GNcareers, from Gulf News

Signs you’re in a dead-end job

Signs you’re in a dead-end jobImage Credit: Supplied

In an era of fast-paced change, it is common to see people moving from one company to another. Job-hopping is emerging as the new norm everywhere, especially in the UAE where professionals are in constant pursuit of career advancement.

For many people, a career change can bring a lot of opportunities and turn life for the better, but it can also be a source of disappointments and frustrations. It is therefore critical to way the pros and cons before making a decision to quit and move on to another job.

Some career experts contacted by Gulf News share the following telltale signs that it's time to move on:

You feel stagnant

There are times when employees feel stagnant — they're no longer growing in their career or learning something new. If, after you have dedicated several years of your life to the same job and it feels like your career is not going anywhere, it may be time to consider leaving.

''Once a person stops growing in their job or developing as a person, there is little value (apart from financial compensation) in remaining in the position,'' said Layla Halabi, partner at HR specialists Learnactive.

But it's important to explore other avenues for growth within the company first, before you start looking for a new adventure outside. ''If that option is not possible, then it's time to look for external opportunities,'' said Halabi.

Gav Ravichandra, managing partner at Kompass, said that if an employee's manager presents as a blocker towards career growth and aspirations, it can serve to disengage the employee from the ''psychological contract'' with the organisation.

''Speaking with the Human Resources or Learning and Development team can help understand what training options may be available in line with both the organisational and individual needs. If no future changes take place, investigating career changes outside the organisation may be helpful.''

Your employer is facing financial troubles

You probably love your job and are willing to stick to your employer through thick and thin. But if you keep hearing stories about your organisation having some financial issues and seeing a number of your co-workers being laid off, maybe it's time to look for a more stable boat.

''If the writing on the wall is clear, then it would be insane to ignore it. I would also advise the employee to have a frank discussion with his/her manager, assuming the relationship permits,'' said Halabi.

''It is rare for an effective manager to not drop a hint if he or she knows that the employee's position might be in jeopardy.''

Ravichandra agreed that a rocky financial situation does merit a decision to quit, but he quickly pointed out that it is important for an employee to have an open discussion with the management to understand where the company stands financially.

''It may be a short-term blip on the radar or could be symptomatic of deeper financial issues. This information will be able to provide details of the employee's short and medium term plans,'' he said.

''Regardless of the situation, keeping a pulse of the employment market is always helpful to ensure you are benchmarking your skills and salary expectations locally, regionally and globally.''

Going to the office becomes a dreadful task

You probably struggle to get up in the morning and always dread the idea of going to the office. Your friends always hear you complaining about how stressful your job is or how your boss displeases you and there's nothing you can do to make things better. If you find yourself in the same situation, it is recommended that you explore other options outside.

According to Halabi, sustained levels of stress have been linked with serious health issues so it won't do anyone good to continue working in a toxic environment. ''You may be jeopardising your life for a job and I believe most people would agree that's insane,'' she said.

''Your motto should always remain 'work to live' and if your life is getting negatively impacted because of your job, you should look for another position.''

Ravichandra said it is important for an employee to find a ''sense of purpose and value'' from their work every day because this leads to better performance and job satisfaction.

''If the relationship with your boss is not helpful, conducting a self-assessment to determine why you feel this way and what you could do to proactively fix the situation would be beneficial,'' he said.

''What you discover may be that you cannot control most of the factors impacting your relationship with your boss. Once you have addressed the factors that are within your control and no change has still taken place, consider speaking to others within the organisation, such as HR.''

Your hard work gets unnoticed

Let's say you've been in the same job for quite a while. You've given your best, worked long hours, sacrificed your personal life just to deliver excellent results. But for some reason, you haven't received any recognition and neither a promotion nor a salary adjustment is in sight.

Halabi said anyone facing the same situation should not hesitate to quit. ''If the same scenario happens after two years, I would advise a change. This is a sign of a dysfunctional organisational culture and extremely ineffective HR (human resources) and managerial practices,'' she advised.

''Unless there is a strong drive within the company to change the culture, the situation will not change and the employee will remain stuck in the same cycle for many more years.''

Halabi said if employees don't get the recognition they deserve, the longest they should bear ''with such lack of appreciation'' should be three years. Besides, there's a danger of staying in the same role for a long time. ''I would automatically discount the resume of someone who has been in the same position for more than three years, unless it was an extremely senior position,'' said Halabi.

Ravichandra said moving on may be a worthwhile decision, especially if the employee has already taken up the issue with the manager or HR and no action has been taken.

Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Reporter,