Careers should evolve over time. If yours isn’t moving forward, you may have reached the moment when it’s time to take action. If your professional life feels stuck in a rut, it might be time to consider a new job.
Of course, the expression “stuck in a rut” has probably gotten a little old fashioned at this point. After all, with paved roads everywhere, it’s not a real problem anymore. However, while the reference might be old fashioned, the “stuck in a rut” sentiment still holds a lot of value, describing all those life scenarios when the daily grind becomes too repetitive and too predictable.
This represents a particular danger at work. Professional routines are inherently repetitive. There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable in your position or settling into a groove. However, if you’ve become disengaged or bored, it could have serious long-term consequences. Your performance could start to suffer and you could lose out on opportunities.
With all that in mind, here are a few signs that it might be time to break out of your rut and find a new job:
Your Day Drags
Work is…well, work. You’re not going to experience your career as one long period of ecstatic glee. There will be ups and downs, and times when you may potentially face grueling boredom. Even fun jobs involve things like paperwork and meetings.
However, every day should not represent a mind-numbing grind. If your day creeps along at a snail’s pace, it might be a sign that you aren’t well-suited to the position. You might need a situation that stimulates your interest more completely.
You Get Jealous of Other People’s Jobs
You find yourself at a party, talking to someone you don’t know very well. They tell you what they do for a living, and, suddenly, you’re overcome with a rush of jealousy. Or, you learn that someone has just gone back to school or has jumped into an exciting new career path. You instantly begin daydreaming that you could do the same.
These emotional responses signify something. In the back of your mind (or maybe right there at the front of it), you feel a sense of dissatisfaction. You are drawn to the possibility of new horizons. If you hear the call of this professional wanderlust, it might be time to take the next step. Turn fantasy into action.
You Are Doing the Same Things You Were Two Years Ago
Most careers feel like a progression. You move up the ladder or at least accumulate skills and responsibilities as you go. If you can’t see this forward momentum in your career, you may have drifted into a dead-end position.
Use this test: think about where you were two years ago. How has your day-to-day job changed? What new skills have you learned? What goals have you achieved?
If the answers to these questions aren’t satisfying, you may want to consider a change.
You Live for Vacation
As you gain seniority in an organization, you typically build up vacation days. If this represents your sole source of joy, you might reconsider whether you are in the right job.
Vacations play an important part in a balanced professional life. You can rest and recharge, coming back to work, ready to reach the highest levels of productivity. You can also achieve a better work/life balance, spending time with family and developing outside interests.
However, vacations shouldn’t exist at the center of your work experience. If you find yourself excitedly cashing in every vacation day you can, you should consider a new position.
Once you decide to switch jobs, how do you take the plunge? A reliable staffing firm, like Recruiting In Motion, can help. They can place you in an exciting new role, perfectly situated to reinvigorate your career.