There was a point in my life when I did not have a two day weekend. Most of the weekends were taken up by work. I used to work in the big four consulting firms and I used to love consulting. However, I was extremely overworked and underpaid.
If you are feeling a bit jittery about your current work situation, here are five warning signs that your job might be ruining your life.
The first sign is that you get the Sunday carries or the Monday blues.
This was not really happening to me because I was working through the weekends, most weekends. But in my last job it became quite apparent that on Sundays I was starting to switch on to get into work and not looking forward to it, and that is when I knew that I needed to change my job.
In fact, according to a LinkedIn poll, over 75% of people actually report to getting the Sunday scaries, and over 67% of the people surveyed by 'Better Health' report to having the Sunday scaries.
That's not okay. It's a mental health pandemic caused by work, which we cannot afford as a society right now, because, especially if you live in the West, you'll realize that there are so many open positions which needs to be filled up, but they can't find people to actually do that work.
So, in reality, finding a job you love becomes critical not only for your own health, but also for the health of the economy.
The second one is that you feel underpaid, undervalued, and underappreciated.
Actually the other day, I asked on one of my favorite work forums as to why people were unhappy in their jobs if they were unhappy. The overwhelming majority said that they were underpaid, undervalued, overwork, under-resourced, underappreciated, exhausted.
The all important inference is that, if you are feeling like that, that is a very telltale sign of the fact that you need to start looking for a new job. In fact, if you feel like you are overworked, you deliver a lot of value, but you don't get paid as much, or if you have actually had a look at other resources online and looked at what other people are getting paid for the same sort of work, and you find that you actually are massively underpaid, it's time to look for a new job.
You could check some resources that I recommend are PayScale or Glassdoor, or an anonymous forum by Glassdoor called Fishbowl. Having a benchmark number helps you to negotiate your salary for the new job and also while you are negotiating your salary or a raise in the current job. Unless you know the numbers outside, how do you even go about negotiating.
When you know that your worth in the market is a lot more than what you are getting paid, and you have had that conversation with your boss, and you still don't see any change in your salary, it's probably time that you need to find a new job.
The third warning sign is that you are worried about a layoff
As we have discussed in this blog before, there have been tons of layoffs across banking and tech. However, what we don't realize is that if you are someone who's worried about a layoff, it's either because you are not sure about the value that you are delivering to your organization, or you simply have been there for far too long to be confident that actually, even if you were to get laid off, you will just take a few weeks to find another job.
So, worrying about layoffs typically happens to people who feel stuck in their careers, and it has nothing to do with how long you have been with your employer, as long as you know that you are providing value to your employer and you will not be laid off. Or if you know your market worth.
The next warning sign is that you don't get along with your boss or your team.
This does not mean that you are superior or they are superior. It just means that the fit, the organizational fit is not there. And if the fit is not there, then there's no point trying to force a fit.
It's like staying stuck in a toxic relationship.
Why would you want to do that? If you can find a more nurturing relationship outside your current workplace. There are companies out there which would be delighted to have you.
So, it's much wiser to go and find a new job that appreciates you, values you, and also it really motivates you to put in the best at work so that the other company that you join also values from your skills, from your enhanced motivation, from your expertise.
In fact, one of my earlier bosses once told me that, rarely will you do your best work with a bad team unless you get that camaraderie within the team going, you will always do subpar work.
When I think back to my consulting days, the best projects that I worked on, the most cutting edge projects that I worked on, and some of them are pretty cutting edge AI projects that we landed about seven years back and even now people have no clue how to go about doing this stuff. (This is the stuff that I'm getting hired for in the industry as well). And, I remember, when I was on that project team, I was not sleeping. It was not because I was overworked, but because I was so excited to bring this new thing to life, and everyone in my team was as excited. We all were really contributing to that project. We all felt like a great, happy team. It did not feel like we were overworked.
It felt like we were creating something new. We were pushing the boundaries and I know it might sound like you are burning out, but you never burn out when you work with the best people doing your best work. It's only when you don't work on the best things, that is, only when you work on things that you don't enjoy, with people you don't enjoy to do it with, is when you burn out.
I have had cases of burnout in my consulting career far too many times, but that one project that I'm talking about, was nowhere close to a burnout. Even though I was working through holidays, even though I was actually working late nights and weekends and so on, because I was working on things that I enjoy with an excellent team who are some of my best friends still today.
So, if you don't get on with your team. It's probably time that you look outside and find your dream team.
The next warning sign is that you have been stuck at the same title, at the same job for over three years.
I get it sometimes it does take about four to five years to transform a business, especially if you work within technology data and all of those fields. However, you'll know when you feel stuck, it's not that you are pushing the boundary and you are changing things.
You feel stuck when you are pushing the boundary, but it feels like you are pushing against a wall. If that's how you're feeling, you know that you are stuck and. Look, there's no shame in accepting that many of us go through career seasons where we want a bit of slow down, a bit of settlement in our jobs because we want to prioritize other things in our lives, and that's perfectly okay.
But if you have been in that phase for 5, 7, 10 years, even 15 years, and now you want to try and push out and give yourself a challenge of learning something new, or you want to go and explore, what are the things you could do and you feel stuck in your current job?
I encourage you to look out because you might not realize how much you are missing out by not picking up another skill, not only in terms of finances, but also in terms of personal gratification.
The pride that respected experts take in showcasing their work because they know that they always do the best that they can. If you are feeling like an exhausted, underpaid, underappreciated, undervalued, stuck employee in a particular job, I would highly recommend you go take the quiz that I live in the description box below to understand if you are really positioned for career growth to become a respected expert in your industry.