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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Interviewing? Don’t Ignore These Red Flags

interview Canva2It happened! You were just invited to interview for a dream job! You’re excited and begin prepping for your interview right away, because you really want this job. However, no matter how excited you are for a potential job, don’t let the excitement cloud the red flags which may appear during the interview. Here are some of the many red flags to be aware of, some of which have been mentioned by clients:

  • When you walk into the office and you don’t have a good feeling about the atmosphere (employee behavior, a lot of complaining, a seemingly chaotic environment, etc.).
  • When the interviewer is late for your interview. Obviously, there may be a valid reason for being late, but one of my clients waited over an hour. He did not apologize or thank her for waiting. He just got busy and forgot. Whatever reason is given (or not given), it may be an indication of how it may be to work for this person (unorganized, not respectful of your time, rude, etc.).
  • When you ask to see a complete job description and the interviewer pauses; then says you can look at it, but you cannot take a copy home to review at a later time.
  • When one of the first questions the interviewer asks is, “How would you feel about learning how to XXXX?” which is a huge responsibility that is completely unrelated to the job for which you are interviewing.
  • When one of the questions you ask is, “What will be one of the biggest challenges with this position?” and the interviewer immediately talks about a responsibility that isn’t on your job description (see above). And, if you would have known about this major duty, you would not have applied for the position.
  • When they ask you the same question, three different ways. Note: One of my clients was asked three different ways about how she handles and deals with stress. It was fairly obvious that the job was a stressful one.
  • When you ask the question, “What do you like most about working at this company?” and there is a big pause.
  • When you ask why the former person left, and they give you a vague reason. Note: You could also ask, “How long was the former employee in the position?” and/or “How many people have held this position in the past 3 years?”
  • When your gut is just telling you, “This doesn’t feel right.”

Even if a job might seem perfect on paper, it’s always important to be aware of the red flags. They may be indicating your dream job might be a nightmare job.

Have any red flags appeared during any of your interviews? If so, I would love for you to share them.

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Unemployed? How to Keep Up Your Motivation During a Long Winter

Thinking2 Wide Blog PostLet’s face it. This year winter seems like it will never end, and if you’re unemployed, it can be hard to keep up your motivation. So, here are some tips to get you through the doldrums of winter:

1. Take care of yourself: eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get a good night’s rest, etc. This is common sense, but these basic needs are the foundation of everything.

2. Exercise. Part of taking care of yourself is exercise. Even if you don’t like exercising, just take 10 minutes (three times a day) and incorporate some type of exercise (jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, whatever). Or, try other ways to exercise. For example, when you drive to a store, park at the end of the parking lot so you have further to walk. Go out to a mall and do some walking. There are many different ways to exercise, so, even if exercising is something you dislike doing, just integrate a little into each day. It will boost your mood and increase your motivation.

3. Stay scheduled. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. (Note: before you go to bed, create a to-do list for the next day. It will help keep you on track.) After you get up in the mornings, shower and get dressed as if you were going to work.

4.  Network. It’s important to have contact with people every day. Maybe email a former colleague, meet someone for coffee, or telephone someone. Do you know someone else unemployed? Be each others’ job search buddy. Talk once a week and discuss your goals, progress, or problems that may have arisen. Are you part of a local organization? If not, find someone who is and ask if you can tag along with them to their next meeting. Try find a job seeking group in your community and attend this.

5. Get out of the house. You can easily accomplish this each day if you exercise outside your home or if you attend a networking event or meet someone for coffee. But, if you exercise in the comforts of your home or if you network via phone or email, then it’s important you make an effort to get out. For example, go to a coffee shop where you can see other people, and conduct some of your job search activities there.

6.  Volunteer. Volunteering will not only get you out of the house, but by doing so, you will be helping others — which can be very rewarding. Volunteering is also a great way to network with others and maybe even learn new skills! (Don’t forget to add the new volunteer experiences to your resume!)

7. Learn something new. Take a free class online. Enroll in course through your community. Research a new topic on the Internet. Learn something new by watching a YouTube video.

8.  Do something you enjoy. Do you like movies? Do you like to read? Do you have a hobby? Whatever you enjoy doing, carve out some time each day to do what you like.

