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7 Signs You’ve Been at Your Job Too Long

September 17th, 2014 · No Comments

time to move on

Even if your job is paying the bills, it’s natural to feel unstimulated at work if the tasks or profession become dull or uninspiring in your mind. This is a fairly common feeling among those who have been at their jobs for an extended period of time. Even if they feel like they may want to move on and are no longer passionate about their work, it’s difficult walking away from a guaranteed salary and familiar working environment. 

Have you been at your job too long? If any of the seven signs below seem familiar to you, it may be time to consider a new career move. 

1. Most of Your Day is Spent Browsing the Web 

If the majority of your work day is spent perusing Reddit or other content-filled web sites to pass the time, it’s a clear sign that your work is not a very good fit. In addition to wasting time when you should be sending out PR pitches, it shows your lack of regard and that your mind’s elsewhere. 

In most cases, employees spend the bulk of their time browsing the web for one of two reasons. Either the company is failing and they don’t have enough work to pass around, or you’re so familiar with the work at hand that it takes you several times quicker than other employees to accomplish the task. If the latter is the case, you should have likely been promoted by now. Either case implies that your job isn’t stimulating enough for you, or you’re not the right fit. I remember the exact moment I realized this. A Buzzfeed post led me to this pool cover website and I was spending quite a bit of time browsing it, even though I don’t even have a pool. I thought, “Wow, if I have time for this, I’m really not being challenged at this job.”  

2. You Constantly Check the Clock 

The most fulfilling jobs make the day fly by, since you’re so busy and engaged in the work at hand that the only reason you’re looking at the clock is to make sure you meet a deadline. This is especially the case in a PR position, where the success of any campaign is contingent on the effort and time put forward of the PR professional. If you’re checking the clock every few minutes to see if it’s 5:00 yet, it may be time to switch jobs. A 9-hour work day at a stimulating job will fly by a lot faster than a 7-hour work day at a dull job. 

3. You Can’t Connect with Co-Workers 

Whether it’s due to an age gap or personality conflict, an inability to connect with fellow co-workers suggests you either do not share a similar enthusiasm for the work at hand, or the particular job is more suited for someone within your co-workers’ demographic. For many job veterans, feeling “out of touch” with the arrival of young co-workers may signal a desire to shift jobs. 

4. Your Boss and HR Mean Very Little 

Not that it’s always beneficial to be fearful of your boss, but a lack of respect for them or their perception of you implies you care very little about the job at hand. If you no longer care about impressing your boss and staying out of trouble with HR, then your passion for the job should come into question. 

5. Your Employee Review is the Same Every Time 

A monotonous employee review every time suggests you’ve hit a plateau with your current job, where limitations or other conflicts will prevent you from ascending much further. This may be the fault of your own or simply due to a faltering business, but either way an unchanging employee review suggests they could do without you and, consequently, you could do without them. If your strengths and weaknesses are listed as the exact same on every review, you’re not improving.  

6. Retirement Occupies Your Daydreams, Even If You’re Years Away It  

We all dream about retirement at some point, but daydreaming about it constantly while you’re on the job, and when retirement is still many, many years away, shows that you’re not very passionate about your current role or the clients you’re doing PR for, which isn’t a good situation for anyone. 

7. You No Longer Think Outside the Box 

If you’re accepting tasks like a robot without suggesting a better method, then it shows a lack of enthusiasm in regard to your position. Compliance is great and all, but bosses and co-workers enjoy outspokenness if it’s relevant and can potentially help make everyone money. If you’re not at least occasionally offering new ideas within your job, then it shows superiors and co-workers that you’re not as enthusiastic as you should be. 

If some of the characteristics above sound familiar, then it’s legitimately worth considering whether a different career plan is optimal for you. Most never regret making the decision to leave their job for more interesting, fulfilling work. “The norm is for people to move around a lot more than they did a few decades ago,” said career coach Marie McIntyre. Don’t waste any more time at a bad job if all signs are pointing to the door.  

Scott Huntington is a PR Specialist and writer. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington or check out his blog, blogspike.com.

Tags: Advice from a Pro · Guest Post · Job Search

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