10 signs that say: Get Me Outta Here!

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

We all have days when something unpleasant happens at work and we wonder "What am I doing here?" These moments of reflection help us put things into perspective and even reaffirm the reasons we took the job in the first place. But, when those reflections turn into an all-consuming preoccupation it could be a sign it's time to move on. Here are nine more signs that are telling you: "It's time to get a new job!"

Tick-tock, body-clock

At some point it may dawn on you that you're exhausted from not having enough hours in the day. When you become aware that the hand on your analog wall clock that marks the shortest passage of time -- the second hand -- just happens to be the one that's moving the slowest, it's a sign you should be winding up your job search. There is no time to waste. 

Creative avoidance, busy work

When you find yourself coming up with tasks that need tackling first, or you always put off until tomorrow two days' work, you should probably just admit it: "I don’t want to do the work, I'm overwhelmed and I can't cope." If that’s too much to admit to up front, get creative and appear busy. But remember, waiting to be fired is creative avoidance too.

It’s not my job anyway (unless you want to keep it)

When you are being asked to do stuff that is outside of your job description, level of expertise and/or comfort zone, watch out! When your supervisor reminds you that there is the work that you are “inspected to do” and there is the work you’re “expected to do” you should either renegotiate your employment package or find an employer who will.

Hello new boss, bye-bye job

Downsizing, rightsizing, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and realignments -- at work, things change all of the time. When part of that change includes a new boss who spends more than 70 percent of the time behind closed doors penning missives about “implementing change,” be warned: Heads will be rolling in a workplace near you. Keep yours and start looking.

Appreciating depreciation

Sooner or later it hits us all: we think we’re worth more than we’re being paid. When you wake up one day and realize that your need for the boss’s approval is stronger than your need to keep the lights on, seek professional counseling. Otherwise, negotiate a raise and get paid what you’re worth or find a new job. They’ll love you at the new place and appreciate you just the same.

Growing up, growing old and outgrowing your job

Among the luckiest workers are those who benefit from ongoing training designed to keep personal, professional and corporate growth in sync. Invariably, the organic growth we experience as humans and the engineered growth companies desire becomes a widening gap. Before it becomes a chasm, start looking for a new job, especially if the training you’ve received makes you more marketable and helps you continue to grow.

Last man (or woman) standing

Sometimes it takes years and sometimes only a matter of months but when over 90 percent of the people who worked with you when you started the job are no longer with the company you should probably ask, “Why?”  You should start looking for a new job too and prepare a good answer for when your nearest and dearest ask you, “Why didn’t you see the warning signs sooner?”

I hate my job

As obvious as this sign is, it often goes ignored. Being in a situation that is no longer rewarding will stress you out. It leads to a downward cycle of despair. Before a state of depression and hopelessness take over -- evidenced by tell-tale signs like being unproductive at work and a grouch at home -- do everyone a favor:  Stop ignoring all the signs and find yourself a new job … now!

Don't ignore the signs...

Are these the top signs that it’s time to start looking for a job? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure…

If any of these warnings resonate with you today, or you are wondering why this one or that one was not included because you’re experiencing something else, those could all be signs themselves. Ignore them at your peril!