Five Signs It's Time to Find a New Job
By Suze Orman
Building a satisfying career requires a commitment to
playing offense rather than defense. Take control of
your job destiny and make the moves that will put you in
a position to actually enjoy your work. Simply waiting
for things to work out, or sticking with a bad situation
-- playing defense -- is a breach of self-respect.
You deserve to enjoy your job, to feel appreciated and
challenged by it, and to be fairly compensated for your
work. If that's not how things are playing out at the
moment, it's time to take responsibility for your
Now I'm well aware of how daunting it can be to
contemplate changing your job, let alone changing
careers. And it can take time. But you can't afford to
just suck it up and stay in a job or industry that bores
or frustrates you. Professional dissatisfaction is bound
to seep into your personal life: You -- and your loved
ones -- shouldn't be resigned to having you spend the
majority of your time unhappy.
Deep inside, you probably already know if you need a new
job. But let me provide the final nudge: If any of the
following scenarios ring true, it's time to make a
1. Friday Is Your Favorite Day: If all you can think of
Monday morning is how many hours until Friday, quitting
time, you've got a problem. You don't have to love every
minute of every working day, nor every colleague all the
time, but if your overriding approach to the work week
is dread, don't stay where you are.
2. You're Bored: If you still have another 10, 20, or 30
years of work ahead of you, coasting is not an option.
What seems "easy" now is actually very dangerous. Rather
than growing in your career, you will stagnate. You
won't get the promotions -- and raises -- you want, and
you won't acquire the skills to keep professionally
3. Stress Is Your Middle Name: Yes, every job comes with
stress, but it's up to you to measure the magnitude of
what your work takes out of you. If you feel incredible
pressure throughout your time at the office, take your
work home with you, and then can't sleep because you're
wound up so tightly, you need to rethink what you're
doing to yourself.
4. You're Underappreciated (and Overworked): You deserve
respect. It's that simple. If you have a boss that
doesn't value your work, or your company doesn't treat
its employees well, it's probably time to move on. Of
course, it always makes sense to try and turn around a
bad situation. Talk to your boss about how you can
better work together, or look for other opportunities in
the company. But please don't play martyr and suffer
through a work atmosphere that makes you feel "less
5. You Keep Saying, "If I Could Do It All Over, I Would
Be a ....": Don't sell out your dreams so fast. If
you're constantly thinking about doing something else
with your work life, you owe it to yourself to see if
you can make a go of it.
However, switching careers can take years of planning,
both in terms of scoping out the new work and preparing
for the financial changes the switch can entail. The
career you start with is not necessarily the one you
must end with.
While I'm all for chasing dreams, you're not to use the
going-back-to-school excuse to get out of a job you
dislike. Going back to school is not a career plan.
Scoping out a job or industry that truly interests you,
and then researching what it will take to both start and
succeed in that field is a career plan. If, after all
that research, it's clear that you need to go back to
school, then go for it.
Don't Wait Till You Hit Breaking Point
Recognizing you need a new job is the easy part. What's
hard -- and often paralyzing for so many -- is how to
move forward. Being stuck seems to have become a career
stage. Let's get you moving forward in your career.
The most important step is to take responsibility for
your future. The idea here is to strategize and plan.
Think about where you want to be one year or three years
from now. Let your boss know your career goals -- don't
assume he or she can read your mind. If your boss isn't
interested in your career progress but you like the
company, scope out other opportunities at the
Looking before you really need to is even more important
if you'll be searching among new companies that have no
idea who you are. It's going to take time. So please
start looking for a job now if you want to make a move
within the next six months.
It's your job to make your career work for you.
Suze Orman is the author of five consecutive New York
Times bestsellers and has written, co-produced, and
hosted five PBS specials based on those books. She is
also the most successful single fundraiser in the
history of public television. She hosts the
award-winning "Suze Orman Show," which airs Saturday
nights on CNBC in America, Asia, and India. She is
contributing finance editor to "O: The Oprah Magazine,"
"O at Home," and the "Costco Connection Magazine."