Building a successful career is not easy.

What does it mean to be successful? Well, the answer varies from person to person. However, I believe we all want to be doing something in our careers in which we are able to earn enough money to live the way we'd like and to have feelings of fulfillment.

I tolerated jobs for as long as I could simply because I was getting paid. Well, there comes the point where living that way becomes unhealthy. We spend more of our waking hours at work than we do anywhere else. So, if you are miserable at work, it means that you are spending the majority of your time in life being unhappy.

I've spent long portions of my career being unhappy. I've quit several toxic jobs. Thus, I've become a bit of an expert at identifying the signs of when to move on.

Nobody deserves to be unhappy.

If your job is causing you to experience some or all of the symptoms I have listed below, it might be time to weigh your options and look for something better.

1. Your health suffers.

One sign your job is causing your health to suffer is having difficulty sleeping at night. Just the thought of having to go to work the next day gives you a pain in your stomach. For me, I began to notice I became irritable and cranky around my kids.

The stress of the job contributed to my getting diagnosed with high blood pressure, gaining weight, anxiety, and insomnia.

2. There is no work/life balance

Sometimes the demands of a job can suck all the life out of you. It dominates your time so severely that it takes away the time you need to do the things outside of work that make you happy.

This happens when your company has no policy or intention of ever implementing a work/life balance program for employees. In one job, my company was calling and emailing me while I was on leave at the hospital with my wife while she was giving birth to our second child! Can you believe that?

3. The culture is toxic.

You don't agree with the corporate culture or the direction the company is headed. In my case, the culture was a "turn and burn" environment. The management style was constant high-pressure. Our jobs were threatened daily. It was the only way they knew how to "motivate." The company burned through most employees in a year or less.

4. You are being undervalued.

Your ideas are not being heard, and your work is not valued. Many companies do a very poor job of recognizing their employees for their talents. Some companies only recognize the top 1% within the company. The other 99 percent are left to work in a thankless environment.

5. There is no chance for advancement.

Sure, we all have to do jobs we don't love to get to where we want to be. However, in certain instances, there comes the point where there is no chance of advancing. Several companies I worked for had a "good ole boys club" at the top where they repeatedly hired their friends over the more qualified candidates.

Nobody likes to work in a situation when they know there is no chance that they can advance within the company. If you see a pattern of upper management hiring their friends over more qualified candidates, this is a sign that your company has a "good ole boys club," and if you're not in it, you might not ever advance out of your current role.

6. You're getting abused.

You are the victim of verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or other types of illegal behavior. At one job I quit, I was bullied, verbally abused, and abducted by my old boss. HR was no help, and upper management turned a blind eye to it. Do not put up with this; get out of there FAST. Contact a lawyer to help if you need to.

Knowing when to walk away.

Quitting your job is stressful, and there's always a risk you might end up somewhere worse (it's happened to me). However, knowing when to walk away can be a valuable skill to have and one that leads you to a better place.

"Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong." - Mandy Hale

Published on: May 1, 2017