Everyone needs a change once in a while, but when you have a steady job you might understandably be reluctant to think about making the move. If you're starting to wonder whether you should be in your current job, you probably have good reason. Whatever job type you are in, there are a few reliable signs it's time to start thinking about looking for other opportunities.
Work becomes tasks
If you find you really don't care about the outcome of your job tasks or the success of the organisation as a whole, you may no longer be in the right post. Whether you've just found that you don't fit the company culture or whether the organisation has changed direction since you started, not feeling like you have a stake in the future of your employer can make your working day pretty miserable.
You dread work
If you wake up with a feeling of dread in the mornings, or spend the weekend dreading Monday morning, you are certainly not happy in your work. Feeling miserable while you're at work is bad enough, but when that feeling extends into your time away from work it's definitely time to consider your options.
Your employer is looking insecure
If you work for a company which is in potential or actual trouble, or you suspect your job or department is being sidelined, it's never too early to start looking at alternatives. It's easier to get a new job while you're still in a job, rather than waiting until your job disappears. If there are limited opportunities in the area for your industry, making the move sooner rather than later might also get you ahead of the competition.
You have a problem with other staff
Problems with another employee, your boss or the culture in general can make the working day unbearable. If you have a difficult relationship with anyone you work with regularly, this can cast a shadow over your entire week. Sure, you don't know if you'll get on with the people in a new job, but staying in a situation that makes you miserable shouldn't be an option.
It's easy to get to a stage where you get so used to feeling stressed that it seems normal. However, the impact continued stress can have on your mental and physical health is severe. If you feel stressed and anxious on account of your job regularly, it's time to take a step back and see what your options are.
Related: The world's most stressful jobs
You have a bad work life balance
There should be more to life than work. If you feel like you're living to work and not working to live, taking steps to change the situation is vital. Feeling that you're not managing to spend enough time with family, friends or involved in leisure activities is a sign that you might be working too much.
You're unbelievably bored
Counting the minutes until home time makes for a long day at work. Similarly, if you feel you could carry out your work tasks with your hands tied behind your back, your job clearly isn't challenging enough. Having a job that pushes you makes the time you spend at work so much more rewarding, with knock-on effects on your sense of wellbeing.
You've stopped learning anything
Any decent career forces you to continue learning throughout your working life. If you find you already know everything there is to know about your job and there's no prospect of training to learn new skills within the job, it might be time to find another opportunity in which you will be able to grow.
Your responsibilities keep growing but your pay doesn't
If your list of responsibilities is getting bigger and bigger, your pay packet should be expanding as well. Sure, it's a tough time for any organisation, but if you feel you're continually being stretched more and more but not being rewarded for it, another employer might value your skill set more.
You don't feel your voice is heard
Feeling that you are never listened to can be a demoralising experience. If you want to have an input in the decision making process within your organisation, or within the direction taken by the organisation as a whole, any decent employer should welcome your contribution.
There's nowhere to go
If you work within a structure in which there isn't much or any chance of progression in terms of promotion, you have to ask yourself what your long term goals are. If you know there's no way you'll be able to work towards those goals from your current post, it's time to find a different route.
If you're experiencing workplace harassment or bullying, the people or person responsible is breaking the law. You have a right not to be treated in this way and can pursue your case through legal channels. However, in the long term you may need to face the reality that you would be happier getting out of your current situation completely and start again elsewhere.