Waking up each morning to continue the daily grind can be mentally draining and to some extent emotionally crippling. Some folks can handle it better than others and unfortunately for some – they may be in some really dire, potentially unhealthy situations.
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Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely grateful to be employed, especially during times like this.
Either way you look at it if you are in an environment that has gone sour, working your 9-5 can be toxic. All those years of office politics, bureaucracy, “he-said-she-said rumors” and constant complaints of non-stop problems can definitely add up.
It’s not easy to manage, but once you prioritize what is important to you and have thought about some sort of alternate plan, it can get easier.
Before you consider making such a significant, life-changing decision, what may help is to write a list of “pros” and “cons” about your current job situation.
Do you want to leave your current 9-5 job or switch gears completely and change careers? If so what are the alternatives? Are you ready and prepared to live with the consequences of making this decision?
These are some hard-hitting questions to consider. But the sooner you decide, the better the situation will be.
I would emphasize this option may not be suitable for all. For example, if you are the primary breadwinner of the family with mouths to feed, your priorities may be different from that of a 40-year-old single woman with no dependents.
Regardless, if it means putting the health and financial stability of you and your family at risk, perhaps rethink strategies.
As someone wise once told me – as I became enlightened about my own work situation “toxic is toxic, and life is too precious to waste any more time at an environment you know now that you can do without”.
You might want to consider changing your current situation if you notice any of these potential warning signs with your current job.
1. Your health is suffering
For me, this is number 1 on my list. Your health should be a top priority otherwise how can you continue to pursue what you really want to do or how can you expect to look after those who are dependent on you?
Being in a stressful job situation can impact your health directly. It may not be all at once but it can add up each day.
Consider this scenario, one that I am completely familiar with:
You don’t get enough sleep because you’ve just finished a 12-hour day and can’t sleep soundly because of the stressful day that you just had. Because of the long day, you’re also likely to develop bad eating habits and not dedicating enough time to exercise.
Instead, all you want to do is polish off what’s left in the bottle of wine from the night before. These things also contribute to the poor sleeping patterns and before you know it, it’s 6 am and time to get up for work!??
It is a vicious cycle that can be harmful to your health.
2. Your “care factor” is zero and there’s no motivation.
Waking up to think you have to deal with a job routine you hate makes you cringe every day. Personally, I think that this is not the best way to live your life.
Before you know it you are arriving to work at 11 am and leaving at 5 pm not caring about what others think. Usually, I don’t care what others think but if your professional reputation is on the line, you might want to start caring.
Every other thing except for your job seems to motivate you, even exercising! This is a glaring sign that something needs to change.
3. Everything and everyone pisses you off.
I remember when I made the decision to leave my current corporate 9-5 job in finance – this was probably one of more immediate things that not only I noticed – but everyone else around me both in work and personal life noticed.
Every little thing at work that anyone complained about or asked, annoys the crap out of you. One moment you’re your usual, bubbly self but one silly email can set things off and ruin your whole day – and others around it. It is not worth it.
If you have the tendency to morph into one scary dragon lady and bite everyone’s head off for no reason, take this as a warning sign. Do you really want to be THAT person at work?
Trust me, you don’t. Back in the days when I was just starting my career as an analyst, I’d been on the other side of the fire breathing and it is NOT pretty. It traumatized me.
Take a step back and be more aware of how you behave, especially to other people regardless.
At the end of the day (good or bad day) it is just a job. Don’t forget about showing compassion to your fellow human beings. You can still be compassionate and professional at the same time.
It is not an excuse to forget manners, disrespect others or lose face for no reason. Your colleagues and team-mates are people too, who also have their own problems. Everyone has their own crosses to bear.
Besides, it’s in your best interests to ensure you don’t burn any bridges in case you may need a reference or assistance one day from someone in that company.
4. You’ve been telling yourself and others that you will quit your job (every year – for the last 5 years).
Everyone including yourself is sick of hearing it. It is scary but think about how many years in a row you have said this. Give yourself (and everyone else around you) a break and do something about it.
It’s hard not to get caught up in “victim mode” here but in reality, it is quite simple – you either “put up or shut up” ie – choose to find a solution and make it work or stop torturing yourself with the incessant complaining! LOL
5. You have no interest in climbing the corporate ladder any further.
Another red flag. What is the next step in the natural progression of this career? You know the next step because you see your boss and the other bosses in the lateral business units and what they have to go through to just make it through the day.
