It’s a brand new year! Time to take your job-satisfaction temperature.
This first week of January is a week like no other. The shine of a brand new year has not yet rubbed off. A sense of limitless possibility — no matter how tapped out we may feel from the holidays — lingers in the air.
You may even be asking yourself if this is the year to quit your current job and head for fresher pastures. With the unemployment rate back to pre-recession lows, there may be no better time.
But perhaps you’re hesitating. That comfort zone can be comfy, and if it has been a while since you’ve changed jobs, you may wonder if it’s worth the upheaval. If this is you, take a moment to ask and answer these hard questions:
Am I still learning and growing? Even if you enjoy your work, never learning anything new indicates that you may have outgrown your position. Learning is stimulating. It builds confidence and happiness. Lack of learning means stagnation, which means bad things for your job satisfaction and overall level of happiness.
Is my boss/company on my side? We are happiest when our employers are as interested in growing our careers as we are. If you never get offered additional training or the “fun” assignments, or have too often been passed up for promotion, maybe this job is no longer a good fit for you.
Do I deeply dread Mondays? No matter what you may have heard, habitually starting out your workweek in a state of stress and exhaustion is not normal. Nor is it good for your health (mental or physical), your relationships or your job performance. So take your emotional temperature. If yours is always at “misery,” it may be time for a change.
Other signs that you and your job may need to part ways: You’ve been asked to partake in unethical activities; you live in fear of harassment or bullying; your ideas are not heard or valued; you always feel you need to watch what you say; your workload has increased but your pay hasn’t; your company/industry is sinking.
If you’re still not sure, ask yourself this: When was the last time you laughed out loud at work? If you never do — or, worse, you’re afraid to — then maybe 2017 is the year to change all that.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use and of the novel “The Paris Effect.” Email her at email@example.com.