- You’re bored all the time
While most of us will experience boredom at some point during the working week, if you find yourself feeling bored most of the time at work, it could be a warning sign you are not feeling fulfilled in your job and need to search for a more meaningful role.
Symptoms include spending most of your work day aimlessly browsing the internet or playing Candy Crush. Clockwatching, constantly checking your phone for missed calls or new messages are other dead giveaways. When you enjoy your job, the working day fairly whizzes by.
Getting too comfortable in a job can be deadly, leading to complacency. If you feel you’re coasting, try to stretch yourself. Ask to take on additional projects, learn new skills or cover someone else’s role. As well as livening up your day job, you’ll be increasing your marketability. And if all that fails, perhaps it’s time to look for a fresh challenge.
- You’ve hit the glass ceiling
Lack of investment in the business or yet another management restructure has left you with nowhere to go within the company – except down or sideways. Perhaps you’re in the frustrating position of having to wait for someone else to move on, get promoted or go on maternity leave before you can move up (“dead man’s shoes”) to that valuer or branch manager position you’ve got your eyes on … but how long are you prepared to wait?
- You’ve got the boss from hell
We’ve all experienced a bad boss at some stage in our careers. (I recall an early role working for a notorious alcoholic whose permanent hangover meant he couldn’t tolerate daylight, much less the excruciating noise made by my keyboard as I went about my job.)
My example may be somewhat unusual but there are many other ways a poor boss can make your life a misery. If your line manager micromanages you, questions your every decision, takes credit for your work, wouldn’t hesitate to throw you under the bus if you made a mistake and generally leads by fear, you need to get out – and fast. Every day you remain working for such a toxic individual your self-confidence is being gradually eroded and this could end up harming your career.
- You can’t be yourself – because you suspect the firm wouldn’t like the ‘real you’
If you feel you always have to censor what you’re about to say, suppress your personality and pretend to be someone you’re not, it cannot last. The charade will eventually become too much of a strain to maintain and sooner or later the mask is going to slip (usually alcohol is involved).
All of us need to work somewhere we can be authentic. Excuse the hateful buzzword, but to put it another way, somewhere the person we really are will be valued. All estate agency firms are not the same and this is what recruiters mean when they talk about “a good cultural fit”.
- It looks like redundancies are on the cards
Staff culls can occur for many reasons – poor financial results, a restructure, new ownership – but if you suspect job cuts are imminent, don’t just wait for the axe to fall. It can often pay to get ahead of the crowd and start seriously researching your next move so you’re prepared should the worst happen.
- You feel undervalued
I’m talking about money and appreciation here. We all thrive with encouragement, and a word of thanks costs nothing. Do you have a boss who believes it is unnecessary to recognise your achievements because you’re paid commission? Or perhaps you are well-regarded but always broke. If so, assuming you’re not a shopaholic, it might be worth contacting a headhunter to check your package is still competitive and you’re not falling behind market rates.
7.You’re burnt out
There’s no doubt that estate agency is a high pressure job but the adrenaline rush that comes from winning that instruction or clinching a difficult sale makes it all worthwhile. However, prolonged stress can eventually lead to burnout. This might manifest itself in a number of ways, from significant weight gain (or loss) and trouble sleeping, to getting upset by a minor slight at work. If you feel the stress of your job is affecting your physical or mental health, it could be time to consider a move.
- It seems like there’s a revolving door
The estate agency business is known for having relatively high staff turnover, but if at your firm it feels like it’s not even worth bothering to learn new colleagues’ names, this could be a clue that it is a tough environment to succeed in. A good employer will ensure there is support and encouragement for all staff, from new starters to more experienced agents.
- It’s not them, it’s you
All of us change as we go through life. Our experiences shape us, making us wiser (in theory at least), less idealistic and more cynical. Chances are you’re a completely different person now from the younger you who started as a trainee negotiator at the tender age of 16. You may well have a different family situation and career aspirations so what suited your lifestyle then may no longer work for you.
Any one of these reasons can mean it’s time to move on. But take the time to explore your options carefully to ensure your next role is the perfect fit, not only for now but for the foreseeable future.