Choosing to leave a comfortable situation can be an extremely difficult thing to do. Especially when it comes to a job, there are no shortage of excuses to stay. The steady paycheck, familiarity with people and processes. Constantly looming stats on unemployment and the dread of looking for a new job don’t help either. But when feelings of doubt start to settle in, there’s no ignoring the nagging sense that there might be something better out there.
A few weeks ago, after months of feeling like I was in a rut, I chose to leave my very comfortable job. It was not an easy decision to make, but it was necessary. Near the end of my time in the position, it was clear to see my heart wasn't in it, and I wasn't the only one to notice. What I learned from that experience is that it's always better to get out before your work performance starts to suffer.
If you’re starting to feel a bit of a plateau, here are 5 reminders why you might want to leave comfortable behind:
1) You’re always getting into work late.
No matter how early you set the alarm, you somehow always find yourself sleeping in. You try to justify it by saying you’ll work late, but really you just can’t find the will to wake up on time. I used to think it was because I wasn't a morning person. Now I find myself up and out of by at 7AM, like a pro.
2) You struggle to feel challenged.
Your day-to-day responsibilities are a breeze. You feel like you could do them with your eyes closed. If you take on something new, you struggle to really care about asking any questions. You constantly find yourself needing to justify why you love your job and struggle to come up with reasons why.
3) You lose the will to fight.
You feel impartial about pretty much everything. You don’t feel very strongly about one decision over another. Someone could yell at you, and you muster zero emotional response. On the flip side, you also feel at any moment in time you could completely loose it on the next person who crosses you the wrong way.
4) You feel undervalued.
You’ve done your research, and you know that you're being undervalued and underpaid.* You find yourself thinking, “Well hey, I’ve been here for 3 years, mind a well keep this wheel turning”. This is a trap. As soon as you feel undervalued, the quality of your work will drop. If you speak to your manager and they choose to ignore this, things quickly worsen as you start to feel there is nowhere to go.
*Big caveat here: Make sure to do your homework on salary expectations.
5) Your attention span is non-existent.
Anything but doing your actual job feels like a better alternative. Taking an extended bathroom break. Suddenly realizing you need to book a 3hr dentist appointment. Checking your phone 10x every half hour. The office dog. Distractions are welcome, and frequent.
Quite possibly, the worst thing about feeling too comfortable at work is that your peers will start to notice your general lack of motivation. You will start to self-destruct everything you have spent so much time building up. Most importantly, your reputation.
Here starts the tumultuous journey of figuring out where you want to go. But before you can move forward, you have to say goodbye to the things that are holding you back. This can be bittersweet experience, especially when nothing seems glaringly wrong with your current situation. As hard as it is to let go, whatever is waiting for you on the other side is a chance to start something new and that I can assure you, is totally worth it.