Work isn’t always roses. Sometimes, we really do need to just suck it up, focus, and finish whatever unpleasant task is in front of us.
But you need to take stock. If you find your role so unpleasant that you find yourself asking, “Should I stay or should I go?” then your career may need some love and attention. Here are a few of the warning signs.
1. You aren’t in love with what you do. If this thought comes to you almost every day, you need to examine your career and your role in it. It’s unlikely you’ll be swooning over everything you have to do in any job. However, your job and the people you work with should be ready and regular reminders of how your current career aligns with your goals, nature, talents, and values.
2. You find yourself rationalizing decisions, task assignments, opportunities, compensation and rewards that aren’t good enough.This is the flip side of number one. It’s how we put up with not loving our role and not seeing a positive connection between what we love and what we do.
3. You are prey to the seduction of the good day. This is actually the most pointed rationalization you can make. The part of your subconscious mind that hates change will find any reason, any singular experience, to keep you from stretching yourself, requiring fair treatment, or moving on. That one really good day can keep many people going for months, or even years.
4. You aren’t engaged with at least one professional association or other steady networking outlet. If you want a vital career, you can’t use the excuse that you don’t like networking. Many people don’t. But having an active role, either as a regular participant or as a board member, is a marker of your commitment and intentions. It tells everyone that you are engaged in what you do. More importantly, it tells you that there is something to this career that speaks to you.