When working with my career-coaching clients about how to know when it is time to look for a new job, I always tell them that whatever they do, they should not remain miserable.

We all have our ups and downs at work. Some weeks, we are super-productive. Other weeks, not so much.

But how do you know when it is time to really make a move — updating your portfolio and beginning the official career search? Here are five signs that should point you in the right direction:

You dread getting out of bed

Do you repeatedly hit the snooze button? Do you have an overwhelming desire to remain buried under the covers, far away from the demands, deadlines and clamouring co-workers?

One of the biggest red flags of job dissatisfaction is an unwillingness to face the day — not just some mornings, but every morning. What is your body trying to tell you?

Your work relationships and performance are beginning to suffer

Remember when group projects were productive, water-cooler chat was a pleasant repose and happy hour truly was happy?

If lately, you find yourself avoiding certain people and tasks, slacking on your reviews or really dreading the annual company picnic, chances are you have lost that loving feeling for your job.

You become ‘someone else’ at work

If you feel like you cannot be yourself at work and have become a “pretender”, don’t shrug it off,  and don’t blame yourself.

Every company’s culture is different. Yours may not be aligned with who you are as a person.

Know that there are professional people out there who embrace the same goals and values as you do. Maybe it is time to seek them out.

The position doesn’t  make use of your talents

Perhaps you are an advertising executive who always wanted to be a chef.

Perhaps your job title is “coordinator”, but you feel more like the creative type.

It is never too late to look in a new direction in terms of your career and future happiness.

You spend most of your time engaged in griping sessions

Sure, we all love to commiserate over frustrating aspects of our jobs. But if most of your hours at work are spent feeding negative thoughts and generally complaining, that is a huge sign it may be time to pack it in.

Find a new career in an environment that feels more rewarding and in line with your talents. You can do it.

If you have done all you can to improve things, but your job still makes you miserable, do something about it.

Take a few steps forward each week.

Stay after work and compile your portfolio. Get that resumé updated. Search the career websites to see what is out there.

Take a few personality tests to help you identify your strengths.

When you feel unhappy or dissatisfied about things, it is safe to say it is time to find something out there that is better suited to you.


Article by Hallie Crawford, a certified career coach who specialises in helping professionals identify their ideal career path, navigate their transition and nurture their career. Find out more at www.halliecrawford.com