Work. It's where we spend a significant portion of our days, and hopefully, it's a place that inspires, challenges and fulfills us. But what happens when it doesn't? What happens when your regulatory role, once a source of purpose and drive, becomes a source of frustration and exhaustion?
There's a point where you might find yourself staring blankly at the screen, your mind filled with thoughts of a different path. It might be a subtle feeling of restlessness or an undeniable yearning for change. But how do you know if it's just a temporary slump or a sign that it's time to move on?
In 2022, a record-breaking 50.5 million workers decided it was time for a fresh start and quit their jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the “quits rate” has steadily declined since peaking last year. In April 2023, it fell to its pre-pandemic average of 2.4%, suggesting that the trend of the “Great Resignation” seems to be over. Yet, it's likely that many more are contemplating that daunting leap but are held back by fear and uncertainty.
Deciding to leave your regulatory role is no small matter. It involves introspection, weighing options, and, sometimes, taking a leap of faith. To help you navigate this crossroad, we've compiled 12 unmistakable signs that it might be time to explore new horizons in your career.
1: Mondays fill you with more than just blues
Everyone knows that Mondays can be tough. It's the start of the workweek, after all. But if the mere thought of Monday sends waves of dread crashing over you, it might be more than just the usual blues.
Even on Sunday evenings, you find a cloud of gloom looming as the start of a new workweek approaches. The idea of getting out of bed the next morning feels like an insurmountable task, burdened by the return to routine tasks.
You find yourself wishing it was Saturday every morning, only to face disappointment more often than not. Despite getting a full eight hours of sleep, you hit the snooze button on your alarm—once, twice, up to five times—before finally dragging yourself out of bed.
Life's too short to be stuck in a job that has you longing for the weekend before the week even begins. If Mondays fill you with an overwhelming sense of dread, it may be time to bid your current role goodbye.
2: When temporary becomes all too permanent
It's a great feeling when all your hard work pays off at the office – you reach milestones and make impressive strides. Your salary reflects that, but you still don't feel that you've truly made it yet. You tell yourself that this work is only a transit point on your way to something bigger, something better, and soon enough, you'll find yourself walking into the ideal job.
But then time passes, and all of a sudden a year has gone by, with everything still exactly the same. Stuck in one “temporary” place, barely moving an inch. Younger colleagues are rocketing up the career ladder while you're just getting ready to take off.
Take a step back and realize where you might be right now if you had followed your dream. Thousands of hours have been wasted on a fallback job, leaving you with a feeling of incompleteness. If you’re still holding on to a temporary option, it’s time to take off.
3: Your boss is a spawn of hell
You know the type: Bad Bosses. They call you at odd times, criticize you for no good reason, and assign you impossible tasks. From micromanaging every single step and underappreciating your hard work to completely disregarding your thoughts and ideas – tyrannic managers can make working life miserable.
If your RA boss causes you to be in a constant state of panic, so much that you lose sleep and feel an acute sense of inferiority – run! Don't let this monster keep destroying your self-respect and faith in humanity. You can always escape from your warden and find a new job and a new boss who will appreciate and empower you. Change the workplace and the people around you for the better instead of changing yourself to fit into an unhealthy environment.
4: The company is going down
Has your company undergone a dramatic change in priorities recently? Are you noticing signs of chaos, such as an abrupt switch in management, an unexpected reshuffling of resources, or a sharp uptick in staff turnover? Did they postpone perspective projects and stop hiring new blood? Any of these can be a sign that things are not as good as they seem. Your company might be trying to survive by taking on austerity measures, and massive layoffs are one of them.
Don't let yourself become caught up in corporate politics or keep hoping for the best when red flags start to appear. Act now, stay informed, and secure your future by proactively planning for the worst-case scenarios.
5: Your job became boring and monotonous
You feel like you're spinning your wheels. It’s getting harder and harder to drag yourself into work because the same old tasks have become a bore. Maybe you tell yourself it's no big deal: after all, you know what to do by heart, and you don't think it's necessary to put in your fullest effort. Sound familiar?
That's a story regulatory recruiters hear all too often when people get stuck in the same old routine for too long. After a long period of working in the same position, an employee’s work quality starts to slip, and justify it with various reasons: starting from "that will do" to "I work as good as they pay me".
There is nothing worse than a job that has nothing to do with your life goals or personal interests. No matter how much you earn, you'll never be able to fully enjoy your life or reach your full potential if you're tied down to a boring, uninteresting job. The general dissatisfaction will soon spread to other areas of your life and eventually break it. The best solution is to determine your development zone, ask for new, interesting challenges, and boldly go into it. And if your regulatory leaders can’t help you with that, maybe you should look for another one.
6: You feel like an outcast
There are cases when an intelligent regulatory employee does not like the way the business is being run, but he cannot do anything to change it from his position. Moreover, that person becomes an “inconvenient employee”, constantly interfering, proving something is not OK with the company, its goals, or methods to achieve them. You don’t agree to go with the flow as most in your team but all you get are sidelong glances and rolled eyes from colleagues and managers.
