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Is it time to break up with your job?

Here are three red flags to know if it's time to take your career down another path.
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Young asian women are worried or stressed about working at the corporate office.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Is it time to leave your job? This is a very tough question to answer in any year, but especially during a pandemic. According to Gallup, 64% of Americans are disengaged with their job and 15% of them are actively hating their profession.

If you are considering a career change this year, you are not alone. A Morneau Shepell report said one in four Americans are right there with you as they think about making a job switch. But is this the right time to make such a big decision?

“When we think about whether it’s time to stay or go, the red flags aren’t that different from being in a toxic romantic relationship,” said Dan Mason, nationally recognized career and life reinvention coach.

So what are those red flags? Mason shared the top three red flags that show it’s time to breakup with your job.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
African American man dealing with depression and sad.


Mason said this red flag is seeing the difference between health and unhealthy stress in your workplace.

“We want to look at the amount of stress that you’re dealing with every day,” Mason said. “Not all stress in the workplace is bad. There’s actually good stress that shows up in your body in the form of excitement.”

Good stress is what you feel before you give a big presentation or close a big deal. Mason said that stress keeps you focused and helps you perform better. But he added over time, if your body is staying in a fight or flight response, that’s when it becomes anxiety and overwhelm.

“For me at age 38-years-old, I was on blood pressure medication and contracted shingles,” Mason said. “So if the energy required for your job every day is more than the energy you have in reserve, it’s time to step back and reassess if you are in the right place in your life.”

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Be careful with this one. Mason warns there is a difference between being burned out by the pandemic work-from-home schedule versus being disinterested in your work.

“Ask yourself, is this about the pandemic or is it about my career path,” Mason said.

If the loss of a spark for your work goes back to 2018 or even several years before that and the pandemic has just accelerated that spiritual decay that you feel for your job, it’s definitely time to get some support and decide if you want to make that pivot in your career.

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If you feel like you’ve abandoned your values trying to climb the corporate ladder, it might be time for a job change.

“That pressure is even higher for many people right now. There’s been so many budget cuts because of this pandemic that a lot of people feel like they have to toe the line, they might feel like they have to betray themselves,” Mason said. “Or they’re taking on work that isn’t even in their zone of genius.”

If this is you, Mason recommends listing (1) your core values, (2) what made you attracted to this employer in the first place, and then consider if you are still in alignment with these every day.

“You could have a conversation with your employer about it,” Mason said. “It doesn’t mean that they will change your responsibilities or duties, but if they can’t, you might want different things at this point and it’s okay to part ways.”

For more great advice from Dan Mason, visit www.creativesoulcoaching.net or find him on Instagram and Twitter at @CSCDanMason.

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