Happy New Year from all of us at Optimized Career Solutions! This January is an important month: not only are we ringing in the new year, but we’re ringing in a new decade. Forget posting on Instagram about where you were 10 years ago… have you thought about where you’ll be 10 years from now?
Thinking that far in advance can be scary, but take a moment now to think about how you might be walking into the next decade. We did our research and were shocked to learn that 53% of Americans are unhappy at their jobs. For Optimized Career Solutions, that is far too many.
If you spent the end of last year waiting on a performance review, hoping that a minor increase in pay will make you happy… think again. If you’re unhappy now, chances are you’ll be bringing that unhappiness into the next decade. Instead, leap into the next decade boldly and confidently by finding a company with which you’re aligned and with whom you can make an impact while making the money you deserve… and if you find a little happiness along the way, we’re all for it!
Still need convincing? Here are 10 reasons to leave your miserable job:
- The Obvious: You’re Unhappy
You can Google ways to be happier at your current job until you’re blue in the face. You might find some helpful tips about managing your emotions in a toxic work environment, but at the end of the day you’ll still be burning more energy than you should just to get by.
Research shows that workplace stress and unhappiness are linked to devastating health issues like cardiovascular disease, depression, and more. Life is too short to wait it out and hope for the best. Don’t fake it until you make it… find a job where you will feel genuinely happy and see how your overall health improves!
- Your Company’s Values Don’t Align with Yours
Waking up feeling passionate and driven for your job is not a myth. If you’re not waking up excited, then it’s time to think about why. One of those reasons is that the company you work for doesn’t have the same values. Sit down, take out a notebook, and write out a list of your own passions and values. If you were a company all on your own, what would be your company’s core values?
Next, think about the company for whom you currently work. What are their values? Write them down. If these two lists aren’t quite matching up, it’s time to move on! Trust us—they don’t want an employee who isn’t working passionately to drive their mission any more than you want to work for a mission you don’t believe in.
- Unless You’re the Captain, Don’t Go Down with a Sinking Ship
Imagine it: every day, there seems to be a weird fog in the air. When you look around, something feels off, maybe even a little sad. It’s the difficult truth that the company is failing and everyone knows it. You can see it in everyone’s job performances, even your own. You have to be there, but what is the point?
It might seem like the honorable thing to stay with a sinking ship, but unless you’re the captain, it is not your job to stand by and support a struggling or unsuccessful company. Your company’s leadership is looking out for themselves as they try to stay afloat. But who is looking out for you? Make yourself a priority, build your raft, and jump. You deserve to save yourself!
- You Simply Don’t Like the People or the Culture
This is a big reason that often goes ignored. After all, shouldn’t we just be grown-ups and deal with it? But when you work a 9-to-5, you tend to forget what that really means: that you are spending up to 9 hours, 5 days a week, interacting with the same people. No wonder you’re miserable at work; you can’t stand most of the people with whom you spend most of your time!
You can’t pick the family you’re born into, but you can pick the family you work with. We will always tell you to have important conversations with others at work to find ways to work together. However, if your work’s culture is enmeshed (constant interruptions for trivial matters), or holds four meetings a day that are entirely unnecessary, you’re not getting the work done. Go out there and get the job done!
- Your Skills and Talents are Going Untapped
We value an empowered employee! Does your management? Go back to that earlier exercise we mentioned—yes, get out the notebook—and write a list of all of your qualities, skills, and talents. If anything, this will be a positive and empowering exercise! But you should still ask yourself which of these items are being utilized at your job.
Having skills and talents that are untapped at work is another reason why you’re unhappy and should find a new job. People feel good when they are doing work that speaks to their talents. It feels good to know that you are a unique and valuable employee and not just a robot that does what it’s programmed to do. You know you have qualities they won’t find in someone else… do they?
- You Have a Poor Work/Life Balance
Everyone starts a new job thinking they will leave work at work. But the more you become invested in what you do, the more you’ll find that you do indeed bring work home with you. If you’re miserable at work, you’ll find yourself miserable at home, and you are not getting paid for that kind of emotional labor!
Another scenario is that you’re literally bringing work home with you. There are only so many hours in a day and that project needs to get finished. You’re not only working after hours, but you’re spending less time with the most important people of all: your family. Having a poor work/life balance is not worth the physical and emotional toll, and we’re here to tell you that you can find a job that respects your time.
- The Job Role and Duties Have Changed, but the Pay Hasn’t
An important member of your team has left the company. “This is only temporary,” your boss will say. “We need helping hands, just until we can find a replacement.” As a “yes, and” employee, you’re happy to help! But at what cost? When your company struggles to find a suitable replacement in an appropriate amount of time, you are taking on more for less compensation.
You might also be given more duties with the false hope of a real promotion later on down the line. Your management will tell you that it’s a trial run to see where your strengths lie. Don’t let them manipulate you into volunteer work. You’re there for a reason and that reason is to get paid for all the work you produce. Stop waiting around for that promotion when you can find better money elsewhere.
- You Aren’t Making an Impact
Whatever the mission or cause, people feel good when they know the work they do is making an impact. Regardless of your personality, it’s a natural human desire is to be a valuable member of a community. Whether that community is your neighborhood or workplace, no one wants to feel worthless.
What impact is your company making? Are they producing a product that helps people, and do you care about that product? Just because you’re corporate doesn’t mean these questions don’t need to be answered. Many companies even contribute to charities and other humanitarian efforts. Some companies even offer their workers time off if they spend time volunteering! Don’t be afraid to care. Work for a company that cares, too.
- You’re Working Under Poor Management
Have you had to stay quiet while watching managers make ill-advised or poor decisions that impact the whole team? One of the reasons people are unhappy at their jobs is that they have no control over what happens as a result of bad leadership.
Don’t forget that one of the managements’ duties is to exhibit strong leadership. They should be offering you professional growth by being exemplary models of what it means to be a manger. If you’re not impressed by what you see, and you’re not growing professionally by wanting to be more like them, it’s time to quit your boss by quitting your job!
- You Can Make MORE MONEY!
And we’re not just talking about accepting a position that offers a higher salary. Research shows that switching jobs every 2-3 years can help you make nearly 50% more by retirement than someone who stayed with the same company the entire time! Not only that, but people tend to make a 10-20% salary increase when they start a new job.
There are certainly people who stay with the same company for years, maybe even decades. If you want to be that person, then you should make sure your trajectory is upward, not across. You should also consider healthcare benefits, another form of compensation. Finding a job with better health benefits can make a world of difference to your personal happiness.
Well, have we convinced you yet? Do you want to start out the new decade with a new job but haven’t a clue where to start? Don’t freak out–Optimized Career Solutions is here. We’ve written our own lists of values, strengths, and passions. One of our company’s core values is to help people find the jobs they deserve because we genuinely want you to be happy. We believe in career success and we know how to find it; book your free consultation today and find out how!