The right time to change the jobRoger Quinn ▼ | Sunday October 24, 2010 6:01PM ET
The signs that you are ready to leave your job and try to find satisfaction somewhere else are deeply connected with fears what might happen. That's absolutely understandable and those fears should be taken into account when thinking about changes in your career.
However, they shouldn't stop you from action or you will be stuck at your miserable job, with your miserable thoughts, forever. We'll try to help you recognize some signs and fears and hopefully give you one or two advices to make your life better.
There are many signs that are telling it's time to leave but most serious is the pain in the stomach. When it appears when are you going to work or when you think about work, that's the best sign that you've gone too far ignoring the fact. It means that your body can't handle the stress anymore and that you must do something very quickly. In plain English: your job is killing you. Since you don't want to catch some chronic disease of end up on pills, you should think about changes seriously.
The biggest fear is that's hard to find another job, even the one with lower salary and worse working conditions. It's crisis all around us, right? Well, the crisis may be but if you stop for a while and think about it, you can always say it's crisis. Golden times are long gone and in fact it was never easy to find a good job. Or any job, for that case. But if you are an expert and know what you are doing, there is always a job out there waiting for you. There are many companies born in time of crisis just because their founders had no fear. "It's crisis" is just an excuse that prevent us for doing something.
Now, what are the other signs that are telling you that something is very wrong. The first one is demoralization. If you see no goal ahead of you, your boss doesn't pay attention to your efforts, there's no sign of optimism around you, it easy - and quite natural for that matter - to be demoralized. It kills your self-confidence, your wish to help the company and ultimately it kill the wish to help yourself.
This is a very dangerous state because it causes days to pass by, one by one, and you are doing nothing to make situation better. If you are going to work just because you were there yesterday, be sure that you and your career are in a dangerous position.
The second sign you must pay attention to is doubt. "Should I tell this to my boss?", "Am I doing this right?", "Maybe I should be take this responsibility"... If thoughts like these are coming to your mind often then it's time to ask yourself why. If you can't find no apparent reason, you can be pretty sure that the atmosphere in your company is bad. It is obviously dragging you down and you shouldn't allow that. Usually you can't change the whole company but you can change your working place for the better.
And for the end, don't think that your "I'm leaving" will make others think that you lost and can't stand the pressure. And indeed, why would you? It's much smarter to find another job that will fulfil you than to earn an ulcer. From that point of view, it really doesn't matter what other people think, especially because they think wrong. ■