Richard Bayer, chief operating officer of The Five O’Clock Club, a national career-counseling network based in New York City has compiled a list of eight signals that usually mean your job is in jeopardy. “If you’ve noticed three or more of the warning signs, it’s time to update your resume and start job hunting,” he says.
1. You don’t fit in. Your values don’t match the company’s. If your colleagues are “dishonest and focused on getting ahead regardless of legal or moral barriers,” Bayer says, it’s time to quit.
2. Your boss doesn’t like you and you don’t like him or her. If your boss never asks your opinion, and never wants to chat or have lunch with you, and if you disagree with her agenda and dislike her style, your days are numbered. Adds Bayer: “If you’ve ever done something that undermined your boss, you might as well get out now.”
3. Your peers don’t like you. Feeling isolated, gossiped about, and excluded from the inner workings of the organization is a very bad sign, as is feeling that you’re not part of the team and wouldn’t socialize with your colleagues even if they asked you.
4. You don’t get assignments that demonstrate the full range of your abilities. “Watching all the good assignments go to others, while you’re given the ones that play to your weaknesses or are beneath your professional level, should tell you something,” says Bayer. Likewise, if it seems the boss doesn’t trust your judgment, you’re in trouble.
5. You always get called upon to do the “grunt work.” Everybody has to take on a dull or routine task now and then, but if you are constantly being singled out to do the work no one else wants, alarm bells should ring.
6. You are excluded from meetings your peers are invited to. Sound familiar? If it’s painfully clear that your ideas aren’t valued, why stick around?
7. Everyone on your level has an office. You have a cubicle in the hallway. Bayer notes that, whatever your title, your digs can speak volumes about your real status in the organization. If your peers have offices with windows and you’re asked to move into a broom closet – no matter what the official explanation – start cleaning out your desk.
8. You dread going to work and feel like you’re developing an ulcer.
“If the idea of going to the office makes you anxious or physically sick, and you’re counting the hours from the time you arrive until the second you can leave, it’s time to move on,” says Bayer.
Do it before you do serious damage to your health, or get so demoralized that you can’t be upbeat in job interviews, or both. Once things have deteriorated to this point, being perceived as a job hopper should be the least of your worries. Get out while you still can.
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