Changing Room Only
I'VE NEVER switched jobs only for the money. Quite the reverse sometimes, where I've actually taken a job that paid me a third of what I was getting earlier. It's usually been because of several factors, chief among them being an unusually tiresome work environment, an uncooperative bunch of fellow workers, or just plain disillusionment with the company, yourself or the people to whom you report. So is it time to move on? Should you dig that old CV out, dust it off and start sending it out? What are the signs that the job is getting to you where you begin to feel minor irritants as if they were life-threatening events?
One sure sign is when you begin to wonder what kind of excuse you can make to get out of going in to work the next day. It's much more serious if you begin on planning a day off work on Sunday evening when watching something boring on television. If you prefer to stay home and watch repeats on TV rather than going in to work and checking out the latest there, you need to start actively trying to find another job.
When that `Get-up-and-go" feeling disappears and you want to laze in bed long after that alarm goes off, it's time to get worried about your satisfaction levels. Motivated and enthusiastic people don't need an alarm to wake them up to get ready for work. They will wake up on their own without artificial aids. When you need to set an alarm to get up on time, then you know that the `End' is near. It's your body's way of telling you to quit even though you may try and overrule your body with your mind - because you need the job - in actuality, your body has had enough. The stress is getting to you and your strength is deserting you when you need it most.
Do you daydream at work about the `Meaning of Life' or the `Universal Truth' or consider going to an ashram for meditation, it's a clear sign of saturation with your present place of work. When you begin to consider options that you have never considered before like going away, far from the madding crowd as it were, especially when you are really a normally convivial person, your mind is trying to emphasise how tired you are of your workplace. Anyplace would, in your mind, be better than continuing to suffer in the environment in which you are.
Check out your trips to the water cooler, the coffee machine and the toilet. If they last a good bit longer than they did before, and if your lunch hour is actually a lunch hour and three quarters, it's not that you are slowing down. It's a clear sign that you just don't want to get back to your workstation in a hurry. It is also a hope that someone in authority will notice and ask you what the matter is even if it is to tear a strip off you.
Meetings are always a pain - even if you've called them yourself. However, you do admit that it does help coordination and efficiency. When this thought forsakes you and you fight to stay awake during a meeting and your scratch pad is full of doodles rather than notes, you are really bored with the system prevailing in your place of work and need to get out as soon as possible. The most acute case is when you get bored stiff at a meeting that you've called yourself.
You begin to take an inordinate interest in self-improvement articles in the papers and go through them to see where you went wrong, although you know it all and can write about it yourself without a problem. This means that you are trying to look at someone else's perspective to see where you went wrong. The fact is that you are thoroughly dissatisfied with your job and are desperately trying to find a reason why you must continue to work there. After all, quitting is not an option to select without considerable thought. Jobs are not so easy to come by and one in hand is better than several in a career supplement. Cheer up though, once you realise that you need a change and make up your mind to check out the possibilities, even your present lacklustre job isn't so bad to put up with because you are proactively looking for something better to do. People's productivity has been known to take a jump up the scale once they make up their minds to leave and they begin looking forward to come in to work just to check their e-mail and find the responses to their applications.
When you make excuses not to attend company parties and find no joy standing around looking at the same faces you see day in and day out, it's really time to leave. These parties are opportunities to bond with your colleagues, if you're trying to avoid every opportunity in meeting them, it's time you left.
When you've spent all of two years in your job and you are considered an `old hand' it's time you began your job search. What this means is that the attrition is so high that people take the first opportunity to leave the organisation. This is an organisational malaise that is certainly concern causing and you would certainly benefit if you were to look elsewhere without delay before you get into a rut of routine and ennui.
When you find the majority of these signs in your self-analysis, it's really time to get yourself and your CV spruced up and start scouring the market for a suitable opening as soon as possible. Nobody is going to offer a down-at-heel, dispirited person a job so shape up to ship out! You need to get your act together to impress people that it's the job that's bad and not that you are bad and the job's okay. You need to show satisfaction and equanimity. Remember, no one likes to hire a desperate person; they like to get contented people so look it - even if you don't feel it!
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