It's been over 15 years since I became a career coach. Back then, it was still "taboo" to work with one. People assumed there was something wrong with you if you needed to seek a career coach's help. Thank goodness for Millennials. They were raised on coaching. They don't see coaching as a sign of weakness. They view it as a path to greatness. As a result, I think they will ultimately be happier with their careers in the long run. Here's why....
Millennials Expect More--and Will Likely Get It
With Millennials making up over half the workforce today, I'm seeing a strong surge in the request for career coaching. Millennials are digging deeper to figure out what a satisfying career means to them. They want success and happiness. In my experience, this starts with recognizing when you're in a career situation that isn't playing to your strengths and preferences. That sounds so simple and obvious, yet you'd be amazed at how many people stay in jobs that are a poor fit for them because they don't realize it's time to make a change. In my experience, there are seven signs it's time to start looking for a new job:
1. The company's mission doesn't align with your core beliefs.
It doesn't matter how much money you're making. If you don't believe in your employer's products or services, you're essentially taking a bribe. Deep down, you feel like a sell-out. And it will slowly eat at you until you are disengaged and resentful. You'll find yourself feeling held hostage by the pay. Sadly, you may also find yourself fired eventually for having an attitude or being a less-than-stellar performer.
2. You don't share any hobbies, passions, or common interests with your co-workers.
Having friends at work matters. You don't have to like everyone, but you do have to feel a sense of connection. Being part of a tribe is a human instinct. When you get along with your co-workers, it's easier to solve problems, address concerns, give feedback, and work together to get rewarding results. A lack of bonding with teammates leads to mistakes, finger-pointing, and job loss.
3. You have no respect for your boss.
If you don't value the contributions of management, then you won't trust their guidance. You may not like your boss, but if her or his work is productive and useful, then you can tolerate their personality. However, if you feel they're hurting the business more than helping it, then you're going to find it difficult to feel a sense of accomplishment. Working for someone you don't respect is the ultimate career-satisfaction killer.
4. You can't explain how your current job is supporting your ultimate career goals.
Today, every job is temporary. The rate of change in the world means we can't spend our entire lives with one employer. In reality, we are businesses-of-one that must always be thinking about our next career move. If you can't explain how your current job is helping to position you for your next career move, then it's time to look for one that supports the growth and sustainability of your business-of-one!
5. You walk out the door right at 5 p.m.
When your goal in life is to not spend a minute more than you have to at work, you're in the wrong job. Enough said.
6. You find yourself reacting negatively every day to something that happens at work.
If you find yourself calling friends and family each night to recap the drama and agony that you endured at the office that day, it's time to move on. We attract what we pay attention to. If all you can see and feel at your current job is bad vibes, then it's time for some new, better energy.
7. You self-medicate with booze, food, binge-watching, or some other coping mechanism several nights (or more!) each week.
If you spend many nights trying to recover from work, something is wrong. Jobs are tiring, but they shouldn't be so mentally and physically detrimental that you feel the need to self-medicate constantly. If you can't muster the energy to engage in healthy self-care and self-development after work, it's time to look closely at what's draining you daily.
P.S. Got a case of the blahs? Shake things up before you can't shake it.
Sometimes people say to me, "I don't have any of the warning signs, but something still feels off about work. I've got a case of the blahs." If this is you, then I beg you to take some time right now to analyze what triggered it. Burying your feelings about this won't work. It won't pass. Identifying what's causing the lack of enthusiasm is vital. Having an off day is one thing, but if you find yourself having a string of them, it's time to take action. When it comes to work, mindset matters. The more you understand what triggers you, the easier it is to find ways to rebound without getting to the point that you need to change jobs.