Even your dream job can suck some days, but some jobs just suck every day.
In her latest video, Chelsea Fagan of The Financial Diet says you should be looking for a new job if you notice any of these six warning signs:
- You’re not being challenged.
- Toxic boundary-less environment.
- No clear performance metrics.
- You’re no longer learning.
- You’re being overworked and underpaid.
- There’s no work-life balance.
If these red flags sound familiar, start looking for the exit door. This is not to say that you should just quit, but it means you don’t want to delay your search for a new job. Since these bad situations rarely get better, they only grow to crush your soul harder, being proactive is your best bet.
By starting to look now while you recognize the signs, you will be taking charge of your life and future, and feel better for it.
If instead, you do nothing because you don’t want to face the uncertainties of going to a new company or because of other fears, the consequence of your inaction is that you will feel trapped and resent your situation.
That is no way to live long-term, wouldn’t you agree?
Fagan makes some great points. Some are even worth noting and quoting, like what it means when your employer doesn’t care that you have work-life balance:
An employer that does not care about the rest of your life, does not care about you.
In his book “The Humor Advantage,” Michael Kerr shares some findings by Google. They did an internal study into what makes a great leader at the company and found that one of the key ingredients was “expressing an interest in employees’ well being.” Facebook, he says, also conducted a similar study and found that the key qualities that made their managers so great, was “caring for their team members.”
Granted, we can’t all work at Facebook or Google, but there’s a reason employees feel valued working at those companies and why the best companies and managers today are modeling those leadership traits.
Here’s a point she made that I don’t quite agree with, in that I don’t think this is always the company’s responsibility:
If you cannot clearly answer the question, Why am I essential to this company, that’s a huge red flag.
I believe by knowing your company’s mission, most people can answer this question for themselves. Few managers, even during your performance reviews, take the time to mentor you and make sure you feel essential to the company.
How Am I Essential to My Company?
When I give talks I often tell the story of a midtown (Manhattan) bus driver who would greet every passenger warmly and behave more like a tour bus guide than a city bus driver. As his bus passed by various stores and buildings on Fifth Avenue he would share the history and interesting facts about the buildings. By the time passengers reached their stops, each was in a better mood than when they got on his bus.
Here’s how the current mission statement of the MTA reads:
The MTA preserves and enhances the quality of life and economic health of the region we serve through the cost-efficient provision of safe, on-time, reliable and clean transportation services.
No one told this bus driver to go out of his way. He knew that courtesy, safety and reliability are part of the MTA’s mission. As he’s in a customer service role, he found HIS way to provide a service that enhances the quality of life for those he served. And I bet you, it made his day go by faster and he felt more fulfilled in his job.
He also found a way to apply his gifts and talents to supporting his employer’s mission. Who knows? Maybe his next stop from the MTA was the motivational speaking circuit!
Each of us can do our version of this. Even if you’re a cashier at 7-11, you can bring something to your work that no other clerk can. You can bring YOU!
Most managers may suck, but you, the employee, don’t have to. The time you spend at work takes up a big chunk of your life. Bring value to it, so that YOU can feel good about your workday.
If you’re not being challenged or getting what you need from your work, then yes, let’s get the job search going, but while you’re there, be the best darn bus driver, sales associate, marketer, or priest that you can be, for the simple reason that we’re responsible for how we spend our time.
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If you have a career question that you’d like us to answer or discuss here, please email us at email@example.com.