Many employees feel married to their job. It sounds dramatic—but after all, we dedicate most of our waking hours striving to earn the respect, trust and recognition of our company counterparts--and reach our personal career goals.So how do you know when it’s time to let go and move on?

The old saying we have heard related to personal relationships, “it’s not you, it’s me” is actually applicable to the workplace. Many employees know when they’ve reached a fork or turning point in their current state of employment—when they realize that their long-term goals and existing path are no longer aligned.

Others are unsure as to whether or not it’s time to make a move, and spend hours on end wondering if it will be worth it in the long run to take a risk and pivot in a new direction.

Below are a few tell-tale signs you are out of alignment and it may be time to break-up with your current company:

Scared and Tired: You Dread Every Morning

Ever heard of the “Sunday Scares?”—when the reality sets in that your weekend is over and you start to feel overwhelmed, anxious and sometimes physically nauseous? This is normal…on Sunday nights.

If you’re dreading work waking up on a regular basis, then it’s probably time to make a change. You’re not married to your job—ever—and life is way too short to be wishing away your precious time.

So, figure out what is triggering the dread and make a commitment to letting go and making a change.

Wound Tight: You Can’t Decompress & Relax

It’s very difficult to simply “leave it at the door” when you get home from work—meaning shake the work stress off, post-office-hours. Humans are not built to turn emotions on and off without solving their problems first…so we sit, and we stew over our issues until we find a solution.

It’s understandable to feel stressed after a long and buy day. But, if you can’t shut down and relax after 30-60 minutes of decompressing at home, then it may create problems for your personal wellness—both mentally and physically. Carrying the weight of stress can lead to health problems like weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis to name a few (via

Feel Stuck and Stagnant: You Are Not Growing and Not Aligned

Growth is one of the most critical components for you both personally and professionally. If you’re not continuously learning new skills, strengthening your weaknesses, and further developing your strengths, it is likely you will feel stuck and stagnant with a yearning to want to move on, forward or out.  

People often ask me, “how can I take control of my development professionally?” If your supervisor is not nurturing your talent, and you’re unable to find a mentor that you trust to invest time and energy into your growth, then it may be time to look elsewhere. At the end of the day, your development, your growth and your happiness is…your responsibility.

How do I know I have stayed too long? Any one of the indicators in this post will let you know it is time to make a move. However, another indicator that is commonly overlooked is physical pain in the body. Pay attention to the signs your body gives you as it could be trying to let you know it’s time to make a change.

A few examples of how pain will try to get your attention are: pain in your spine indicates something is literally breaking your back, pain and tension in the shoulders could be trying to let you know you are taking on too much and trouble breathing or heaviness in your chest is probably trying to send you a message that there is too much taking up space in your world that is keeping you from being able to breathe.

The Fire is Gone: You Have No Passion and No Purpose

Having passion for your job doesn’t mean that you are consistently psyched about spending each day clocked in at your desk, rather than sipping a colada on a beach somewhere.

People are often confused about how to define “passion” in your personal and/or professional life. I have defined professional passion as firmly believing in your company’s mission, feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride in your position, feeling hopeful and excited for your future path ahead.

When you feel the role you are in and the work you do has meaning and gives back as much to you as you give to it, the energy exchange is equal, you feel aligned and all the rest feels right…also being and feeling in alignment.

If you find any of these to be true for you, take a deeper look at why and then move into action. Once you realize it is definitely time to let go of what is no longer working for you and make the decision to re-align yourself with a new position, company or hobby that can re-fuel your fire, your first step is to set goals outlining your vision.


Jodi Ashbrook