15 Signs it May be Time to Leave Your Job

 

Like any job, there are positives and negatives. Good days and bad days. Some days you might ask yourself, “I wonder if I should start looking for another job?”, but other days you tell yourself, “No, I think I’ll stay put.” If this describes you, and you’re constantly going back and forth with what to do, here are 15 signs it may be time to move on:

  1. You dread going to work
  2. When you come home from work you’re irritable more often than not
  3. You have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night thinking of work
  4. Your job is making you feel down and somewhat depressed
  5. You dread Sunday nights and the thought of going to work on Monday
  6. You have no energy during the work week
  7. You live for the weekend
  8. Your employer or company doesn’t have the same values as you
  9. You don’t find fulfillment in your job anymore
  10. You have tried to grow in your career, but your job (or your manager) is not letting you
  11. You contributions are not valued
  12. Your colleagues or others at work are rude to you
  13. The work environment is very negative and/or toxic
  14. There have been several layoffs and/or turnover is high
  15. You have a gut feeling something may be happening to your job

If you’ve checked off several of these signs, and you’ve even tried to remedy some of the situations, then it may be time to dust off your resume and move on. Change is always scary, but there comes a time when you need to look out for your well-being and for the future of your career.

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Ghosting a job. Are you guilty?

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In the past several months, I have read several articles about ghosting, where individuals blow off interviews or fail to show up the first day of work. In fact, when I surveyed hiring managers in the Fall of 2018, “not showing up” was one response when asked about interview pet peeves.

So why do people ghost? For some, they may not feel strongly enough about a position or perhaps they received a better job offer. Because they may have been treated poorly by companies in the past when they were interviewing (never heard back from them) or because they have an “I don’t care” attitude, they never contact the employer.

Whatever the reason, ghosting is unprofessional and reflects poorly on an individual. Further, a person never knows what lies in his/her future. Maybe someday he/she will cross paths with the person who they ghosted and that person has the memory of an elephant and didn’t forget.

Instead of ghosting, all a person has to do is send a brief email or call the human resources department. Depending on the situation, the message may be slightly different as to why they are withdrawing their application, but always thank them for the opportunity and wish them good luck in the selection process.

A Career Management Mistake Many People Make

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Throughout the years as I’ve worked with job seekers and career changers, I have found there is one career management mistake many people make: Not having an updated resume. Now you might ask, “Why is this a career management mistake, if I’m not looking for another job and have no plans of leaving?”

Career management is being forward thinking. While you might plan on staying in your current position for a long time (or forever), here are some important reasons to always have an updated resume:

1.  A sudden opportunity.  Sometimes the best time to look for a new job is when you’re not looking. I cannot tell you how many times I have received calls from individuals who needed a resume “right away” for a great job opportunity they just heard about, but the deadline was only a few days away.

2.  It’s easier to recall important facts.  If you update your resume once or twice a year, it is much easier to remember accomplishments (a large project, an a way you saved the company money, increased sales numbers, a large problem you resolved, a training you attended, etc.). Side Note: when you attend trainings, seminars, etc., always save your certificates. They serve as documentation that you attended the event.

3.  You may suddenly lose your job. Let’s face it. Things happen. Not long ago a family member went into work on a Wednesday and within a few hours, he and another employee had been laid off. It was a surprise and even their boss didn’t know about it. The decision was made by the upper management to let the two newest employees go in an effort to save money. Fortunately, I updated a resume for my family member about six months earlier, and the same day as the layoff, he had applied for several jobs. Within two days, he had a job offer!

4. You may experience the effects of a downsize.  Throughout the years I have worked with individuals who were notlaid off, but the result of other people losing their jobs highly impacted their workload. The stress of managing all of their new responsibilities, plus the uncertainty of their own job security, prompted them to start looking for employment elsewhere.

5.  Your company could be bought out.  In many cases when there are mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, etc., there will be some positions that will be eliminated. While the elimination of these positions may not happen right away, it is not uncommon for some changes to take place after 6 months.

6.  Your company could go out of business.  Companies go out of business for many reasons: the economy, changes in the industry, technology taking over, fires, etc.

7.  You could get a different boss. Unfortunately, there are some bosses out there who make your work life miserable. While you might have the best boss in the world right now, this could change.

