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Business 101

Do You Need A New Job

Are You Showing Signs of Job Dissatisfaction?

Did you bounce out of bed this morning excited to face the day ahead? Or did the thought of getting up and going to work make you wish you could stay snug in your bed?

If Monday mornings are a low point in your week, it may be a sign that it's time for a new career.

Often you know what you want subconsciously before you know it consciously. While you may still be debating whether or not to stay at your job, your subconscious mind may have already decided it's time for you to move on.

Most people who want to quit behave in ways that are noticeably different than employees who are satisfied with their jobs. Try the following quiz to see how many of these "quitting signs" are true for you. For each statement, note whether it is something you Often, Sometimes, or Never experience. (If a statement doesn't fit, feel free to adapt it to your situation or skip it.)

  1. I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
  2. I'm late for work.
  3. Once I arrive at work, it takes me a while to actually get started working.
  4. I sit at my desk and daydream.
  5. I have less patience with customers or co-workers than I used to.
  6. I spend time at work doing personal tasks.
  7. I look at job websites on the Internet when I'm at work.
  8. I get impatient with rules and red tape at work.
  9. I take longer breaks than I should.
  10. When I have to phone people as part of my job I spend more time chatting than I need to.
  11. I feel tired during the workday.
  12. I don't bother mentioning concerns to the boss because it's usually a waste of time.
  13. If I leave the office during the day, I take my time getting back to work.
  14. I do the minimum amount of work required.
  15. I check the time throughout the day to see how close to quitting time it is.
  16. I feel bored at work.
  17. I "kill time" during the day by chatting with co-workers or doing other non-essential tasks.
  18. I schedule medical and other personal appointments during working hours.
  19. I start getting ready to leave work before quitting time.
  20. I am out the door as soon as it is quitting time.
  21. On the weekends I look at the job classifieds or surf job sites on the Internet.
  22. I have called in sick when I could actually have worked.
  23. I complain to my friends about my job.
  24. I have trouble sleeping on Sunday nights because I'm thinking about having to go back to work.
  25. When I'm on holidays I dread going back to work.

Give yourself 0 points for each Never answer, 1 point for each Sometimes answer and 2 points for each Often answer then using the following scores as a starting point to measure your level of job satisfaction.

0 to 10 points - Very satisfied
11-20 points - Somewhat satisfied
21-30 points - Somewhat dissatisfied
31-40 points - Very dissatisfied
41-50 points - Why are you still working there?

While a score over 40 is a clear sign of dissatisfaction, even the most satisfied worker is likely to score some points on this quiz. For example, night owls who prefer to sleep late might score a 2 on "I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning" even if they like their job.

Only you can decide whether you are satisfied with your current job -- or whether you'd rather find a new job that makes you look forward to Mondays almost as much as you look forward to the weekend.

Is It Time For A Job Change?

With the start of a new year, you may be among the millions of people thinking of making an important change in your life. If one of the changes you are considering is your career, here is some advice to help you decide whether to make the move.

Most job changers leave because they no longer enjoy their work. If your job is a source of dissatisfaction, the signs are probably clear.

A feeling of dread may start creeping over you every Sunday evening as the work week approaches. While you once bounced out of bed on Monday mornings eager to get to the office, you may now find yourself hitting the snooze bar as many times as possible.

The thought of calling in sick may cross your mind. In fact, going to work may actually make you sick. (More heart attacks occur on Monday mornings than at any other time of the week.)

If your job is no longer something you enjoy, you are not alone. A Wall Street Journal-ABC News poll found that half of all workers polled would choose a new line of work if they had the chance. So why don't more people quit their jobs?

According to John W. Thibaut and Harold H. Kelley, authors of The Social Psychology of Groups, some people will stay in an unsatisfactory situation because they do not see themselves as having alternatives.

In an economic downturn, such as we are experiencing now, employees are less likely to consider leaving. According to the World at Work survey conducted recently by Adecco Employment Services, 53% of employees say it's harder to find a job now compared to five years ago. However, the same survey found that 58% of employers say they actually have more highly sought jobs to offer today.

Even so, many employees are held back by "golden handcuffs," meaning they are so well compensated - through salary, company stocks, pensions, or other benefits - they believe they cannot afford to quit their job. Faced with a mortgage, other financial commitments, and people who depend on them, an employee shackled with golden handcuffs may fear leaving their job will lead to financial loss.

Of course, if you are close to retirement, it may be better to stick it out so you can collect your pension. However, for many people a new job often goes hand in hand with a higher salary, which could make up for lost benefits. And even if a new job means taking a step back financially, it may be worth it.

Given the choice, your loved ones would probably prefer to have more time with you, and see you less stressed, even if it meant scaling back your lifestyle.

But before you march into your boss's office and announce "I quit," there may be other options. If you enjoyed your job at one time, but have become dissatisfied with it lately, you may be able to boost your job satisfaction without leaving your current employer.

For example, one reason people decide to change jobs is because they have become bored with their work. Yet boredom can be a natural consequence of mastering your job. When you first started your job, you probably found your work challenging and interesting as you were learning how to do it. As you learned more, your challenge was to become an expert. Once you became an expert, the challenge was gone.

Instead of moving, why not see if you can take on new challenges in your current workplace. Most employers realize it is costly to replace good employees, and will do what they can to keep them. Talking with your boss about why you are dissatisfied may lead to a solution. You may be able to move to a new position in your organization, or take on new tasks in your present position.

If the problem isn't a lack of challenge, but exactly the opposite (too much stress and too little family time) you may want to consider a completely different type of career change - moving down. For example, if you loved the frontline job you had before becoming a manager, you may be able to reduce your stress and resume working regular hours by returning to a frontline position.

If the problem is not the work itself, but the people you work with, start by looking at whether this is a common pattern. If you have had serious problems with your boss or co-workers in almost every job you've had, chances are you will eventually experience the same problems no matter where you move.

Office politics or personality differences exist in virtually all organizations. It may be easier to learn more effective ways of dealing with these issues, rather than trying to find a workplace where they don't exist. Furthermore, most employers prefer candidates with a stable job history, so changing jobs too often can affect your future career prospects.

If compensation is the main issue, consider asking for a raise or additional benefits. It's a good idea to research salaries for similar positions in your industry, so you have some concrete data to show your boss. Even more important is quantifying the value you bring to your employer (for example, showing how much revenue you have brought in or how much you have saved the company).

If you are not able to find a solution with your current employer, then it may be time for a change. Assuming you work an average of 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 50 years, you will spend 100,000 hours at work. You deserve to spend most of that time doing something rewarding and meaningful.

You need a career or at least a job to tide you over until you find out what you want to do when you grow up. Start here for ideas to get you heading in the right direction.

Of course there is a happy medium between being completely on your own and working for someone else in the field of freelance work. A freelance job allows you to work at home while consulting with whomever is employing you for certain tasks. You can take the assignments or decline them at your will, but the more you decline or show shoddy work, the less opportunites will be available.

Explore The Possibility Of Self Employment

This is not something I would recommend for everyone. People who have no experience in the world of business will fall flat on their faces by going blindly into business for themselves. If you do have some experience working for someone else and have a unique skill or product to market, then you should explore the possibility of setting up your own shop.

If you like the excitement of making your own decisions without having to be at the mercy of others for work, consider self-employment. If you wish to tackle self-employment options, find out if self employment right for you.