Hate is a strong word. We use it carelessly when describing a job where we’re frustrated, overworked or disenchanted. And while hate might be a bit of an overstatement, it doesn’t change the fact that nearly 70% of us report being “dissatisfied with their career choices.” That’s a lot of hate! I haven’t seen that much hate since the great Playa Hater’s Ball of 2003. (Google it….)
Despite those astronomical numbers, employee turnover rates average just shy of 20%, creating a gap between those who hate their job and those who actually take action to do something different.
Living in the gap is the equivalent of passive-aggressively hating your job. You’re still going through the motions, but your words, actions and thoughts likely don’t match up. If you’ve ever wondered if you’re living in the gap, here are five signs you’ve reached a breaking point and you need to make a move:
1. You’re just here for the paycheck. Do you dread Mondays? Have you ever told yourself, “I would do something differently if I could afford it?” Odds are your pay is a major factor in staying in a job you don’t love. However, the adage holds true. Money can’t buy happiness. If that’s the only reason you walk into work on Monday, it’s time to find another job. The good news for you is those other jobs also have paychecks! Yay for money!
2. You more routinely see faults instead of opportunities. It’s always within reason to look at your work/business and find opportunities to improve. The problem becomes when you stop seeing those moments as ways to improve and instead fixate on them as faults. Your mind is starting to rewire towards the negative and that’s not healthy for you. It’s time to move on.
3. You start seeing yourself as the smartest in the room. Alongside the fault’s conversation, you might find yourself leaving meetings or the workday uttering some of these common phrases:
- “Am I the only one who sees this?”
- “I’ve been telling them for two years, but nobody is listening.”
- “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”
It’s possible you ARE the smartest person in the room, but I’ve always found those people to also be extremely humble. The moment you flip a switch and become the smartest person in every setting, it’s probably time to reevaluate why you feel that way and look for a change in scenery.
4. You have stopped learning. Here’s the funny thing about this one. You can never stop learning. But you can stop trying to learn. When you’re fed up with your job, it’s possible to get caught in a cycle where you aren’t even trying anymore. That’s not a good situation for anyone involved and means it’s time to find a place where you can grow and learn something new.
5. Your side hustle gives you more energy. You might be shocked to hear a recent survey showed that 37% of Americans have a “side hustle” in addition to their main occupation. It could be driving for Lyft, an Amazon store, or an unlimited number of other options where people have found ways to monetize a passion. Most start off as passion-projects or a way to secure some additional income, but if nurtured, it’s easy for a side hustle to become your main hustle when you devote the time. If you’re in that 37%, then the time is now to go be happy and turn it into your full-time hustle.
Those are five signs you’re ready to make a career change. If one or more of those describe you or a friend, the time has come to evaluate what can be done to stop living in the gap.