by Riya Sander
We all know that feeling when you alarm goes off in the morning, that nauseous dread of facing another day at the office when you have no motivation to go to work, or the terrible Sunday evening blues as the weekend comes to a close. Having these feelings from time to time are a completely normal part of working life, but there comes a moment when workplace stress becomes just too much. So how do you know when to jump ship? Here are six signs that it’s time to change your job.
At the boss level
One of the most obvious yet important things to consider about your workplace is your supervisor and overall company leadership. As we’ve recently seen with companies like Uber, healthy workplace cultures start at the top. If the boss creates a toxic workplace environment, that will trickle down among the ranks. Obviously no workplace or supervisor is perfect, but if company leadership is consistently misguided, negative or adding to your stress level, it’s time to plan your change.
Water cooler gossip gone bad
Similar to your supervisors, your coworkers are another vital part of your workplace culture. Nasty gossip and overly competitive or simply incompetent coworkers can make your day a living hell. Even one negative person can completely change the office environment. When your coworkers make you dread coming to work each day, just remember, there are always better teammates out there! Office environments today encourage teamwork and collaboration more than ever, which means that you want strong, competent teammates on your side.
Have a destination in mind
If work-related stress is starting to take a real toll, it’s time to ask yourself what makes you happy at work. Sometimes the idea of a job sounds incredible, but the everyday reality of that career field becomes a burden over time. It’s important to have a clear idea of where your career could take you in the next five, ten, 15 or 30 years. If that future path fills you with dread, it’s time to look at changing careers. Similarly, supervisors and a workplace culture that encourages employee growth are just as important to your career path. If there’s no road forward and no one helping you get on the right track, start looking for an alternative route.
Do you want fries with that?
One telltale way that workplace stress manifests itself is our everyday habits outside of work. If you notice that you are speeding through the drive-thru or ordering out more than normal, that’s a good sign that workplace stress is getting to you. Unhealthy eating habits can really take a toll on your overall energy and ability to work well. You also may find yourself skipping out on your normal exercise routines to watch TV on the couch or losing interest in your normal hobbies. As work becomes more stressful, we often look to unhealthy coping mechanisms to help us deal with the pressure. When your routine habits take a turn for the worse, it’s time to find another place that will allow you to thrive both in and outside of work.
A healthy workplace = a healthy you
Speaking of healthy habits, did you know that workplace stress could literally shorten your lifespan? Unhealthy workplace cultures and workplace stress take a major toll a person’s health, even on their life expectancy. In recent years, we’ve discovered more and more about the ugly link between workplace stress and your health; in fact, work-related stress claims are on the rise, with workplace pressure being the most often-cited cause. If you are compromising your overall health at work, it’s definitely time to find other options.
With a little help from your friends
It may seem silly to consider the relationships that you have outside of work as a part of a healthy workplace, but spending time with your family and friends is essential to your overall wellbeing. Dealing with stress at work can put an incredible strain on interpersonal relationships, whether they be friends, family, a partner or spouse, or your children. If you find yourself losing patience with the most important people in your life, that’s a major red flag. How do you pursue work-life balance? While this balance is always going to be a struggle, some work environments make it impossible to be both a successful employee and a person with healthy relationships on the outside. Do coworkers make you feel guilty when you go home at the end of the day? Are you cutting into time with your family or friends to finish projects at the behest of your supervisors? The health of our relationships outside of work are a great indicator for the health of our workplace overall.
These are just some of the signs that workplace stress is taking too much of a toll on your overall happiness. If you think that you’re job is getting to be too much, catch your breath, take some time to yourself and take a close look at your current workplace. There are other options and opportunities out there!
When did you know it was time to get a new job? What red flag flew you in another direction? Tell us in the comments below!