By Jack Kelly
As I am writing this article, the clouds have opened and it is pouring rain. The skies are a somber grey and lightning briefly illuminates the ominous darkness. People scurry back to the office from lunch soaking wet; the storm struck so quickly, they did not bring an umbrella. As thunder booms, someone noticeably jumps up out of their seat. There is a gloomy feeling hanging over everyone. Those with long commutes contemplate an extra hour or so to get from Manhattan to their suburban homes, which takes over 1.5 hours under ideal circumstances.
If you are unhappy in your job, feel your career is going nowhere fast, your boss is a jerk and co-workers are mean and rude, this weather might make you even more despondent. I have noticed that the worse the weather gets, the more résumés we receive. There is a high correlation between the depressing weather and job dissatisfaction. I believe that it makes you realize that you are at the end of your rope and desperately need a change. Conversely, I’ve noticed that when the sun is shining and the days are longer and warmer, people overlook all their work-related problems and focus on enjoying their summertime.
If you are heading out for a long, wet, umbrella-blown-backwards, Uber-splashing-dirty-puddle-water commute and contemplating leaving your job to try and get a better life, here are some tips to consider to decide whether it is due to the temporary frustration or based on real issues and problems at work.
1. Do you work for a mean, nasty, vindictive or narcissistic boss?
Working for a person with these and other related character traits every day can drain your spirits. Your work productivity will rapidly decline and your unhappiness will increase. This will create a downward spiral. You will start to feel resentful and angry at your boss on a regular basis, which will prevent you from communicating well and performing your best.
Life is too short to settle for reporting into a person who is not respectful and makes life unbearable. Even if you are paid well, it is not sufficient for the long-term mental health issues it will create.
2. Does management disregard your division?
If your group is not valued, it doesn’t bode well for your personal sense of value or your job’s security. As soon as profits go down, you and/or your department are in the crossfire and dispensable.
Additionally, if management is not onboard with your suggestions, you may feel that your job lacks meaning and you are not afforded the opportunity to make any difference. It is as if you are left to rot away.
Not only do you deserve to feel important and valued, it’s necessary for your financial security as well.
3. Have you not received any raises or bonuses over the last couple of years?
One aspect of a good job is that you feel there are clear opportunities to move up the corporate ladder and take on new and exciting challenges. If this is not the case, your professional growth may be stunted and it might not be worth your while to remain. If you did not receive a raise for one year, fine; maybe there was a good reason. But two, three or four years in a row gives you the right to wonder whether you’re being treated fairly and your job is as valued.
4. Does the firm not hire or promote from within?
If management is always hiring new people from the outside for the top jobs, you may feel perplexed as to why they didn’t choose you or a worthy colleague. This point is particularly important when the firm did not even bother to interview or consider you or your co-workers for the opening. This is a sign that it might not be a place that sufficiently rewards internal, company personnel.
5. Is your company engaged in unethical activities?
You may object to this on a moral ground and feel uncomfortable working with and for the people around you. Also, if your firm gets caught doing something inappropriate, you could be quickly jettisoned out of a job. Moreover, you may end up being blackballed from the industry, as other firms in this niche will feel you are tainted.
6. Are people quitting and not being replaced?
This is a sign that the firm is looking to shed people it deems as unnecessary expenses. It is a nasty habit of management to see if they can pile on more work on the remaining employees after someone departs. If successful, they will continue to do this and your workload will be intolerable. Beware.
7. Are you constantly given more work without any recognition or appreciation?
You might not want to spend much longer at a place that overloads you with tons of thankless work. Career satisfaction demands recognition of hard work. It is not too hard to get a “thank you” or “great “job” from your boss unless they are uncaring.
8. Is there an absence of camaraderie and company spirit?
If no one at your firm talks to each other, does not likes one another or is unexcited to be there, work will feel like drudgery every day. This will negatively affect your happiness and work productivity (as well as everyone else’s). The day-to-day spirit of a company is more important than many people think.
9. Is there excessive politics and infighting?
This makes the workplace feel tense and possibly terrifying. If you’re not already in the muck of it, be prepared to be dragged down.
10. Does your work lack meaning?
It’s hard to sustain yourself day in and day out when you find your work inconsequential. Having meaningful work will empower you to overcome any—and all—obstacles in your path. Passion and meaningful work are a central part of what drives greatness. And if you lack it, you will be lost.
11. Has that light at the end of the tunnel been dimmed?
If you feel stagnant and you can’t see your job changing, evolving and having a clear pathway to success, it’s probably time to leave. You don’t want your career to stall, as you will grow older and more cynical. As time goes by, it will just become harder to break out of your malaise and taking the next step will be even harder.
If you answered “yes” to all or most of these questions, then it is not due to the temporary, lousy weather and it is time for you to move on to a place that deserves and appreciates you.