If you are the person who lives to overwork, is proud to flaunt their overtime hours, and is happy to miss important family events for work, this article isn’t for you.
We live, breathe and exist in a state of perpetual anxiety because of our work lives. Technology has weeded out the simpler times of leaving the work in office, and these days even weekends are becoming opportunities to work more. While obviously a job is needed to exist, survive and take care of expenses, the second it becomes a toxic energy-drainer, it is time to make a change. Many underestimate the severity of the impact their job has on their personal lives, for we have normalised the idea of work taking over our lives, and we assume everyone is going through the same set of challenges. In such a setting, it is essential to identify whether you actually hate your job, and you need to shift to a greener pasture, or if you are just echoing the sentiment of what you hear from otherwise, and secretly, couldn’t be happier with your present job. Leaving your job on a whim is romanticised in popular culture, but chances of you pulling off a Jerry McGuire are statistically non-existent.
We bring you a few indicators, which you should keep in your mind, to decide which side of the fence you are on, before you take a decision:
The Complaining just doesn’t stop
The next time you are with friends or family, and everyone is cribbing about how terrible their current job is, notice who brought up the topic? Was it you? Did you list more things than everyone else? Is complaining about work the only thing you want to talk about, to everyone, all the time? Your friends and family care for you and let you vent, but why are you doing this to yourself – spending half your time working a job you don’t like, and the other half your time complaining how bad it is.
The Learning is stagnant
You are not doing the kind of work you were promised, and your skills are not put to their use. It is important to understand if your learning goals still continue to be fulfilled by your current job, and the experience you are getting is not a function of the brand name of the organisation or a number to boast on the resume. However, do understand the fact that non-work like filling excel sheets, filing records, etc come along with every job – and what you need to see is how much of your time is spent in those.
You dread the roles of your seniors
Sure, you hate your job. But the one thing you hate even more is the job of your boss – their work seems even more meaningless and thankless than yours. When you are in such a situation, weigh your options quickly, because you are moving on a path that is leading to a job which you hate more than yours. Make a timely intervention to ensure you do not have to go down that path, if that means changing your line of work, changing your department, or your organisation.
The stress is affecting you physically
Work schedules leaving us no time to exercise or gym daily isn’t unheard of. But if your work is depriving you to see the sun even on the weekend, taking a toll on your blood pressure, giving you tension which is bad for your heart – re-evaluate. There are people all around us who are physically active despite working full-time and if your work doesn’t give you a chance to balance your health with work, you know you need to make a change.
Organisational turbulence is at an all-time high
Your organisation is undergoing a frequent change of leadership, business-model or strategic goals. This could be a red flag and signal to a future re-shuffle, merger or acquisition. If things are not going well on a macro-level, it is just a matter of time before they spill over to the micro-level. Do not wait till the day you are reduced to just a number – just another employee of the organisation – who can be done away with, when the time comes.
If the reasons for staying are wrong
If the only reason why you’re hanging onto your job is because you think you won’t get another job, or no one will pay you as good money, or you are ONLY good at this one thing, or this is the best you can do – you are making a fatal mistake of underestimating yourself – which can be the biggest reason to pull you back. You would know if your reasons for staying in your current are right or wrong, it’s just a matter of acting on them.
The goal of this article is not to encourage you to quit your job. On the contrary, it is to help you identify the need to make a change – whether you choose to act on it, make timely amends, and change the course of your career, is up to you. Bottom-line is, a majority of people hate their jobs, but an over-whelming majority of those people are complacent in doing so. They take this hate to be a given, a constant, necessary even, but it doesn’t have to be so. Things will continue to be as they are, if you do not change something. Changing your job is the most difficult of all, and sometimes, this change can be brought out on a much smaller level – like asking your boss to give you better flexibility in schedule, or asking them to give you other roles. Things might be bad, but they don’t have to be!