Who hasn’t at one point or another said that they wish they could just quit their job? Or do we have an Office Space moment where we want to take the printer out to the field and beat it with a bat? It isn’t a secret that most people are unhappy about their jobs and wish that they could be doing something else. We read statistically that 80% of employees are unhappy about their jobs(1). That’s 80%, folks! It leads me to wonder, why would a person who spends an average of 90,000 hours in their lifetime doing jobs that they hate 80% of the time?
When do we decide that it is time to pull the plug? When do you need to make that decision? Over time, I have seen these four things happen that were a red flag for an employee to pull that very plug and move on.
1) There is no room to advance you here. There are only so many positions to fill and we can’t just give them to everyone.
If your boss or employer gives you this statement – it is time to prepare for a departure. Why? You are not only going to feel frustrated and become irritated with the corporate politics, but you are going to feel like a failure after so long. Am I advocating that every employee is worthy of getting the corner office or becoming a leader in the company? Absolutely not! I am, however, speaking to the ones who time and time again ask their boss or leader what they can do to advance their career with that company and find themselves with the above statement.
2) You are not the right fit for what we are looking for in this position.
This is an indication that you are on the wrong bus or in the wrong seat on the right bus. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, wrote “In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances.”(1) Sometimes we have to come to the point where we ask the question, is this the right bus for me? Am I in the right seat?
3) You are given conflicting criticism about your job performance.
Have you ever had a leader tell you one thing and another contradicts it? I remember having this happen time and time again with a former employer. There are very few things that frustrate an employee more than giving conflicting critiques on their performance.
4) There are constant threats given from your leader or boss about job loss, reductions, and the like.
This is pretty much a given in my book. I am blown away at a number of people that I have heard who decided to stay at a job to “weather it out” only to find out that they were left in the carnage. If you are finding yourself constantly berated by an employer or leader with threats – it may be time to give your own ultimatum and leave.
The list could go on with other scenarios to tell if it is time to break the chains that hold us back, but what is important is this; if you want to live a fulfilling life – don’t spend 80% of your life hating what you do for a living!