It’s fine it’s just a temporary thing…. I just need to get back into my routine and all will be fine.’ Everybody feels like this in January….don’t they?’

The evenings are dark, temperatures have dropped and the weather forecasters start to mention the word snow. All the excitement of Christmas, the time off, giving yourself permission to eat and drink and be merry seems a distant past.

You seem to be carrying this extra weight around (and I’m not talking those few extra Christmas pounds!) a big black cloud descends whenever thoughts turn to work. Is it a bad patch? Will things get better? Is it just the time of year? We all have times when we struggle to get motivated for work, how do we tell if it’s more than a blip and that its time to go? When is enough, enough?

In your heart, you probably already know the answer to this but maybe you don’t want to admit it as this would mean you would need to do something about it. Instead, you push it to the back of your mind and justify to yourself that the time is not now.

Am I describing you?  Take a moment and ask yourself these questions. Listen to your thoughts but also take note of what your body is telling you, your gut and how your posture changes.

  • This feeling is it a reoccurring problem; you can remember feeling like this before in this particular job?
  • How would you feel in 12 months if nothing has changed? You are sitting at the same desk, working with the same people, completing the same activities, how would you feel?
  • Imagine that you have decided to leave, you have another job and the day has come to give your notice. How do you feel as you hand that resignation letter over?
  • Is this cloud of despair affecting other parts of your life, have you noticed that you are getting grouchy with partner, friends and family. You’re picking fights, snapping at anything they say?
  • Have you noticed your diet and sleep are being impacted? In the early hours of the morning are you finding yourself wide awake with thoughts turning to work, desperately wracking your brain on how you can make it better, planning your escape, considering alternative jobs?
  • Hand on heart, have you stopped caring about your performance at work, others may not be aware, but you know you aren’t putting in the same energy and commitment as previously?

When you listen to your mind and body is it screaming at you – ‘HELP!' Is all the evidence telling you this is something bigger and that it’s not going to go away and can’t be ignored? When you dig deep and truly admit your feelings you know it’s time to take action.

But maybe you feel the time isn’t right. It’s too risky, you worry about the economic environment, you’ve just brought a new house or you’re concerned that you are not going to find anything better. The thing is you will always find a reason not to take some action; we can’t put the other parts of our life on hold, others things will come up, life will get in the way, but are you willing to continue to let this cloud rule your life? Let go of the victim mentality and start to take control and take action.

Taking action may actually be about staying put but looking at changes you can make to improve the situation. Consider this:

By choosing to stay in my current job, what can I do to make things better?

  • Understand what is missing, what do you need to change in order for you to be happier at work?
  • Is this something that can be achieved? Is there an opportunity to get involved in something new? Can someone help you?
  • Would you prefer to put up with this dissatisfaction than take the risk of something new? Consider how you are currently feeling about your job and your career. Now imagine yourself in 6 months’ time and you have managed to make changes to the areas of dissatisfaction, how will you feel? If you decide the best option for you is to stay, set yourself a review date in 6 months’ time and see if you still feel the same way.

But would this only be a sticking plaster, a temporary solution?  Instead, your focus is about getting clear on what you need your next career move to include to make this a positive move.

By choosing to leave my job, what do I want and need from my next move?

  • Be clear about what you want and need in a job, this will take some time. What are your preferred skills, what interests you, who do you like to work with? What does your environment need for you to be your most effective? Consider what type of company you want to work for, the salary and benefits that you need. Your commute and the hours you want to work may also be important. If you are clear on your checklist and stick to it when searching you will reduce the chance of making a bad move.
  • Take a look at my free ebook to help you get clear on your needs and what you want.
  • Perhaps you are not sure what you want to do next but know you have more to offer. Take a positive step forward and book in for a free introductory session and together we can start to write your next career chapter.

Changing careers can be hard and does take thought and more importantly action, but life is to short to put up with feeling blue at work and letting your unhappiness affect the rest of your life.  When we find the right career, one that enables us to thrive the impact on the rest of your life can be immense.  I said goodbye to my unfulfilling career and found not only am I happier at work but also it has enhanced my personal life.  You can read more of my story here.