Feeling unappreciated or bored at work? If you’re looking for a surefire sign it’s time to find a new job or change careers, look no further. We asked five business bosses and advisors in The Oracles how to know you’re ready — and what to do about it.
1. You live for the weekends
If you’re unhappy or live for weekends, something is broken. You only get to play this game of life once. Are you willing to spend half of it doing something you hate? If not, quit complaining and find a job you love or start the business of your dreams. Don’t wait for permission; nothing will happen unless you take action. Do that thing you want to do. You can always get another job.
So many people can’t quit their jobs because they feel they have to spend money on things they can’t afford to impress people they don’t even like. I don’t care if you’re 40 years old — move home with your parents. Do something you love on the side until you make enough money to quit your job. Give up your free time if you have to. Isn’t it worth taking a step back to move forward for the rest of your life?
2. You’re lacking passion or a purpose
It’s time to move on when you’ve accomplished all you set out to, you’re looking for the next challenge, and you can’t find it where you are. I always want to be passionate about what I do. I realize that’s a big ask, but it matters to me. I’m also the type who always looks ahead. At a certain point in my career, I really wanted my work to have a purpose.
When I came up with the idea for Hint, it was serendipitous. I was extraordinarily motivated and excited. I was a tech person, so I didn’t really know much about the beverage industry, but I felt sure that this was a product that solved a problem and would help others live healthier lives like it helped me. All the elements were there for not only a career change but a wild, successful ride of entrepreneurship — with passion and purpose.
3. You feel undervalued, unfulfilled, or disconnected.
Feeling undervalued, unfulfilled, or disconnected at work is a sign that something needs to change. But before you quit your job, ask yourself what you need from your employer that you aren’t getting. What is your role in that scenario? Are you communicating how you feel? Can you find a way to enjoy your job? Consider changing your perspective.
When I was unhappy in my job years ago, I chose to establish my own business. You can change your life and work situation. The choice is yours: leap in or out and make it count.
If you’re a manager, pay attention to emotional withdrawal, poor timekeeping, and weaker productivity — all signs that someone has switched off. Invest in team trainings to empower employees, give them a voice, and change how they feel about their jobs. Show appreciation and interest in individuals. Communicate clearly and frequently, give them a sense of purpose, and celebrate successes as a team.
— Andrea Callanan, musician-turned-entrepreneur; voice, confidence, and success coach, and founder of employee engagement company Inspire Me; public speaker and author of “ You Are Meant for More“; connect with Andrea onFacebook, Instagram, and Twitter
4. You’re daydreaming instead of doing your job.
Within three months of my job at an investment bank, I knew it wasn’t for me. Instead of doing my job, I fantasized about starting a business or becoming a Navy Seal. Four months later, I quit to become an entrepreneur, and my only regret is not leaving sooner.
If you know you’re a motivated person and you can do more with your life, but you’re not doing it at your current job, make a change. If you’re spending more time at work thinking about a different path than actually working, get out.
By all means, try to change your attitude first. Look for a greater meaning in your work or opportunities to grow and learn. But if you don’t find a way to love your job, throw yourself into new pursuits until you find what lights you up. You’ll spend more of your waking hours at work than you will doing anything else. You owe it to yourself to find something that doesn’t feel like work.
5. You aren’t tap-dancing to work.
At 88 years old, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett still “tap-dances to work” every day — because he loves what he does. He found his purpose, and he pursued it fearlessly. Over 10 years ago, I took that approach to entrepreneurship. In the beginning, I woke up terrified of failing. I was sprinting to my desk each day, not tap-dancing. As I gained traction, I realized how fun it is to make money serving people. The more I served, the happier I felt. If you’re not tap-dancing to work, move on.
If you’re exerting a lot of energy without any recognition or rewards, it’s probably time to hop off the treadmill. Find a mentor who is living your dream life. Buy a course, enroll in a training program, or find someone willing to coach you. Then figure out how they built their dream life and reverse-engineer the steps to get there.
Want to share your insights in a future article? Join The Oracles, a mastermind group of the world’s leading entrepreneurs who share their success strategies to help others grow their businesses and build better lives. Apply here.
This article from The Oracles originally appeared on Business Insider.