By: Liz Ryan
I sympathize with anyone who wakes up one morning with a raging headache and realizes that they’ve stayed too long at the wrong job.
I have stuck around in terrible situations for way too long myself.
I knew in my gut that something was wrong, but I thought I could fix it — or I didn’t feel strong enough to solve the problem, so I pretended it didn’t bother me.
One day something happens and you realize you have to make a change. Sometimes the realization comes as a quiet “Aha!” and other times, it comes like a thunderbolt.
Sometimes there is nothing awful going on at your job, but the job doesn’t challenge you anymore.
You are smart and capable. When you are bored, you’re unhappy. It’s painful to go through the motions at work — pretending everything is fine when a voice in your mind is screaming, “Let me out of here!”
Here are ten signs you’ve stayed at your job too long:
1. As you look ahead at your projects over the next 12 months, you don’t see anything that you haven’t already done a million times before.
2. When you try to talk with your manager about your road map going forward, they brush you off. They say “You’re fine! You’re doing a great job.” That’s not the point. You need to grow — and if your current manager can’t help you do that, somebody else can!
3. People in your workplace have put you into a box because they think they know everything about you. They think they know your capabilities completely because you’ve been there so long. They don’t have an inkling about what you’re capable of — you just need a chance!
4. You know every procedure in your company. You know every piece of software. You know the purpose (and the time and location) of every standing meeting. You know so much that people constantly ask you for advice — but knowing as much as you do, you should have a lot more influence than you have.
5. Your muscles aren’t growing. You can’t even remember the last time you did something really cool at work or learned something powerful. At this point, you are just treading water.
6. You are pigeon-holed in your position, and there’s nowhere else to go internally. You aren’t going to get a big promotion or a big pay raise — you are locked in place.
7. Your co-workers don’t understand why you are unhappy. They like things just the way they are — repetitive and safe. You are miserable, and no one around you understands why. They think you are high-maintenance because you need something new to chew on!
8. As you look around your organization at the leadership team, you don’t see anyone you could learn from.
9. You feel a sense of dread on Sunday night when you think about going to work on Monday morning.
10. You are getting sick more than usual, or feeling exhausted in the middle of the day or week. Your body is trying to tell you something!