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When it’s time to start searching for the exit door at work, you may not recognize the symptoms right away. It may take years to slowly identify a link between your negative state of mind and your need for a change of venue. There may be nothing wrong with this long lag-time (in fact, it might be healthy to give your job chance after chance after chance before calling it quits), but waiting for your bad moods, poor health and stress to finally build to a breaking point can bring a few risks. First, it’s possible to wait too long. If you do, you may spend years in the wrong place while putting off key life milestones. Second, there’s a better life out there waiting for you. The longer you wait to step into that life, the less time you’ll have to spend with it.

Here are some signs that it’s time to stop waffling and make a move.

You get sick all the time.

Constant colds, low immunity, poor sleep, and frequent bouts with depressions and doldrums don’t necessarily indicate that you’re just a sickly person. They indicate stress. Chronic stress can take a serious toll on both your physical and your mental health. And blows to your health don’t just disappear the minute you remove the stressor; they can lead to serious conditions like heart disease. If something is off about your health, take a closer look and determine if your job is to blame. If it is, you can do better.

You just don’t want to be here anymore.

We all have days when we feel restless or disengaged from the challenges of our jobs. But if you feel this way almost all the time and you regularly phone in your tasks and responsibilities, start exploring other options. You don’t need to stay here, and you don’t need to power through this day of drudgery just to reach the next one. Again, you can do better. There’s something else out there waiting for you. Go and find it.

You’re eating, drinking or complaining too much about work to friends and family.

Compulsive returns to soothing but destructive habits are signs of trouble. If drinking or overeating seem to disperse a certain pain that reappears again later, that’s not great. The same applies to obsessively complaining about your job during social conversations. You need something else in your brain, or your life, to talk about. Branch out or just break away.

You know you need a new job, but you aren’t sure how to make the move.

This one is easy. The hard part is recognizing when it’s time to go; the easy part happens after that. Once you know it’s time to start looking for work, contact the career management experts at Extension. We’ll help you over the next hurdle.

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