For some, a prospect of promotion means more esteem, respect and better pay. But in reality, in most cases, what it means is longer hours, more responsibility without the guarantee of any reward or recognition.
Do you really want to go there? Ask yourself is this what you really want and are you willing to slog it out for yet another year?
The old adage of a better title or the esteem of promotion seems enticing but at what cost? You already know the rigmarole process involved.
You’re made to run a campaign, showcasing your strengths, do more schmoozing, taking on more responsibility but for what? No guarantees of a raise or promotion at the end of the year, just constantly being deceptively led by the perpetual dangling carrot in your face.
You know the drill. No thanks!
Frankly, moving upward, sideward, backward on the corporate ladder just isn’t appealing anymore no matter how you slice it. All you know is that you’d probably be happier not being there at all.
6. You are constantly daydreaming about doing something else.
This means that you are passionate – about something – but not what you currently do for a living. Maybe daydreaming about things like riding horses, painting, acting or personal training captures your vivid imagination more than anything.
You see the images in your head clearly where you are extremely happy, healthy and doing what you enjoy!
When you care more about something than what you are tasked to do and paid for on a day to day, this should be a signal for you to reassess your priorities.
7. You’ve always dreamed of being your own boss.
For me, it’s taken a while but part of the reason why I don’t enjoy what I do is that I realize that I spend so much of my time, my “blood, sweat & tears” at a job where I could be let go or replaced at the drop of a hat, at any time.
I thought to myself why would I be willing to dedicate my time and energy to someone else’s business and make them money when I can do this for myself? If you’re willing to sacrifice that much for someone else wouldn’t you rather do it for yourself and also reap the rewards?
Being your own boss also comes with a lot of responsibility and no less sacrifice (arguably more) but that is something I would be willing to trade if it meant being happier on day-to-day.
With no one to report to and no one else to blame, the accountability to succeed lies 100% with you and no one else.
8. You are in a financially stable position.
If you’re in this category then you are very fortunate and have the luxury to take that elusive leap of faith with less hesitation.
Fortunately for me, I have no dependents and no spouse. Sure it may get lonely at times but you only have to worry about your own rent, bills to pay and one mouth to feed.
I think this would be the perfect opportunity to pursue something different, something you’ve always dreamed of doing.
Also, by this age, you may have accumulated a bit of savings and created an ample safety net. If not, then start brainstorming of ways to come up with a plan as to how you would potentially supplement or even eventually replace your W2 income with other streams of income.
9. You have a foolproof escape plan ready.
Ok, so you now have a plan. Maybe it’s yet to be proven that it’s completely foolproof but the blueprint is there! As part of your plan, I think it is important to give yourself as many options as possible if you are considering leaving your main “W2” job.
You’re thinking of quitting your job but wonder how you are going to eat and pay the bills still?
Well, this may very well be uncharted territory for some but if you’re like me, you’ve done a bit of research and discovered several ways that you could potentially earn income without doing the job you hate.
With technology evolving so quickly and having it intertwined so tightly within our social ecosystem there are literally hundreds of options to generate several streams of income.
Try to research ways on how to make money from home if that is your preference or learn a new skill by signing up for one of the thousands of online courses so you can learn how to start your own business.
Entrepreneurship or freelancing may not be for everyone but at least it is an option.
For those lucky enough to have saved a bit of a nest egg, you might want to consider investments that generate passive income and earn money while you sleep!
Or you might get lucky and win the lotto.
Whatever you consider, try to ensure there’s at least more than one viable option so you’re not completely out on your ass on day 1.
10. You want to feel that spark again and get excited about something new.
This point here basically sums it all up. There’s nothing more exhilarating than the prospect of a new opportunity or challenge.
If you’ve been doing the same thing over and over for the last couple of decades and not enjoying it then I’m sure you’re longing for something new and exciting.
I know for me (yes I am a little weird) I thrive under pressure and seem to perform at my best when tested. Change is also scary but it can also be good for you.
Change allows us to grow and the associated challenges can help us to rediscover ourselves. You’d be surprised what you can achieve when you’re put to the fire.
Allow yourself the opportunity to embrace change. Yes, there is a degree of fear and risk involved but as the saying goes, the bigger the risk the bigger the reward.
The key now is to understand what makes you tick and how you can leverage that to fuel your own fire and create that spark that got you where you are today.
“You can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” – Jim Carey
I hope you enjoyed reading this and thanks for stopping by 🙂
Are you thinking of changing jobs? Did you take that leap of faith? How successful was your transition? Let me know in the comments below!
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