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by Vault Careers | January 25, 2011


Leaving a job is hard and finding a new place to work is a very risky move, especially in this economy.  But sometimes it’s the only thing you can do to stay sane at work and relevant in the job market.  Here are some signs to look out for:

10. You Spend More Time Day-Dreaming Than Working. You're planning your vacation in your head; thinking about what you are going to do the next time you run into that cute bank teller; thinking about how cool it would be if you were a celebrity – anything other than what you are actually supposed to be doing.

9. Your Relationship With Your Boss. You dread the moment when your boss will walk by and either be overly critical of your work; chastise you in front of your co-workers; or get involved in your projects and cause more harm than good. Either way, if you have trouble working with your boss, it is time to find a new boss to work for.

8. You Are Not Having Any Fun. Although it is work, you should be able to have some fun while performing your daily tasks and—gasp!—actually look forward to work. Being unhappy at work will lead you to make mistakes, lash out at others and jeopardize your job.

7. You Have No Friends At Work. The social aspect of work is more important than people like to believe. You see your co-workers more than you see your friends and even your girlfriend, so it is important to have a positive relationship with your office mates. How you interact with your co-workers is important and if you aren't, you might want to find a more welcoming environment.

6. You Find Yourself Clock-Watching. It's one thing to keep an eye on the time so you don't miss your train home. It's quite another to be starting your day thinking "only 8 more hours to go…7 if you count lunch," and then proceed to map out your day to help pass the time. Here's a tip: if minutes feels like hours, you have a problem—and it's not with a broken clock. Trade that time problem in for another one: finding the time to move on to a more fulfilling existence.

5. Your Health and Well-Being. It's no secret that there's a link between stress and ill health—and bad working situations can be a major cause of stress. The longer you remain at a stressful job, the more damage you risk doing to yourself.

4. The Challenge is Gone. You have been doing the same task at work every single day and no matter how many times you ask for new responsibilities, your needs are never fulfilled. If you've reached the point where you find yourself bored, goofing off and in need of copious amounts of coffee just to make it through another day of drudgery, it may be time to look for a more demanding job.

3. Your Work-Life Balance has No Life. Or Balance. You don't mind working hard, but it would be nice to see your kids (or even some daylight) once in awhile. While some love the rigors of a demanding job, there are others who would like to be home to see their baby take its first step or go out with friends to watch the big game. If that's you, finding a less demanding job with a better work-life balance might be more suitable for your needs.

2. What Promotion? When was the last time you received a promotion or were even up for one? If you have been going above and beyond the call of duty and feel you deserve a promotion and your company balks at your request, moving on might be an option to consider. When thinking about your employment situation, you should always think of your resume. Remaining at a job for a number of years without any advancement can indicate to a potential employer that that you lack ambition. Assuming that’s not true, you need to find work that offers opportunities to grow.

1. You’re underpaid. Maybe your employer has had it rough over the past couple of years. Maybe they figure you don't have anywhere else to go. Or maybe they're just cheap. Either way, if you're in a situation where you feel unappreciated and underpaid, and there's no prospect of a raise on the horizon, it can't hurt to look around—as long as you do so quietly. If you feel a raise is deserved, it’s time to start looking for jobs that will pay a salary more in line with your needs.

-- Jon Minners,


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