10 signs you need to update your resume
If these red flags look familiar, you should start looking for a new job—pronto. Take charge and make a change.
Even your dream job can make you want to stay in bed some days, but some jobs should definitely cause you to rethink what it is you're doing there.
That’s not to say that you should just quit—it simply means you don’t want to delay getting started in your search.
Here’s a checklist of some characteristics of a bad job. If these red flags sound familiar, you should consider freshening up that resume and getting it circulating sooner rather than later.
You’re chronically bored
Sure, everyone’s job goes through dry spells and slow seasons, but in the case of chronic boredom, a slowdown in work isn’t all that has you bummed. Nothing you do is challenging, and you can do it with your eyes closed. If you’ve asked for more engaging assignments and they aren’t coming, it’s time to move on. You’ll be doing everyone a favor in the long run.
“Staying somewhere when you’re bored is bad for you and for your employer,” says Julie Erickson, career coach and founder of MyRightFitJob.com in Maplewood, New Jersey. “When you’re bored, you are tuned out. You don’t pay as much attention to your work, and that means you will be more likely to make mistakes.”
You get zero feedback from higher-ups
It’s not just that you’re lacking praise or thanks from your boss—you’re also lacking any sort of feedback, be it criticism, suggestions, or accolades. How do you know if you’re any good at what you do? Or if there’s any way you can get better?
“Feedback is crucial to meeting and exceeding expectations,” says Mike Moradian, executive director of Washington, D.C.–based HonorSociety.org, which offers career services to its members. “You need to know what is expected of you, where you are doing well, and where you need improvement.” If your employer isn’t offering this, find an organization that will.
The company is bleeding talent
That awesome manager who won that award last month? She left the company. There’s a new head of IT every time you check. When the best workers are checking out in droves, and it’s beyond the pace of normal turnover, maybe you should be following them.
The competition might be luring people away with better positions and more money, and your company isn’t trying to keep them, or there may be financial trouble you’re unaware of, Erickson says. Either way, it’s not a company with a bright future.
You don’t see any opportunities for a promotion
The No. 1 reason people leave their jobs is for career advancement, according to a study by Gallup. If there’s no sign of your career moving forward, no new responsibilities, no new skills to learn and no raise coming your way, why bother staying?
“Long-term goals help employees stay focused and moving forward in their career,” says Kris Plantrich, a certified career coach with ResumeWonders Writing and Career Coaching in Jacksonville, Florida. “If there is no room for growth, improvement, or advancement in your near future, look for a company with greater growth opportunities.”
The org chart changes every three months
Your manager is no longer your manager. Your co-workers aren’t sure who they report to. Is your company restructuring so often you can’t keep track of what department you’re in anymore? That’s a sign of trouble.
“Some changes are necessary and inevitable,” Erickson says. “But constant change means that the company leaders don’t have a well-thought-out strategic plan. It sends the message that the company leaders are unsure of where they are going and don’t really know how to get there.” The uncertainty caused by such changes makes staff nervous, makes people lose confidence in their leaders, and makes them less engaged at work, she says.
It’s a toxic workplace
There will always be moments of conflict at work, but when it grows constant and appears to be getting worse, it’s time to bail. Whether it’s the office gossip causing trouble or a screaming boss who makes life miserable, you just don’t need to take it.
“The ability to work effectively is hindered when there is strife within the workplace,” Plantrich says. “If it is a couple of negative employees, that can be remedied, but if it is the whole workplace, things probably won’t change anytime soon.”
There’s something unethical going on
If you notice activities going on that run afoul of basic ethics, if not the law, you need to leave. You don’t want your reputation (and resume) tarnished by a shady organization.
“If your company doesn’t value honesty or playing by the rules, chances are that future employers will assume you lack those values as well,” Moradian says. “Trust your gut here. If you don’t feel comfortable with the operations, if you’re acting against your moral code, get out.”
The stress is affecting your health
All work is stressful sometimes, but when it begins to regularly affect your sleep, eating habits, or relationships with your family, something needs to change. No job is worth that sacrifice.
“If your health is being adversely affected by the stress your job is delivering,” Plantrich says, “you’ll need to find a way to alleviate the stress or look for another company that is looking out for their employees.”
You’re not treated like an individual
It may be true that everyone is replaceable, but you don’t want an employer who treats you that way. If your company or boss has no interest in you as a person, and you feel like a number on a punchcard every day, find an organization that values you for who you are and what you can do.
“Don’t we all want to work someplace where we are appreciated and valued? Where we have a chance to be ourselves and use our talents and skills?” Erickson says. “If you feel replaceable, or are told you are replaceable, you’ll be less likely to invest yourself fully in your work and thus won’t do a great job.”
The company is tanking
Consecutive quarters of layoffs, wage freezes, and plummeting stock prices should have you on alert—and searching for a new job. Most companies have their ups and downs, but take notice if yours keeps going down with no ups in sight.
“Sinking ships are tough to deal with. Part of you wants to stay to help turn things around,” Moradian says. “A company undergoing a steep decline represents a dysfunctional organization. Don’t waste any more time. Have self-respect, realize that you can contribute to a better company elsewhere, and set sail on your own.”
Recognize more than a few of the above signs at your current job? Let’s get you out of there. Join Monster today. As a member, you’ll get job alerts sent directly to your inbox so you can waste no time finding a better place to work.