There are few things that affect our home life and our marriage as directly as our work.
In today’s economy, it may seem like we should just be content to have a job and not worry about “luxuries” such as fulfillment and happiness. But you owe it to yourself and to your spouse to do everything you can to find enjoyment at work.
After all, you’re likely to spend the majority of your waking hours there, and it’s impossible to separate your career from your family life. A happy work life feeds a happy home life.
Hopefully, you have a steady job or are sustainably self-employed. If you’re out of work or struggling to make ends meet, then obviously you really are in a position where you’ll be happy to just have a job.
But for the rest of us who aren’t facing an income crisis, I strongly encourage you to give this topic some thought.
5 Signs It Might Be Time to Move On
If you’re experiencing the following, it’s probably time to dust off your resume:
1. Your energy is drained
When things aren’t going so well, even a desk job can make you feel exhausted at the end of the day. If you arrive home and have no energy to play with your kids or pursue other interests, it could be that your job is draining your mojo. When work gets particularly stressful, your libido and sex life can even suffer.
Typically, I’d prescribe some metabolism-boosting exercise for renewed energy, but when your career is not going well, you may find your job is sucking more life out of you than you can replace with healthy habits.
2. You feel disrespected
If you’ve been at a job for a while, you can certainly get complacent in your work ethic. But complacency works both ways, and you may find that your employer takes you for granted and makes you feel under-appreciated.
Whether it’s complacency or simply a poor work environment, if you feel disrespected, it’s definitely time to start looking elsewhere. Life is too short to spend 8+ hours every day doing something that doesn’t earn you respect.
3. You feel called elsewhere
You may simply feel called by God to take a new direction in your career. Whether you give it religious connotations or not, if you find a persistent, nagging voice telling you to look elsewhere or a real enthusiasm for something new, don’t ignore it.
Take the time to explore the other options and, even if you stay where you are, at least you’ll calm your mind and answer the call.
4. Your spouse notices you’re not happy
This is a biggie. Your husband or wife knows you better than anyone, and if they start to notice that your career has you feeling down, stressed or unfulfilled, there’s a good chance that something is awry.
If you have healthy communication with your spouse, they’ll pick up quickly when something has you down or simply “off” your game. Listen to their insights and avoid being defensive when they suggest that you need to (collectively) start taking a hard look at your career status.
5. Your job performance is dropping
In a twist of irony, your clue that it’s time to look at other career options may actually come from your employer.
When you feel uninspired and unfulfilled in your work, it’s only natural that your job performance can suffer. If you’ve been a stellar worker but have recently started to get less done or have seen declining reviews, it might be a sign that you need a fresh start elsewhere.
Been There, Done That
I actually found myself in this situation recently after 10 years at an employer that I had loved. As both the job and our priorities at home started to change, I encountered all five of these indicators to varying degrees.
It was difficult and scary to even talk about leaving the security of a long-held professional position. However, in hindsight, I can see that it was absolutely the right choice, as it not only changed my own career but opened the door for major changes for my wife and our entire family’s lifestyle.
I would never suggest making any rash decisions or jumping from the boat until you’ve pretty clearly defined where you will be landing. However, if you’re starting to feel the pull to explore other options, I say it’s time to start looking.
You owe it to your marriage to be happy in your work.
Have you experienced voluntary career changes? What signs pointed you in a new direction? Please share in the comments.