There comes a time in every professional's career when it is best to make a change. Being able to recognize burnout and know when to leave a company can keep you from finding yourself at a dead end later in your career. But how do you know when it's time to move on? The following quiz, developed with findings from CareerBuilder.com's "Life at Work 2004" survey, will help you evaluate your position and answer this important question: Should I stay or should I go?
1. When it comes to your career path, which of the following statements are most relevant to your situation?
A. My supervisor and I have talked extensively about where I am going and what I can achieve, and have developed challenging but attainable goals to help me get there.
B. I receive a lot of positive feedback from upper management and have been told that there are good things in my future, but I'm not sure how or when I will get there.
C. I have been in the same position for so long, my business cards have our company's old logo.
D. I'm pretty sure I just got demoted last week.
If you answered B, C or D, you are not alone. According to CareerBuilder's survey, of the 35 percent of workers who plan to change jobs this year, 22 percent are leaving because they are unable to move up the company ladder. If you have no idea where you are going in your company, talk to your manager and come up with a plan. If your company will not help you chart a course, it's time to look elsewhere.
2. Which statement describes your typical work week?
A. My company has made cutbacks and I have had to pick up the extra slack. I now put in the hours of two people.
B. The hours I work fluctuate depending on how busy the company is. There are seasons when I put in extra time, but I am compensated for the extra work with more time off in the slower months.
C. I consistently put in 40 to 45 hours a week.
D. What, you mean there are people who work fewer than 60 hours a week?
American workers experience burnout at an alarming rate. According to CareerBuilder, 68 percent of workers feel burnout at work, and 45 percent said their workloads are too heavy. Yes, we all have to pick up some slack and "take one for the team" from time to time. But if you answered A and there is no end in sight, talk to your manager to figure out how to give yourself a break. If your answer is D, do yourself and your health a favor and dust off your resume.
3. When it comes to personal recognition, which of the following do you most relate with?
A. I am so often referred to by my employee number in the office that I sometimes forget my own name.
B. I hear from my boss often -- every time I do something wrong.
C. I receive a lot of feedback -- both positive and negative -- from my manager.
D. The last time I received a raise, I used the extra money to buy Milli Vanilli concert tickets.
According to the survey, 43 percent of workers do not feel appreciated, and one-fourth of respondents felt that they were just a "number" within their organization. Recognition is important, and good companies implement programs to let employees know they are valued. Is your company doing anything to reward your efforts? Do you ever receive bonuses, perks or positive feedback? If you answered A, B or D, you need to realize that you deserve recognition for your successes. Find a company that will value your talents.
4. Which of the following best describes your relationship with your boss?
A. I feel that my sole purpose at the company is to make my boss look good.
B. We have a solid relationship based on mutual respect and appreciation.
C. I do a great job ... when I do the opposite of what my boss does.
D. I think I saw my boss once last month, right before the door to his office was slammed.
Your relationship with your supervisor plays a big role in your overall professional happiness and success. If you are working for someone who is always absent, unavailable, self-absorbed or untrustworthy, it's time to look for a better supervisor and a better opportunity.
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