We all have bad days at work. Sometimes, it’s more like a bad month or even a bad year.
But how do you know if it’s just a temporary work rut or a sign you’ve outgrown your job and it’s time to move on?
1. There’s no room for growth
It’s hard to stay motivated and productive when you feel like you’ve hit the top of the career ladder.
In the early stage of your career, aim to get a promotion approximately every two to three years, said career coach Dana Mayer. At mid-career level, promotions tend to slow down to around every three to five years.
“If not, you’re getting left behind,” she said.
2. You don’t feel satisfied
If you don’t feel any attachment or pride in your work, it can be difficult to stay motivated.
“When you feel like you are contributing to your company and making an impact … that is one of the main reasons people love working at a company,” said Sarah Stoddard, community expert at job review site Glassdoor.
3. You aren’t getting new opportunities to learn
A big part of career fulfillment is learning new skills and tackling new challenges.
“You need to be actively managing your own career, no one else will do that for you,” said Mayer.
Don’t be shy about raising your hand to take on added responsibilities or get more training and education to expand your role.
“If you have a lot of ideas, find another outlet for them at the current company, first look at something you aren’t doing in your current organization to scratch one of those itches,” said Matt Youngquist, founder of career coaching firm Career Horizons.
4. You don’t align with the company core values
Believing in the mission and values of a company is an important part of workplace motivation.
“If you can’t really get behind the mission or you’re not relating to the people you are working with, or you are constantly disagreeing with how senior leadership is running the company, it might not be a great fit for you,” said Stoddard.
5. Your salary hasn’t budged
If you’ve been working hard, putting in extra hours and taking on projects, but haven’t seen a meaningful increase in your pay for a few years, it might be time to look for another job.
Track the current market value for your skills, experience and location to make sure your compensation is where it should be.
“By understanding your market worth, you can determine what a fair salary bump could look like for what you bring to the table at work. For instance, for some industries, a 2% to 3% yearly salary increase may be the status quo, while others may average closer to 5% to 10%,” said Stoddard.
The jobs with the fastest pay growth this year saw increases typically ranging from about a 4% to 10%, according to Glassdoor.
6. You become a work daydreamer
We should all have big career goals and dreams, but spending a lot of time fantasizing about “what-ifs” like what it would be like if you were the boss or switched careers, could be a sign you are ready to find a new role.
Spending your days at work doing non-work related activities like playing video games or having long conversations with colleagues can also be a red flag that you need a new challenge.
7. You watch the clock
Sure, being stuck in a meeting right before lunch might have you glancing at your watch, but you shouldn’t be counting down the minutes until it’s time to go home every day.
“The most reliable sign of whether someone is engaged in something is the passage of time,” said Youngquist.