If you find yourself unhappy and unfulfilled at work, you have two choices - to try and improve the situation with your current employer or to start looking for a new job.

Both options can be daunting and challenging - especially if you don’t know where to start - but the critical thing to remember is that you should love (or at least enjoy) your job since we spend so much of our life at work.

here are a few signs to help you recognise that it’s time to do something about your current situation or potentially start thinking about your next career move to something better.

A photo of a man learning how to write a winning resume.
A photo of a man learning how to write a winning resume.

feeling undervalued

Putting in long hours at work and pushing yourself to the best of your ability, only for your hard work to go unnoticed, can be demotivating. You being made to feel underappreciated impacts your daily motivation in the workplace.

This can lead to anger, frustration and resentment - none of which are healthy. Suppose you’re feeling undervalued and can’t see the situation improving.

In that case, it might be time to work for an employer where you’ll be respected, acknowledged, appreciated and rewarded appropriately for your work.

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you're bored

Feeling a little bored within a job can be expected - after all, every role comes with its share of tedium. However, this could be a problem if you’re experiencing long-term boredom or motivation.

  • If you've found your job boring for 6-12 months, try talking to your manager about how you feel.
  • Ask for more responsibility, new challenges and ongoing training and development opportunities.

If you don’t see changes after your chat, consider whether you'll be happy at your company long-term or whether it's time to think about moving on.

stuck in a routine

You should constantly be developing and learning, no matter where you are in your career. Think back to the past 12 months.

  • Can you recall new knowledge and skills you’ve gained?
  • Did you feel stretched or challenged? If not, you may be stagnating.

Talk to your manager and ask about additional responsibilities or new projects you can lead or be part of in your team or other parts of the organisation. If this is not facilitated or welcomed, it may be better to find an employer who is committed to your continual growth.

A photo of a woman preparing for a job interview.
A photo of a woman preparing for a job interview.

feeling anxious

Are you struggling to sleep at night or spending your Sundays dreading the thought of work? Don’t miss the physical signs; take the time to listen to your body.

Anxiety about work could manifest as a lack of energy, appetite, restlessness, poor sleep and general irritability.

If workplace stress impacts you after hours, on the weekends and even while you sleep (or don't sleep), consider whether it's healthy to stay where you are.

constantly talking about work?

You have just finished work for the day, yet you want to vent and talk about the day constantly. Talking about a bad day here or there with your family and friends is normal — but when you come home day after day unable to focus on work-related stress, that can be a sign.

Look at how you talk about your job; perhaps ask your family and loved ones what themes come up when you talk about work.

If they're mostly negative, this could be a sign to search for a new job.

time for a new beginning?

If you are experiencing the five scenarios outlined above, it’s time to make a change.

Either work towards a solution with your current employer or work towards finding a new job

You must take the time to reflect and start thinking about what you want your life to look like — what kind of job you like, what type of environment you want to work in and what kind of relationship you want with your career.

If you’re looking for your next career move or want a confidential chat about movements and opportunities in the market, contact one of Randstad’s specialist consultants.