Today, many of us are taking a break from everyday life, spending time with family, and taking a moment to put things in perspective and consider what brings us joy. While you’re already assessing what you’re grateful for, it’s a good time to consider whether or not your job is one of those things. Of course, anyone with a regular paycheck should be thankful — but it’s important to think about whether your current position contributes to or hinders your happiness and well-being, and whether it fits into your long-term goals.
Job searching can be a long and daunting process, and starting a new job is considered to be one of the most stressful life events some people face. But you probably spend the majority of your waking hours doing your job, so you owe it to yourself to take on that challenge if it’s time.
It may be clear to you that you’re ready for a change, but sometimes it’s not so obvious. If you’re contemplating whether you’d be better off moving on, here are 6 questions to consider:
1. Is your job too stressful?
It’s normal to endure some amount of stress with any job (in fact, it’s probably abnormal if your job doesn’t stress you out). But if you’re anxious all day or often feeling panicky at the office, you’re going to have a tough time remaining productive and positive. And if your job-related stress is consistently invading other areas of your life -- whether it’s all you can talk about outside the office or your anxiety makes it hard to sleep -- it’s probably time to move on.
2. Do you like who you are when you’re working?
Whether you’re collaborating with colleagues or completing a project on your own, the work you’re immersed in should be allowing you to capitalize on your best qualities. If you find that you generally treat others with compassion and respect, but for some reason you have trouble doing so at your office, your job is probably not a great fit for you. And if you consider yourself proactive and productive but you’re struggling to feel excited about your work, it’s wise to consider other options that you might find more motivating.
3. Are you excited about your company’s mission and how you can contribute to it?
If you wake up every morning and dread heading into the office, or if you feel indifferent about the goals of your team, chances are you can find work that’s more exciting to you. It’s important to consider both what kinds of businesses appeal to you based on their mission or culture and what kinds of work you find stimulating.
4. Is there room for growth, and are you feeling challenged?
Even if you’re perfectly content where you are now, you might want to think about how stagnant your position is, especially if you’ve gotten to the point where you no longer find your job challenging. If you don’t envision yourself having the opportunity to eventually take on more responsibility or pursue a new role, or if your company might not be around in five years, there’s no better time to begin thinking about your future.
5. Do you get along with your colleagues?
Most of us have to deal with working alongside people whose visions or styles of communication clash with our own. Oftentimes, we can work past these differences, whether we address them overtly or do our best to let things go. But if the tension between you and your colleagues is palpable and constant, or if you’re terrified of your boss, you might be better off looking for a new work environment where you feel more comfortable and have an easier time collaborating with your coworkers.
6. Are you able to maintain a good work-life balance?
Your job is only one component of your life, so it’s important to be in a position that allows you the flexibility to spend adequate time with friends and family and to pursue other interests. If you’ve always been an avid runner or reader or you love being able to make dinner with your friends once a week, you shouldn’t have to give up those habits or routines because work always gets in the way. Make sure you’re able to add some variety to your schedule so you have time to unwind and you don’t end up burning out.
Today, focus on enjoying your time with loved ones (and enjoying your food, of course) -- and if you do decide it’s time to start looking for a new job, you can get started here.