8.  You could get different coworkers. It’s not always bosses that can make your work miserable. I’ve worked with people who have decided to look for a different job because of coworkers.

9.  If you’re self-employed, one day you might not be.  Even if you are currently working for yourself, you might not always be. During the sluggish economy some years back, I worked with several self-employed individuals whose businesses were impacted. The result? They decided to work for somebody else. Another time, one of my clients, who had been self-employed for 25+ years, decided he was tired of the self-employment world. He wanted to just go to work for somebody else, and not have to worry about everything that goes into running business.

10.  Life happens.  A few years back, a client of mine, who was self-employed, lost her husband due to cancer. She needed more income (and health insurance), so she decided it was time to update her resume and look for employment with a company.  Divorce also happens, and a stay-at-home parent may now need dust off his/her resume and find outside employment.

Career management is important. It essential to your overall career success. While it may be hard to think about updating your resume when there is no current need, it’s important to be prepared, because you just never know.

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Why can’t I find a job I like?

You start a new job, only to find out it’s not what you thought. It’s not a good fit. If you would have only known. If this sounds like something you have experienced, there may Thinking Master Imagesbe three reasons why this is happening:

1.   You aren’t applying for the right jobs.

Carefully review the job description and job duties. If the job posting is a short paragraph, try to get a copy of the complete job description before the interview. If this is not possible, always ask for a complete copy of the job description before accepting a position.

List job duties from your past jobs that you absolutely DID NOT like. If any of these job duties are on the job description, this job probably will not be a good fit. Don’t try to convince yourself “you can get used to the duties.” If you were miserable doing these duties before, chances are you won’t like doing them at this job either.

List job duties which you have really enjoyed in your past jobs. Does the job description contain any of these job duties? It’s important to apply for jobs which contain job duties you have really enjoyed doing in the past.

2.   You aren’t researching the company or its culture.

Researching the company before your interview is important to help strengthen your interview, but it’s also important to help you determine if the company would be a good match for you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Conduct an Internet search on the company. If there’s been any bad press, past layoffs, etc., this could be a red flag.
  • Look online at company reviews from past and current employees. Sites such as glassdoor.com and indeed.com are a couple sites where reviews can be found.
  • Do you know any people who have worked at the company or are currently working there? Reach out and ask them about the position, company culture, department you will work in, etc.
  • Don’t forget to take advantage of LinkedIn. By searching for the company, you will be able to find out which of your connections are currently employed there.

3.   You aren’t asking targeted questions during the interview.

Asking good questions during an interview is crucial, because this can be key in determining if a job is the right fit. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.

My recommendation would be to prepare three to five questions, but only ask three or four (and there may be times when your questions are answered during the interview). If you have any additional questions, ask them during a second interview, or ask them after they have offered you the job and before you accept.

Depending upon what you are looking for in a job, your questions can target different areas; for example, office dynamics, management style, specific job details, or specific company details. Here is a sampling of some questions I provide to my clients during interview coaching sessions:

  • What do you feel will be the three biggest challenges with this position?
  • How many people have held this position in the past five years?
  • What strengths did the previous employee possess that you would like to see continued?
  • How do you think your subordinates would describe your management style?
  • How would you describe the work environment?
  • If you could change one thing about the office culture (or company), what would it be?
  • What do you like most about working for this company?

When you ask these questions, listen carefully to the responses. Do they directly answer the question, or do they try to skirt around it? Is there a long pause before answering?

Gaining as much information about a position before and during the interview process is critical, and the above strategies may prove beneficial to you in helping you to find a job you like.

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Are you prepared for the unexpected?

Nervous by Sira AnamwongLayoffs. If you received your walking papers, would you be prepared? We hear about people receiving pink slips all of the time, and we hope that it never happens to us, but we usually don’t think about it anymore. Most of us don’t have a plan in place.

Throughout the years, I have worked with many clients who were caught off guard. Comments such as, “Oh, I wish I would have known I should be doing these things …” have often been stated. Here is one client’s story:

A client (I will call Susan) went to work one day, and by the end of the day was told that due financial constraints she was laid off and this would be her last day. Susan, a public relations professional, had worked on several projects, but because she was so busy, never took the time to make copies of her work. She had also received several congratulatory emails during her tenure, but had never made copies of these emails. (Copies of  her projects and emails would have served as documentation of her talents and contributions to her company — a great addition to her portfolio.)

