You are a few years (or maybe more) into you job and now the thought of more of the same feels you with dread. Maybe you’ve lost the initial excitement of a new role, the work has become dull or your workplace is toxic.

Whatever your reasons for feeling like you want to look elsewhere, you’re not alone.  According to a recent survey from Slack, almost 60% of Australians are considering changing roles within the next year.  So how do you know if you’re ready for a change?

Here are six clear signs it’s time to leave your job…

1. You feel the Sunday night blues most nights

It’s normal to feel a little dread heading into a new work week, especially after a fun filled weekend. However, if you feel anxious most evenings just thinking about the next day, it’s time to consider whether your job is negatively affecting your mental health. If you can’t think of enough positives (office banter, appreciative clients) to outweigh those negative thoughts, then it’s time to take action.


2. You can’t be ‘yourself’ at work

The ability to be authentically you in your job means feeling like you can speak up, make genuine connections with co-workers, give your opinion and ask for help.  If you fear repercussions from giving your honest opinion or asking for more support, then the culture isn’t right for you.  According to Mike Robbins, author of Bring Your Whole Self To Work; when you don’t feel like you can be yourself in your job your ability to be engaged and productive is really diminished and this in turn, negatively impacts your wellbeing.


3. You can’t get excited about the career progression on offer

Can you see yourself enjoying the work of those ahead of you on the company org chart?

If the idea of being in your manager’s role one day makes you feel depressed, that’s a bad sign. Think about the work you want to do more of. Consider the skills you do enjoy using and how you could develop these over the next five years. If your current employer doesn’t offer these opportunities, start to look for where you could develop your career elsewhere.


4. You’re undervalued at work

Have been working at the same level for more than a few years with no pay increase or promotion? Perhaps you feel your contribution isn’t valued, or your ideas ignored. It’s important to ensure that you are being compensated fairly and recognised for the work you do. If even after another stellar performance review all you get is a “great work”, it’s time to look elsewhere. Research shows that the gender pay gap starts early, those first few title changes and pay increases add up to big differences in pay and responsibility down the line. Search out other mid-level roles in companies where your hard work will be recognised.


5. You’re constantly feeling overwhelmed

It’s one thing to be busy and to occasionally feel under pressure to deliver on a tight deadline. But it’s another to feel constantly stressed and unable to keep up with demands to do more with less. Ask yourself, how often are you worrying about your work? Do you find it hard to get to sleep because of everything you’ve got on your plate? If the answer is ‘hell yes’ talk to your manager and see what can be done to share the work more equally or provide you with additional coaching and support. If nothing changes, it’s time to move on before your mental health and productivity begins to suffer.


6. The company doesn’t align with your values

Are you proud to tell people where you work? If not, this is a red flag that your ethics don’t align with the company. Perhaps you’ve witnessed enough internally to realise the way they do business is at odds with your values. Or it might be that you’re seeking more purpose in your work and can’t see the point of what you’re being asked to do every day. Feeling like your work is meaningful is one of the key elements of career satisfaction. Take time to reflect on what’s important to you. This interactive career values quiz designed by Deakin University will get you started. Once your values around work are clear, seek out a company that you believe in. That way you can give 100% to your role and proudly name your employer at dinner parties.


Quitting Your Job: what should you do?

Only you can make the assessment as to if and when, it’s time to leave your current role. If you have tried to find solutions to the issues you’re facing at work and nothing seems to change, it might be time to leave. Talk to trusted friends, ex colleagues and peers about the issues you’re facing at work.  Research other employers in your industry and read company reviews.  Doing so might help you work out if it’s your workplace that’s the problem, or whether you should be considering a whole new career.

If one or more of the above signs ring true for you, it’s time to update your resume, start building those LinkedIn connections and search for companies that can better support your career. Life is too short to stay in a job you don’t enjoy.

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