Warning Signs of a Bad Job
You know when you hate your job. You dread leaving for work in the morning. You get to work and a coworker says, “You should’ve called out. We’re in for a miserable day.” But everyone has rough patches at work. How do you know for sure that it’s time to leave?
There are some clear warning signs that you need to start polishing your resume. Here are a few that I’ve seen.
People are leaving
If several people quit or are laid off, that’s a big warning sign. Sure, your company can be weathering a storm — or you could be on a sinking ship. Be wary, and ask yourself: why are people leaving?
If it’s because other companies are treating employees better, you might want to get in on that. Similarly, if people are suddenly being fired or laid off, you could be next.
Compensation is low
How long has it been since you had a raise? If the answer is “never” and your performance is good, your employer is likely shortchanging you. What about your benefits or paid time off? If those aren’t generous, working there can be extra miserable.
In a lot of industries, the only way to substantially increase your pay is to switch jobs. If you bring up a solid reason why you deserve a raise and are rebuffed, or your benefits are cut year after year, it might be time to look for greener pastures.
The company plays favorites
Your vacation request gets denied, but someone else’s is approved. You have a stack of work on your desk, yet it seems a coworker is getting paid to watch YouTube videos. Playing favorites is not only annoying, it’s a bad business practice.
Generally, I try not to compare my schedule to others’; if someone frequently leaves early, for instance, maybe they have a family issue. And complaints of “our workloads aren’t equal” will never get resolved; people work at different speeds.
But if it’s compounded by other factors — say, you have to pick up your coworker’s slack, yet your vacation request got denied for the third time— your job can quickly become overwhelming. Who wants to toil away while others do nothing?
In my experience, if there’s dramatic favoritism, things won’t change. You can either deal with it, or go to a new job where (hopefully) everyone is treated a little more fairly.
Bosses are excessively punitive
I once worked a job where everyone suddenly started getting written up. If employees didn’t do anything wrong, the director would make up a reason. My boss called me up on my day off to go in and sign my write-up. I got tired of this pretty much instantly, and was able to secure a new job.
I handed in my notice, and wasn’t surprised when the director made no effort to keep me. I later found out that she was forcing out anyone with experience, in favor of hiring new employees who’d let her do whatever she wanted (and for less money). Last I heard, the company isn’t doing well. Go figure.
Above all, you have to use your own judgment. If a job is making you miserable and shows no signs of improvement, look at what else is out there. Making the jump may seem scary, but it could help you sooner than you think.