Don't let yourself be confined to a role where you feel uncomfortable voicing your opinion - instead, search for an environment that allows you to confidently express yourself, contribute to the team, and make meaningful changes.
7: Your health has deteriorated
At work, the pressure is real. Your first aid kit is stocked with headache pills, energy vitamins, eye drops, back ointments and more – all to help you cope with the physical toll of sitting all day, grinding through deadline after deadline. By the time you get home, you're wiped out and ready to collapse onto the couch in utter exhaustion.
Working hard and pushing yourself to your limits can be a great source of pride... until those limits are smashed, leaving you feeling broken. Life in the modern age is full of demands and pressures that put us under constant strain. But while it's important to keep yourself going through long hours of labor, it's even more important to remember that your health should always come first. If work undermines your physical and psychological state, it is already dangerous. Professional burnout can lead to prolonged depression.
8: Initiative is discouraged
Are you feeling like a voiceless cog in the machinery of your RA organization? Do your ideas, no matter how creative or innovative, go unrecognized or unappreciated? You may be stuck in a corporate rut where the leadership is resistant to change and stifles innovation and creativity. They may not realize it, but by refusing to entertain new ideas and proposals, they're missing out on an opportunity to grow and evolve their business.
Don't be fooled into thinking you can make a difference in a place where innovation is discouraged. The choice to stay or leave is yours, but it's important to recognize when a workplace environment is no longer healthy for your career growth. If your bright ideas and enthusiasm don't get the appreciation they deserve, it's only sensible to move on and find a place that rewards initiative and ambition.
9: You have reached the career ceiling
You have been working in the company for a long time and may already have become a person more skilled, experienced, and qualified than your own boss. Your ideas are better, you do everything faster and smarter, you take better decisions, and all the employees come to you for advice. You are the king of the hill in this firm. But there’s a problem: there are no opportunities to take your career up the ladder.
In this case, you have two options: staying onboard, hoping your RA leader will take the company to a larger market, and you’ll get new challenges and a salary rise, or looking for new career opportunities elsewhere.
10: Toxic working environment
It's hard to feel happy or even satisfied in the workplace when your coworkers are constantly complaining and your boss is always nervous. You come to dread your days, not because of the work itself but because of the oppressive atmosphere. A toxic workplace can even destroy your love for the profession.
The longer you stay in such a poisonous environment, the more your own morale will suffer – do yourself a favor and start searching for a new job that celebrates achievement, success, and happiness. Don't let the bad vibes drag you down any further.
11: No work/life balance
You are constantly struggling to keep up with the workload and feeling overwhelmed by deadlines. You often find yourself working late into the night yet still unable to stay on top of tasks. In other companies, most tasks are completed by three people in the same amount of time as it takes for you to do it alone. There is almost no time left for personal life, and you have already forgotten the last time you went to the cinema or met with your friends. At the same time, management still does not appreciate your efforts and takes everything for granted.
By trying to do everything yourself, you are losing valuable time that could be better spent enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation. Instead of draining yourself emotionally and physically, why not leverage the help of others? By delegating responsibility to your RA team, you can free up more time to wind down and enjoy life outside of work. But if your managers don’t give you the chance to take control of your schedule and reclaim your personal life, it’s never too late to leave.
12: You are not proud of what you do
Casting a longing gaze over those around you, noticing acquaintances, friends, and relatives living an intriguing, bustling life while doing what they love and earning great money – it can be hard to muster up something to share at the next family gathering. After all, your job may seem not prestigious, you might feel like you're doing nothing important or worthwhile, and the pay is meager, and stability and a solid social package are the only things that keep you tethered. Your occupation has not caused any emotions for a long time except for despondency and a feeling of hopelessness.
Being ashamed of your work is clearly not an indicator of a happy life. In your heart, you are confident that you deserve better, and your true job, the one you will be proud of, is still somewhere out there waiting for you. Or, on the contrary, you believe that you can’t get anything greater and therefore spend your 8-to-5 in an unloved place. In any case, you have options: change your attitude towards your current occupation or move on.
Work should be more than just a way to pay the bills. It should inspire, challenge, and fulfill you. But when the dread of Mondays seeps into your weekends and dissatisfaction from work starts casting shadows on personal relationships, it's time to pause and reflect.
Perhaps, all you need is a bit of time off, an open conversation with your manager, or the courage to voice your ideas. But if you've tried everything, and the enjoyment and focus in your role seem beyond reach, perhaps it's time to consider a change.
Feeling stuck in your current regulatory role and yearning for more fulfilling work? Ready to take that leap towards something better? We're here to help.
At the Anthony Michael Group (AMG), we specialize in helping regulatory professionals like you find the perfect match for your skills, ambitions, and values. We understand the challenges of transitioning to a new role, and we're here to make that journey smoother for you.
So why wait any longer? Reach out to our team, and let's start the conversation about your next career move. Because you deserve a job that not only pays the bills but also brings you joy and fulfillment.