Wednesday, October 3, 2007

8 signs it's time to change jobs before you get fired

I thought this article was interesting and true. I have worked in the private sector since I was 12 until I joined the service, actually I should say the Coast Guard which is a world of difference. We were expected not to be yes men and provide alternatives even constructive argument. But there were always those that took it personally and would try and go after you. In the weapons field everyone knew that gunners mates would not back down from a principal especially when it came to safety. Consequently we were are still are I believe, looked at as the ones who will either start or settle an argument. Unfortunatly in the civilian world its much tougher to speak your convictions and move things in the right direction, but I still think its very possible to provide a compelling argument without insulting anyone, you just have to deliver it in a different way but stand by your principals. Anyway I though this was an article worth sharing.

8 signs it's time to change jobs before you get fired
Tuesday September 25, 12:40 pm ET
By Anne Fisher, FORTUNE senior writer
Dear Annie: For the first time in my (16-year) working life, I dread coming to the office in the morning. It's gotten so bad that I can't
sleep Sunday nights, and I think I might be getting an ulcer. Why? I took what I expected would be a great job - at least the pay is
great - about a year ago, and since then I've felt more and more out of place.
My boss keeps giving me tasks that an entry-level hire, without half my experience, could do. He has also stopped including me in
meetings where important decisions are made about my department's activities. (All my peers are invited.) To top it off, most of my
colleagues have been avoiding me ever since an incident a few weeks ago when I questioned a practice that seemed to cheat one
of our clients, and I'm starting to think I should have swallowed my ethics and kept quiet.
I don't want to look like a job hopper, but I'm not sure how much longer I can stand working here. What should I do? -Outcast
Dear Outcast: Yikes. According to Richard Bayer, Ph.D., chief operating officer of The Five O'Clock Club
(, a national career-counseling network based in New York City, you would be smart to leave before you
get sacked, or you lose your sanity, or both.
Over the years, Bayer has compiled a list of eight signals that usually mean your job is in jeopardy. "If you've noticed three or more
of the warning signs, it's time to update your resume and start job hunting," he says.
From your e-mail, I'd say you are suffering from more than three. Check out the list and see if you agree.
1. You don't fit in. Your values don't match the company's. If your colleagues are "dishonest and focused on getting ahead
regardless of legal or moral barriers," Bayer says, it's time to quit before an Enron-style scandal sinks the ship.
2. Your boss doesn't like you and you don't like him or her. If your boss never asks your opinion, and never wants to chat or have
lunch with you, and if you disagree with her agenda and dislike her style, your days are numbered. Adds Bayer: "If you've ever
done something that undermined your boss, you might as well get out now."
3. Your peers don't like you. Feeling isolated, gossipedabout, and excluded from the inner workings of the organization is a very
bad sign, as is feeling that you're not part of the team and wouldn't socialize with your colleagues even if they asked you.
4. You don't get assignments that demonstrate the full range of your abilities. "Watching all the good assignments go to others,
while you're given the ones that play to your weaknesses or are beneath your professional level, should tell you something," says
Bayer. Likewise, if it seems the boss doesn't trust your judgment, you're in trouble.
5. You always get called upon to do the "grunt work." Everybody has to take on a dull or routine task now and then, but if you are
constantly being singled out to do the work no one else wants, alarm bells should ring.
6. You are excluded from meetings your peers are invited to. Sound familiar? If it's painfully clear that your ideas aren't valued, why
stick around?
7. Everyone on your level has an office. You have a cubicle in the hallway. Bayer notes that, whatever your title, your digs can
speak volumes about your real status in the organization. If your peers have offices with windows and you're asked to move into a
broom closet - no matter what the official explanation - start cleaning out your desk.
8. You dread going to work and feel like you're developing an ulcer. Ah, here's yet another of your symptoms, and a particularly
nasty one at that.
"If the idea of going to the office makes you anxious or physically sick, and you're counting the hours from the time you arrive until
the second you can leave, it's time to move on," says Bayer. Do it before you do serious damage to your health, or get so
demoralized that you can't be upbeat in job interviews, or both. Once things have deteriorated to this point, being perceived as a
job hopper should be the least of your worries. Get out while you still can.
Readers, have you ever quit a job that made you miserable? How did you know it was time to skedaddle? Or have you ever stayed
too long and regretted it?