Sometimes, we wait too long to realize that our job situation isn’t the best fit. But that waiting can result in negative consequences. Sure it’s easier to stay with your current therapy job, especially when you are comfortable with your colleagues, but aren’t too excited about the job. And yet there are times when it behooves you to bite the bullet and make the tough decision that you need a change.
Just because you become restless at work from time to time doesn’t necessarily mean that you should change jobs. Whether you’re working the therapy job of your dreams or one you just happened to stumble into, it’s perfectly natural to hit a rut here and there. So how do you distinguish between a little restlessness and a sign that it’s time for a change?
1. Having Problems with Your Superiors
You’re not getting along with your boss. “If you don’t like your boss, there’s a good chance your boss doesn’t like you,” Joan Runnheim Olson of Pathways Career Success Strategies in Hudson, Wisconsin says. And when that happens, your chances for success are limited. Along the same vein, it may be time to go if you aren’t being appreciated and/or supported in your current therapy position.
2. You No Longer Feel Motivated or Challenged
“People can hit a plateau, sometimes about five years in,” says Nancy Branton of People Potential Group Inc. in Woodbury, Minn. If you’ve already hit your ceiling, it may be time to pack your bags and look for something new. Checking Facebook every ten minutes, playing around with Pinterest, finding yourself on YouTube again, or seeming to be bored with every task, you might need a more stimulating job.
3. Stress has Become Intolerable
With the combination of a heavy workload of clients and additional stress such as caring for a family member, it may be that leaving the job is your best option. “Some people might feel stuck because the pay is good,” Branton says, but the challenge may be untenable.
4. You Dread Mondays or Even Waking up in the Morning
Face it, you dread going into work or have lost your enthusiasm, and begin every day or week with that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach. While it can be common to feel tired in the morning, it isn’t normal to be consumed with anxiety when it’s time to go to work.
5. You’ve Outgrown the Environment
Just because you feel restless at your current therapy job doesn’t necessarily mean that it is time to leave the field of therapy altogether. But it may indicate that you need a new environment in which to thrive. Take stock of the current circumstances. Which parts of your work are inspiring? What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Begin thinking about how you can craft the next phase of your therapy career around those passions.
6. You Can’t Stop Talking about the Problems at Work
If dinner conversations with your spouse invariably become opportunities to unload feelings about your day at work, it might be time to find another therapy job. Instead, that evening relaxation should be about relaxing and, if it is about work, it should be a discussion about your professional challenges or the day’s highlights. Once the dissatisfaction has entered your heart, it is difficult to turn things around.
7. You Find Yourself Frequently Dreaming About Retirement
Although you may still be young, do you find yourself ruminating or dreaming about retirement, calculating the years, months, and days until that longed-for day finally arrives? What a waste of a life! Don’t spend your professional life in countdown mode. Instead, leverage these feelings as motivation to find a position that is satisfying and emotionally fulfilling.
8. Your Personal Life is Suffering
The heaviness of your work commitments isn’t allowing you ample time to enjoy spending time with family and friends. And it’s affecting your relationships. Or perhaps the job is negatively impacting your sleep or appetite. Either way, if your personal life is being sacrificed for the sake of the therapy job, it may be time to move on.
While these signs can be indicators of other personal, emotional, or physical problems, when you are stressed about work and experiencing any of these symptoms, it behooves you to reevaluate your employment situation.
Once you have made the decision to move on, don’t just quit your job. Most of the time, you can carefully and strategically start looking for a new position before you submit your resignation. Other benefits include that it’s easier to get hired when you’re working, you don’t know how long it will take to find a new therapy job, and you may be disqualified from unemployment benefits if you quit.
Be sure to take the time to plan your job search. In addition to extricating yourself from a negative situation, it will give you a new, positive focus instead of dwelling on the job you’re unhappy with. And the entire process is certain to give you more self-insight which will be beneficial wherever you land!
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