Sometimes it’s just time to move on.  You’ve lost your “mojo,” you’re no longer excited about your work, and – to put it plainly, “you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’!”

But how do you know that you’re not just going through a bit of a slump? Maybe you’re simply having a bad month – or a bad quarter.  When is it time to go?

You’re Being Treated Badly

Everyone has a bad day, and may (inadvertently) be disrespectful from time to time. But if you find yourself constantly being “dressed down,” yelled at, or treated in a way that is less than professional, you need to address it right away.

Sadly, some work places allow this kind of behavior to continue, and if that’s the case, you need to get out.  The bad behavior will flourish and there’s nothing you can do. 

On the other hand, sometimes the bad behavior is just the anomaly of one person. If that’s the case, do what you can to address the problem internally.

Trust your gut. Sometimes it’s really not you – it’s them!

Which brings us to the next issue…

The Normal Ways of Handling Problems Don’t Work

No workplace is perfect. There are always problems that arise, and have to be addressed. This is the nature of working with others.

Sometimes, you need to address someone one on one to tackle a problem head on. Sometimes you need to work in a team to reach a solution.

And sometimes you need to follow internal procedure to address an issue.  Whatever it is, there should be a way that allows you to make your situation better. Ask your mentors for advice, and figure out the best way forward.

When these systems fail – individuals are non-responsive, teams don’t work together, and the internal protocols are ineffective – then you may be in a place where you need to look elsewhere to further your career.

You’re Not Appreciated

While it is up to you to share with others the projects you’ve worked on, the skill sets you bring, and the wins you’ve contributed to, it is also important that the benefits you offer your workplace are recognized and appreciated.

There’s nothing that can kill your motivation faster than when you work your tail off on a project, let others know, and they fail to care.

No Growth Potential

Even with all the above problems, there are times when a job offers you such tremendous growth potential that you overlook the downside.

But the reverse should NOT be true.  Even if you’re appreciated, treated well, and internal systems work, if you have no growth potential, you don’t want to stay in this position for long. The good news is that almost all jobs can offer you some sort of growth potential, if you look for it, and make it work for you.

But, beware!  If you want to accelerate your career path, and you’re not getting the opportunities for growth you need, staying in that position can set you back years in your trajectory.

There are a number of ways you can identify a dysfunctional work environment. The above are just a few.

If you find yourself complaining endlessly, and there’s really nothing you can do about your predicament, ask yourself the hard question:  Is it time for me to find a new position?

Don’t wait too long!  If you’re miserable, you’re more likely to jump into the first new thing that comes along, without waiting to see if it’s really a good fit.  And this could lead to another bad experience.

Give yourself time, and know that we all have ups and downs, but don’t avoid making the decision if it’s necessary.

Next up:  How to look for that new position

Aurelia Flores is Senior Counsel at a Fortune 500 company and former Fulbright Fellow who graduated from Stanford Law School. Her website,, offers stories of success, along with resources and programs focused on Latino empowerment.


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