6 Red Flags You Need to Get a New Job

Being in the wrong job can make life miserable. Sometimes people stay in the wrong job and don’t pursue a new one because they don’t like change. Change is scary.

But if you stay in the wrong job, you will be doing yourself no favors. In fact, you might make yourself physically ill. Stress can do a number on your physical body. And on the practical side, staying in the wrong job prevents you from growing and advancing in life.

If you have read this far, chances are you are in a job situation that is not ideal for you. What you need to do is be honest with yourself and look at your situation.

Many professional job placement researchers have determined there are a number of red flags that are letting you know it is time to get a new job. Let’s look at six red flags. As you go through them, see if they apply to you personally. This exercise could be the first proactive step to saving your career and your happiness before a crisis forces you out of a job.

Here are six red flags warning you to change jobs. The first four relate directly to you and the final two are big red flags related to the job itself. If you like your job right now, apply these six red flags to it and see what you think:

#1 - You dread going to work and can’t wait to leave

Your feelings are telling you something here. There is something wrong if you do not feel like going to work each day. Depression can be caused by consistently being abused, misunderstood, ignored, or bored. Do any of those apply to you? When we feel like we cannot be ourselves on the job, this also makes us feel unhappy.

Most people ignore their feelings and stay in a job they hate. This is unnecessary. You don’t have to be miserable to be gainfully employed.

#2 - The job doesn’t match your strengths

Many people take a job because they feel desperate and don’t think they have time to be particular. Or they want to move up in the company and take on a new role that does not match their strengths.

You can have skills, but that doesn’t mean you enjoy using those skills. Happy employees are those who are in roles that match well with their personal strengths. If you are in a job where you hate what you’re doing or feel like you are being “wasted”, it is time to look for a new job.

#3 - The job is unfulfilling or feels “beneath” you

When a job feels beneath you, chances are you are an ambitious person. You have big dreams for your career. Maybe you are an entrepreneur at heart? If you feel like starting your own business, don’t ignore that. Many people have successfully launched out of a job into their own business.

If your job feels “beneath” you, chances are the company missions statement doesn’t motivate you. Perhaps the product or service your employer is selling makes you feel “icky” or possibly uninspired. You will never be fulfilled working in a job like that. If this red flag is waving at you, don’t ignore it.

#4 - You are not getting paid what you are worth

Of course, everyone wants to make more money. But when you know what you’re worth and yet your employer refuses to pay you a wage that is equal to your value with the company, this will inevitably lead to dissatisfaction with your job.

Your pay is tied to so many areas of your life, like where you live or what you can do in your free time, so this is a red flag, even when you are not primarily motivated by money. Low wages make you work longer or get a second job, which only raises your stress levels.

#5 - Your company culture is a toxic environment

What you do on the job is not all that factors into your happiness at work. The atmosphere at work normally plays a big role as well. You can be in a job that’s a perfect fit for your skill set, but still be miserable due to the work environment.

If your boss is a self centered tyrant, that’s a red flag.

Take a moment to write down your observations about your current employer. Write down honestly how you feel about:

  • The way your boss and company leaders treat people

  • The opportunity for advancement you see

  • Your coworkers and how positive they are. Are they team players?

#6 - The turnover rate is high

Do you feel like you are planning a goodbye celebration for a coworker way too often? If you are noticing many good employees leaving in two years or less, this pattern is probably a big red flag. The good news is these frequent exits mean somebody out there is hiring in your industry. There must be better places to work.

Now, keep in mind, if you are generally happy in your position and you don’t feel concerned about the first five red flags, then you might be fine staying pat. No need to follow the crowd unless your gut is telling you to go also.

Considering how much time you spend at your job (40 hours minimum and that doesn’t include commute time), doing a periodic self assessment is a good practice. Like an annual review or, better yet, six month review, take a moment to evaluate your current job and touch base with your feelings.

Look back at what you have accomplished. Look forward to consider where you are going. Then decide if you need to get a new job or not.