20 Signs You May Be In A Dead-End Job

By Gerald Walsh ©

Making the decision to look for another job can be disruptive to your career, your reputation and your family. You may lose friendships and income and run the risk of blemishing your resume if you move to the wrong job. But staying in your present job can be even worse. By doing nothing, your skills and network can become stagnant and lower the chances of landing a better job down the road.

So, how do you know if the time is right to start looking for a new job?

Here are 20 signs that may signal you’re in a dead-end job and that the time to start looking is now:

1. Your responsibilities and title haven’t changed for years and you don’t anticipate any changes in the foreseeable future. 

2. Your manager has little or no interest in your career development or personal growth.

3. You are not being invited to participate in team meetings.

4. Your bosses and colleagues ignore any suggestions you make.

5. Everyone above you is settled in their roles and there is no obvious room for you to grow.

6. There is no recognition or thanks for your work.

7. Your compensation is less than others in similar positions and there is no desire on the part of the company to rectify that situation.

8. You have frequent disagreements with your boss and you don’t respect him or her.

9. Your employer has very high turnover and they are doing nothing to improve retention.

10. You’ve only received cost-of-living pay increases over the years and nothing more.

11. You look at your boss and say to yourself: “There’s no way I want to work those hours.”

12. When a job opens up, the company tends to hire from outside the organization rather than promoting from within. 

13. The company is not growing and is laying off employees.

14. Your colleagues don’t associate or consult with you.

15. You are being given work that is beneath your abilities.

16. You have lost your enthusiasm for your work and you are no longer challenged.

17. The company is introducing new technologies that will reduce their need for people.

18. There is a gap between your values and those of senior management.

19. Your job is so stressful that it is taking a toll on your health and family.

20. You are constantly dreaming about what it would be like to be doing something else.

Remember, not every job can offer you the potential to grow your skills, make more money, and climb the corporate ladder. But most of us do desire jobs that enable us to progress – in some form – over time. The key for you is to recognize if that is likely to happen in your current job and decide on a course of action.

Question: Take a good look at the above list. How many apply to you now? If you conclude you are in a dead-end job (as it currently stands) you have two options. You can talk to your boss and see if there is some way that your current situation can or will change. Or, you can start looking for another opportunity. Which one will it be in 2017?


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Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and writer. During a 25+ year career, he has interviewed more than 10,000 job candidates, completed hundreds of successful searches for a range of organizations and guided many individuals – from young professionals to senior executives – to successful career change. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career.” You can follow Gerry on Twitter @@Gerald_Walsh and LinkedIn.