You suspect it's time for a change. You're really not asking for much: You just want a job that combines your passions and skills, provides a reasonable income, and allows you to spend time with people you love. And the dead-end, soul-deadening job you've been clocking into for the last few years isn't exactly all you'd hoped and dreamed for yourself. Work isn't your life, you say, yet (like it or not) it takes up a pretty big chunk of it -- about 33 percent big. So, why are you spending a third of your life doing something you never wanted to?
You probably have your reasons for staying in that job that's making you miserable: You need a steady paycheck and health insurance, or you'd rather tough it out in a bad situation you're familiar with than risk something new. I get it. But here's my advice for you: QUIT.
Forget what you've heard about winners never quitting, because that's just not true. Smart people quit the wrong things at the right time. If you don't write it, no one's going to read it. If you don't change it, it will always be the same. If you don't bring your dream to life, your dream dies with you. If you ever hope to find your right thing, you have to quit that wrong thing. Here are a five all-too-common signs that it's high time to call it quits and move on:
1. You're unsatisfied.
Don't worry, you're not alone -- according to the 2010 annual job satisfaction survey published by The Conference Board, only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their work. The numbers are even worse for those under the age of 25, in which 64 percent report being unhappy at work. Not only is that the lowest job satisfaction rate since 1987, but worker unhappiness has shown a consistent downward trend for 24 years with no signs of turning around. Figure out why you're unhappy in your job and do something about it.
2. You're bored.
Another prime indicator is boredom. According to the same report from The Conference Board, only half the U.S. workforce even finds their job interesting. Let's face it:A lot of boring stuff happens at big companies, which means you're probably asked to work on a lot of boring stuff. The fact that the work is relatively easy, or that it pays a lot, doesn't really compensate after a while, and you start to feel like you're wasting your time. If your work doesn't challenge you or make good use of your strengths, it's time to go.
3. You're stuck.
A 2005 study by Harris Interactive survey found that a third of all American workers felt like their careers had reached a dead end. You could even be content with your pay grade and indifferent to "climbing the corporate ladder" and still feel like there's no room for you to grow. If you've learned everything you can, contributed everything you have to contribute, and continue to clock in only because you don't know what else to do or where to go, start planning your exit.
4. You're excited about something else.
One of the best reasons to change directions is to pursue something you actually care about. In a recent poll by Maritz, only 14 percent of employees said that their company's values aligned with their personal values. If you're more excited about your hobby than you are about your job, look for a job related to your hobby. If you've always dreamed of owning an animal shelter or working as a Hollywood makeup artist -- and you've got the talent for these things -- drop what you're doing and go for it.
5. You're scared.
Yes, this is a reason to leave your job, not a reason to stay. Look, it's OK to be scared. Change is scary! But think about this: If you stay put and change nothing, what will you be in 10, 20, 50 years from now? If you suspect you'll wake up in the middle of a midlife crisis wracked with regret, dreaming about what could have been and saying things like "I wish I'd...," "it's too late" and "if only" -- do yourself a favor and take the risk. There comes a time when the risks of staying outweigh the risks of going. The fact that you're scared to try it is a pretty good sign that you want it really badly. Jump.
For more career advice, tune into "Jump Shipp" beginning Oct. 21 on Halogen TV. Each week, viewers will be inspired when real people get a chance to pursue their dream jobs and decide to JUMP SHIPP. Check out the trailer here: http://halogentv.com/shows/jumpshipp/.
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