you aren’t worthy of appreciation at all.
“It could just be the company culture or perhaps it is more personal,” Egan explained. “Either way, if despite great achievements you believe you are not getting the appreciation you deserve, you need to think about what your goals with the company are.”
If you feel that your contribution warrants a higher position, then your skills and talent may be more appreciated in another company.
4. When you’re Training a Backup
Roberta Chinsky Matuson, President of Northampton, Mass. based Human Resource Solutions suggested that one red flag is if you’re asked to train someone to do your job.
“Your boss asks you to train a backup in case you get hit by a bus. We rarely hear about people actually being taken out by a bus that has gone wild,” Matuson said. “This is usually code for, "You're on your way out pal. I need to make sure someone else can do your job before I fire you.”
Of course, there are exceptions to this warning sign, (maybe you’re going on an extended vacation or the workload has surpassed the amount that is reasonable for you to do alone). But, unless you’re aware of a valid reason, they may be prepping for a new you.
5. Chronic Unhappiness
While it’s natural to experience bad days at work, it’s important to be aware of your ultimate goals and decide whether or not the good outweighs the bad.
“A person is experiencing constant internal frustration it’s time to look for a new job. People really have to pay attention to their inner dialogue and ask themselves: Is this a matter of persevering through the short-term or is this something that will never make me happy?” Ergon said.
6. When you Start to Get Angry
Darcy Eikenber, author of an upcoming book Bring your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence & Control,” makes an excellent point that if you’re feeling angry at work, it may be a result of boredom.
“It's unhealthy and will not only damage your career in the long-term but your body and mind, too,” she said. “When you start to feel angry at the little things as well as the big things, it's a sign it's time to move on.”