Whether you are caught off guard or have an idea your job might be ending, here are some suggestions to help you be prepared:

1.  Update your resume at least once a year, but preferably twice a year. Include items that will set you apart. For example, did you save money, streamline procedures, solve a problem? Also, ask yourself, “What do I feel most proud about accomplishing these past 6 months?”

2.  Did you receive any thank you or congratulatory emails? Forward them to your home email address.

3.  Have you saved copies of your performance reviews? If not, ask your human resource department for copies. Excerpts of positive comments can be used in cover letters or on a resume and are a great way to set yourself apart. Remember, don’t file them at work; bring them home.

4.  Are you proud of something you created? If so, and if company policies allow it, make a copy and include it in your own portfolio.

5.  Did you attend any seminars or trainings? Don’t file those certificates at work, bring them home.

6.  Do you have a list of customers/clients? If so, keep a copy of this contact list. These individuals could serve as great resources for you, if you find yourself unemployed.

7.  Network Inward. Maintain your current network of connections. Send an occasional email, forward an interesting article to them, go out for coffee or lunch. Then, if something happens, you will have an immediate network to draw upon and will not have to re-establish a relationship.

8.  Network Outward. Always work on building new connections. Get to know the “connectors” who are the people who know everyone. Participate in local clubs/organizations, and volunteer in your community.

9.  Build your LinkedIn Presence. Social media is also another great way to network outward. On LinkedIn, update your profile and make sure the content matches your resume — you don’t want any discrepancies. Join LinkedIn groups, participate in discussions, and work on building your connections. Finally, ask for recommendations on LinkedIn. Excerpts from these recommendations can be strategically placed in your cover letter or resume.

10.  Have you thought of creating a second revenue stream? For example, one of my clients, who was an auto technician, started to take on some repair jobs (which he did in his garage) for friends and neighbors. Another client, who had a very part-time job in direct sales (selling jewelry), decided to ramp up that business when she learned her company may be having layoffs. Having a second source of income like these individuals can be very helpful if you become unemployed.

11.  Build Your Savings. I am not a financial expert, but this is common sense. Google this topic and you will find a plethora of articles and tips written by financial experts who provide many different suggestions on ways to increase the emergency fund.

12.  If you have any inclination that your job may be ending soon, don’t just sit around and wait; follow your gut and start taking action. Begin looking at job openings within your line of work, and if there is something that interests you, apply for it. By doing so, you will (1) learn how many openings are available in your field; (2) find out how marketable you are; and (3) may possibly have an opportunity to practice your interview skills and learn more about a potential job that would be a great fit.

If you don’t have a plan in place, it’s time to start one. Don’t be caught off guard like some of my clients were. Be proactive, not reactive.

About the author:  As a career strategist and certified interview coach, Connie Hauer has 10+ years of experience delivering effective coaching programs that help clients reach their goals. 

Image by Sira Anamwong@freedigitalphotos.net

10 Things to Remember When Starting a New Job

CareerPro Pics 154Here are some tips to get you off on the right track when starting a new job:

1.  Learn the company culture. Observe meeting dialogs, staff dynamics, and learn what protocols are followed.

2.  Make every effort to remember coworkers’ first names. Calling people by their first name shows strong interpersonal skills.

3.  Have lunch with coworkers. If you’re an introvert, you may be tempted to hide out in your office, but when you first start, it’s important to have lunch with others and build rapport.

4.  Don’t get caught in office gossip.

5.  Don’t use your company computer to check personal email, Facebook, etc.

6.  Remember you need to be employed for awhile and establish credibility before suggesting any changes.

7.  If you’re unsure of something, it’s better to ask than guess. However, before asking, make every attempt to find the answer on your own. If you end up still having to ask someone, let that person know you tried to find the answer … it shows initiative on your part.

8.  Ask your boss for feedback on your performance, and keep your boss up-to-date on your projects.

9. Don’t forget to maintain your network of connections by keeping in contact with past coworkers, colleagues, etc. Send an occasional email, forward an interesting article, go out for coffee or lunch. Don’t wait until you need a favor to reconnect.

10.  Finally, before you start your new job, remember to send a thank you to any individual who helped you land the job (someone who informed you about the job, references, etc.).