There’s no simple rule that tells you if you’ve been in your job too long, but any job deserving of your time should be fulfilling and provide you with on-going opportunities to learn and expand your skill set. If you’ve moved through different positions as a result of promotion, having held them all at the same company won’t set you back. If you’ve been in the same position for 10 years, however, it could be a different story.
If this sounds familiar, and if your work no longer inspires you, it could be time to look for something new. Do these eight signs that you’ve been in your job too long sound familiar?
1. You’ve lost your love for the job and the companyWithout really thinking about it, you’ve stopped making an effort, and you’re turning in work that you know is not your best. You used to take pride in your work and now you just don’t feel that way about it anymore; it has become routine and boring.
2. You could do your job in your sleepYour working life just isn’t supplying you with any challenges and although this might have felt great at first, you now realise that you miss them. Nothing in your working day is stimulating your intellect and you feel disappointed by the ease with which you can get away with hardly trying.
3. You feel you don’t fit in, you’re less sociable and your colleagues bore youIf office socialising once used to be fun, it isn’t anymore. You can’t be bothered getting to know new people. You keep conversations as short and impersonal as possible and don’t interact with colleagues once the working day is over.
4. You’re clock watching and hate MondaysYou arrive promptly at the start of the working day and leave immediately when it ends, keeping careful track of each break in between and making sure they never get cut short. You count the days until holidays, even if they’re only a couple of days long.
5. You feel left out of meetings and projectsSometimes you feel as if no-one at work really notices you’re there. You don’t get asked for your opinions and no-one treats you as if you have anything to contribute beyond your day to day work. People whom you feel are less qualified than you are often seem to get picked first.
6. You feel you’re being overlooked for promotionYounger or less talented people always seem to get chosen before you. You don’t feel that you get a fair degree of praise for the work you do, and you never seem to be singled out for bonuses. It’s years since you were last employee of the month, even though you’re in a small team.
7. You’ve stopped believing in your companyWhen you first started out you were passionate about what your company did or how it did it, but you feel this passion is waning. You feel disillusioned and don’t think senior staff care about the company the way you once did. You feel that it has lost its way, is betraying former ideals, or is simply mediocre.
8. You envy former colleagues who have resignedPerhaps you tell yourself you’re not talented or brave enough to do what they did, but even if they haven’t landed on their feet you feel they’re better off out of the company you still work for. You keep thinking about the new opportunities open to them which you’re missing out on.
If any of these signs apply to you, you may now be asking yourself what you should do about it. Re-entering the jobs market after a long time is a daunting prospect. These simple steps can help.