Not many people can say they relish the thought of heading to work on a Monday morning. But if you’ve started dreading work or just feel bored out of your brains most of the time, there might be more going on than simple post-weekend blues.
The fact of the matter is that it’s easy to get complacent when you’ve been working in the same job for more than a few years and your colleagues and daily tasks have remained the same.
A study from Rasmussen College found that only 22% of adults are able to see a clear career path in their current job and two-thirds have considered quitting. Some of the reasons for their dissatisfaction included a lack of opportunities for advancement and being unable to use their skills and education.
Even so, many of us fail to pursue new jobs and opportunities simply because we’re afraid of being uncomfortable. We’re afraid that applying for that new job might mean relocating, retraining, working longer hours or giving up a flexible schedule.
But while it might seem like the ‘safe’ option, staying in a job you’ve outgrown will eventually kill any enjoyment you could have derived from your career. So if you’ve been noticing a change in your attitude towards work lately, here are five signs you might be ready for a new job.
1. You avoid new challenges or responsibilities
If your first reaction when volunteers are being sought or new assignments are being handed out is to blend into the background and hope you’re not chosen, it might be time to move on.
Of course, you could try looking for opportunities to take initiative or let your boss know that you’re willing to take on additional projects. But if despite your best efforts you feel that you’ve hit a plateau in your current job or are being passed over for a promotion, it’s in your best interest to start looking for a job where you’ll actually be excited to tackle new challenges.
2. You can’t remember the last time you learned something new
One of the reasons challenging work tends to be more rewarding than work that comes easily to us is that it allows us to continue learning new things as we go along.
If you can’t remember the last time you learned something new on the job, you’ve likely become complacent and are no longer growing or improving your skills.
3. You no longer care about what you do
In the early days of your job, you likely put a great deal of effort into everything you did, whether it was serving customers or showing a new employee the ropes.
So if you’ve stopped doing things by the book and tend to skip steps, or simply no longer care about things like the company dress code and being on time for meetings, it’s a sure sign that you need to branch out and tackle something new.
4. Your days have become predictable
Predictable equals boring, and if you know exactly what your day is going to be like before you even set foot in the office, it’s no wonder you’re lacking motivation or feeling disengaged.
If your work days have become predictable, it might be time to update your skills or get some additional training that will allow you to advance within the company or look for a new job.
5. You have no long term career goals
If you’re plodding along in your current job with no clear idea of where you want to be within the next five to ten years or even what you’re working towards, you may need to broaden your horizons.
Setting clear long term career goals is essential if you want to keep moving forward in your career, so spend some time thinking about your ideal job and what additional skills or qualifications you might need to make it happen.
Do any of the above signs sound familiar?
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to prepare for a new job, from updating your skills to taking on a side project or networking with new people. If you’re thinking of changing jobs, start by identifying the reasons for your lack of fulfillment in your current job so you’ll be better equipped to find a work situation that challenges you.
Marianne Stenger is a writer with Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She covers everything from career development to learning tips and the latest research in education. You can follow her on Twitter @MarianneStenger or find her latest articles here.