5 Signs that the Time Has Come to Change Jobs

5 Signs that the Time Has Come to Change Jobs

Last update: 22 April, 2018

Staying in a job you hate can have serious consequences. Your mind is affected by a situation like this. Your body too. Being trapped in a daily life that you reject can make you sick — literally.

“Jobs don’t benefit us if they don’t have something to teach us”.

-José Hernández-

In general, it is fear that stops us from changing jobs. The fear can be so strong that we’d rather waste our life and our best years doing something we don’t want to do. Even worse, this fear almost always has no basis. It’s more about our lack of confidence in our abilities and a somewhat paranoid perception of reality. Yes, it’s true that getting a new job isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible.

Perhaps we need to face a period of uncertainty when we decide to change jobs. Or perhaps we will have to accept a lower salary. However, these problems are much easier to deal with than a job that you can no longer stand. To decide whether it is time to change jobs, ask yourself if you are seeing the following signs.

1. If you’re not getting paid, it’s time to change job

It may seem strange to say, but many people in the world today work without getting paid. Sometimes employers deceive people with “training” or very long probation periods. They ask you to pay for the training and then work for free until you reach a certain level that the employers will determine.

When is it time to change jobs?

In other cases, what happens is that you don’t receive your full salary. Or they suddenly stop paying you due to financial difficulties. They informally ask you to wait for them to get things up and running again. But then several weeks go by and they never do it. Change jobs straight away if this is happening.

2. The constant threat of being fired

Many companies hire and fire employees constantly. Contracts link the workers to performance targets, or they’re just “at will” employees. All this kind of set-up does is make employees uncomfortable. Anxiety is constant.

Nobody wants to lose their job, and so almost everyone becomes extremely manipulable and falsely efficient. The work environment tends to be full of tension and repressed annoyance — plus fear. A job like this isn’t worth it. You may be better off to change jobs.

3. You feel burned out

Work always means making an effort and, from time to time, doing things that you don’t really enjoy. However, enjoying or being interested in what you do should come first. When you basically no longer feel any interest in your job, it may be time to think about changing it up.

A man working, time to change jobs.

It starts with feelings of apathy or indifference. But it can build up and become anxiety, fatigue, depression or physical illness. There’s no reason to stay and make it worse. However drastic it may seem, it is time for a change of pace.

4. Your work isn’t valued and you’re not growing there

One thing that gives us motivation to do our work is feedback: recognition for our efforts, our achievements and our abilities. If you feel that no one is appreciating your work, no matter how much effort you put in, it might be a good idea to change jobs. If what you do isn’t valued, it will be difficult for you to progress. And if you don’t progress, sooner rather than later you will see your job as a burden and not as a path to growth.

5. You have mentally checked out

Sometimes you reach a point when you mentally disconnect from everything that has to do with your job. This manifests as the desire to be at work for as little as possible, constantly being distracted, and coming up with plans that don’t take work into account at all.

Overworked woman with post-it's stuck to her.

In this case, what’s going on is that you’ve mentally checked out. Your job doesn’t speak to you, and doesn’t really have a place in your life. You stay there due to habit, fear or necessity, but your mind and heart are already far away. It’s best to accept this reality.

However hard it may seem, it’s always best to change jobs right away rather than to have to deal with the consequences of not doing so. We spend a significant percentage of our lives working. The least we can expect is to feel that our work contributes to our growth and not our decline.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.