It’s been months. You’ve been unhappy at work and in spite of your efforts — things haven’t improved. Through all of the discussions with your manager, colleagues and friends you still find yourself upset, unmotivated and unfulfilled.
You may not realize it — but you may already passed the threshold of “gone”. Simply put, you may not be getting enough from your current role to hammer out a viable, healthy exchange relationship.
Research concerning the psychological contract in the workplace tells us that breaches of the exchange agreement between an employee and employer are common — yet mending these breaches can be challenging. In many cases we have already “left the building” and moved on — even if we remain physically present.
If vital action is not taken to re-calibrate the relationship, it may well be doomed.
Here are signs you may have passed this critical point. If you recognize any one of these (and have made considerable effort to affect the situation) — I would begin to consider a change:
- You’ve withdrawn. Likened to depression, you may start cutting yourself off from workplace activities you would normally complete — even tasks you previously found fulfilling. You may find yourself muttering,”What’s the difference if I respond to this e-mail?” or “Why bother following up with that customer?”.
- You do not see a future. In some cases, you have already marked the “end of history” with your current job. One client described sitting in a training session and thinking: “Hopefully, I won’t be here to use this.” Enough said.
- You’ve stopped sharing. We may become reluctant to share ideas or opinions, as experience has shown they have not been respected or taken seriously. On another note, if you begin to “hoard” your best thoughts for your next employer, that speaks volumes about your frame of mind.
- You have “divorce” fantasies. Are you rehearsing your exit? When you spend time with friends, are discussions about your next job front and center? You may have already left psychologically, yet remain in place.
Have you realized it was “game over”in a role? What happened next? Share your experiences.
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is the Director of Organizational Development at Allied Talent. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, her posts on workplace topics have appeared in Forbes, The Huffington Post, US News & World Report and The World Economic Forum.