I’ve held the same job for eight years. There’s no real reason to leave it. My boss is nice enough. I’m comfortable with the people at work. I don’t bring stress home. When I mention quitting to my husband, he looks at me as if I’m out of my mind.
He’s in a high-stress job that drives him crazy.
The problem? I’m bored out of my mind. It’s the same duties, the same 10 people every day. When I think ahead to 10 or 20 more years of this, I think they’ll have to carry me away in a straitjacket. I tried talking to my boss about this, and he said in four to five years, I was next in line for his job. The thought made me want to puke.
Am I foolish to want to leave a “good” job?
Answering these seven questions can help you decide whether to stay or leave:
Anywhere but here
When you first started your job, what you learned every workday brought excitement.
What’s true now? Have your job’s walls closed in on you? Does every job posting you run across seem more appealing than your current job? If going into work feels like stepping into a daily bath of unremitting boredom, it’s time to pull the plug.
What price do you pay if you stay?
Is your current job worth the career opportunity cost? Unless we stay in the same job for our entire working career, every job we take leads us to the next one — or doesn’t. If you stay in your present job, will you be more or actually less ready to land and succeed in the next job on your career ladder?
Do you bore others?
Your friends may have listened to you the first time you told them the dumb things your boss did or what wasn’t working at your company. Now, their eyes glaze over because they’ve already heard what you’re telling them, and more than once. If your tales of woe have grown old, and you’ve tried hard but can’t fix what’s not working, consider moving on.
Have you lost trust?
Perhaps you’ve seen your manager or management team’s values up close and personal and don’t like what you see — or vice versa. If you no longer trust the person you work for, or he no longer trusts you, you’ve lost the basis for a healthy work relationship. Wouldn’t you rather work for a person or a team you could respect?
You’re headed down a one-way road to burnout
You don’t mind working 45 to 60 hours when you love what you do. Often, you’re investing in yourself even as you work hard because you’re learning so much. But what if you’re working so hard you’re hurting your health or personal life, without payback or any clear end to that dark tunnel?
While you don’t need to become outside-of-work friends with your co-workers, if you look around the table at a staff meeting and don’t see anyone you respect, want to learn from or like enough to enjoy riding in a car with the 45 minutes it takes you to get to Girdwood, it may be time to move on.
Is it my job or me?
It’s always a good idea to look in the mirror before you decide to leave one job for another. Anyone who changes jobs too often needs to consider: Is the problem me or my job?
What have you decided after answering these seven questions — is it time to move on?
© Dr. Lynne Curry is author of “ Beating the Workplace Bully” and “ Solutions” as well as owner of the management/HR consulting/training firm The Growth Company Inc. Follow her on Twitter @lynnecury10 or at www.bullywhisperer.com