9. Subscribe to receive some daily emails on motivation, inspiration, etc. If you’re on Twitter, follow these types of Twitter feeds. Create a list of your favorite ones, and read them every day.  Also, no matter what situation you are in, there is always something to be thankful for. Everyday write down a few things that you are grateful for.

10. Celebrate achievements. The achievement can be big or small, and it doesn’t have to be job-search related. Maybe you just completed a project around the house or maybe you just landed an interview. Whatever the success, reward yourself with something. It can be as small as a piece of chocolate or it can be something bigger.

There are many different ways to overcome the dreary winter months, but hopefully some of these tips will help you stay motivated!

Wait! Before You Resign, Read These Tips

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People change jobs for various reasons. Some want new challenges or want to move up the ladder, while others want to downsize their careers. Of course there are others who want to switch jobs because of a boss they don’t like, poor company culture, or maybe added responsibilities but no pay increase. Whatever the reason(s), here are some important tips to remember:

  1. Always give at least a two-week notice. Even if your new company wants you to start as soon as possible, they will understand and would expect the same from their employees. Further, in the eyes of your new employer, leaving immediately may reflect poorly on your character.
  2. Your resignation letter should show respect and professionalism. Even if you’re leaving under some “not-so-good” terms, don’t burn any bridges. It’s a small world.
  3. Ask for a letter of recommendation (or LinkedIn recommendation) from your supervisor and/or colleagues. Recommendations can be important tools in future job searches.
  4. Prior to submitting your resignation, be sure you have copies or forward any congratulatory emails, thank yous, etc., that showcase your skills and accomplishments. The reason for obtaining these prior to your resignation, is that in some industries, it is not uncommon to ask the individual to resign to leave immediately.
  5. Remain in contact with past supervisors and/or coworkers. These individuals know first-hand your skills and talents and keeping in touch may lead to new opportunities. In addition, if you ever find yourself suddenly without a job, you have an immediate network to draw upon and will not have to reestablish a relationship.

Many people don’t think twice about typing up their resignation, but utilizing these tips is an important part about good career management.

Image by adamr@freedigitalphotos.net

Put Your Job Offer in Writing

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“Put it in writing, or it didn’t happen.” This advice applies to many areas of life — especially when accepting a new job. Let me share a personal story.

When I first began my career, I was working in the Twin Cities, but after about a year, I wanted to return to the St. Cloud area. I applied for a job, interviewed, and was offered the job at a particular wage. I gave my two-week notice in the Twin Cities, gave my notice at my apartment (month-to-month lease), and signed a lease for an apartment in St. Cloud. The Friday before I was to start, my soon-to-be boss called me and said the Board did not agree with his pay offer, and he would have to pay me less than he offered. I felt I had no choice, because I had already given my notice in the Twin Cities and signed a new lease in St. Cloud. Thankfully, the offer was not a lot less, but this taught me a lesson.

Many companies will provide new hires with an official offer letter, but what if your new company does not do this? In this case, it’s important to send a letter of acceptance.

Letter of Acceptance

Like the story I shared, writing a letter of acceptance is especially important if your job offer was made orally but you have not — or did not — receive confirmation of the offer in writing. An effective letter of acceptance includes clarification of four key pieces of information: job title, salary information, details of benefits being offered (if any), and start date.

You can also clarify the date that the job offer was extended, as well as any additional information the company needs from you — or that you need from the company — before starting the new job. Address the letter to the person who offered you the position.

Don’t let what happened to me happen to you.

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Eight Signs of a Great Interview

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Have you ever left an interview a little concerned about how well you did? Here are seven signs that you’ve had a great interview:

  1. The interviewers showed signs of liking you (smiling, laughter, humor).
  2. You felt good about your answers and were able to provide specific examples.
  3. They indicated they were impressed with the questions you asked of them.
  4. The interview went longer than expected.
  5. They asked if they could contact your references.
  6. At the conclusion of the interview you conveyed your interest in the position and indicated how you would be a benefit their organization.
  7. Upon leaving the interview, you sensed excitement from those who interviewed you.

Can you think of any more signs of having a great interview? Leave your comments below!

PHOTO by stockimages @freedigitalphotos.net

About the author: As a certified interview coach, Connie Hauer coaches clients on interview preparation, provides strategies on how to stand out from the competition, and helps clients polish their interviewing skills so they feel more confident. (Learn More) 

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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