If you're unhappy with your current job, it's probably your own fault. After all, you signed up for it and you're still there. Earlier in your career path, you were probably happy just to have a job in your chosen field, but that's no excuse for not constantly analyzing your positions later in life. We asked the experts to come up with six simple signs that it's time to change careers.
1. Having fun yet? Some jobs are enjoyable, while others have a purpose that makes them fulfilling. If you feel irritable every Sunday night, your job probably doesn't fit into either of those two categories. “If you say your job is OK, it probably isn't OK,” says management consultant Randall Craig. “Over time it will hollow you out.”
2. Climbing the mountain. Some jobs naturally provide intellectual challenges; others don't. Your job will likely become less challenging as you get better at doing it, and it's OK to ride that wave for a while. But when the brain stops working, it's time to start packing.
3. Being like Mike. We don't often pick our workmates, and while it's nice to like them, it's more important to ask yourself whether you want to be like them, says Craig. If they're good role models, you're going to learn a lot. If they're patronizing or authoritarian, or they hoard information, you're going to pick up those attributes, too. Eventually, they will decrease your enjoyment and your work will suffer.
4. Reaching for the sky. Each person is responsible for his or her own career, so stop blaming bosses and underlings for holding you back. If your current job isn't a step along the career path you ultimately want to take, find one that is.
5. Balancing act. That go-get-'em job with a lot of night work seemed like a good idea when you were 25, but now you're 40 with two children, bloodshot eyes and a personal account with Excedrin. Your job is a big part of your life, so if it doesn't fit with the rest of your lifestyle, you're going to get stressed out and not be fit for work or home.
6. Playing fare. How much money would someone get if they were to take over your job? If it's within 15%, you're probably fairly paid. If the gap isn't in your favour, perhaps it's time to take another look at the competitor who was wooing you last year. If the gap is to your benefit, shut up and enjoy the money, but ask yourself why you're getting the extra cash.