You were sinking in a mountain of college debt and tired of living with mom and dad. You sent out a ton of resumes, took that interview and accepted the job. Hey, a job’s a job, right? You stuck it out for over a year. Now you’re having second thoughts. Maybe you acted rashly. Maybe you need to bail on this one. Some clues to help you decide:
It’s a drag and drain
You dread going to work every day. Monday or Friday, doesn’t matter. From 8 to five, this gig is a real drain on you—physically and mentally. The work you’re doing is overwhelming and boring, with little relation to the job description or the HR manager’s pep talk. Stacks of work keep piling up higher and higher and you never seem to catch up. You don’t have time for breaks, lunches are increasingly shorter, and you find yourself coming in earlier and working later.
You have a “helicopter” boss
You know your job, but your boss insists on hovering and micromanaging you through every task. He does the same with your coworkers, so you know it’s not you. Phone calls, emails and conversations are constantly monitored. Daily and weekly status reports are required and analyzed. Nothing happens without your boss’s approval. Every judgment and decision is questioned and scrutinized. In My Way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide, author Harry Chambers notes that micromanagement “moves from normal, acceptable levels to ‘micro’ when they are consistent, predictable and disruptive.”
Your busy work trumps career development
You took the job for the paycheck, sure, but you expected some real OJT to advance your career. At your early career stage, you need to acquire some real skills, experiences, and knowledge. If you’re doing mostly filing, typing, and running errands, your career momentum has stalled in low gear. Time to move on to a resume-building job.
Time has run out
In a recent Forbes article, Mark Strong, a life, career and executive coach based in New York tells those who hate their job to stick it out before they give it up. “I always advise people to give it six months if they can,” Strong says. “Change is hard and can be very uncomfortable. Most of the time, people figure things out and get comfortable enough to stay long-term.” Rebecca Thorman, a speaker, blogger, and careers writer at Kontrary.com concurs but suggests it’s time to leave if you feel the job isn’t right for you. “Most likely, you changed jobs for that exact challenge. But if after a few months you’re still not feeling it, there’s no reason to stay at a job for any period of prescribed time. Get searching for a new job, and don’t look back.”
Should you start looking for a new job? If your 8 to 5 feels like five to life, it’s time to bail.
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