You’ve heard about the Sunday Scaries, right? It’s that nagging feeling some people get as the weekend winds down and a new workweek awaits. They can be the byproduct of a bad boss, a stuck-in-a-rut project or just professional restlessness. For some, they pass, but for others, they’re an indication it’s time to move on. So how can you know if your Sunday Scaries are a sign you should be looking for your next opportunity?
Here are some real issues that might be the underlying cause for your Sunday Scaries:
Your employer does not value you. This can look or feel like a number of things. Maybe you are accepting compensation that is below the market value for your role. Or maybe your job scope has shifted but your compensation has stayed the same. To say it another way: You feel you’re being taken advantage of.
Your growth has stalled. Maybe your role isn’t offering the right challenges, and as a result, you are stagnant. Your skills are not growing. Or maybe you’ve developed some new skills in recent months or years, but there’s no career pathing available for you to be promoted in to.
You’ve fallen victim to a bait and switch. Your company brought you on to do one thing, but your day-to-day work doesn’t line up to the job description you were hired for. Somehow or someway, what was promised is not turning into reality.
Your values don’t align with your manager or the culture. You can’t always sniff out a toxic work environment right away, but once you know you’re in one, it’s jarring. It can slow down productivity and deplete engagement. Whether you missed the signs in the interview process, or leadership or strategic changes have turned things toxic, your values no longer align.
The thrill is gone. Sometimes, your time in a role just run its course. Maybe you’ve been in your role for a while, and it is time for a change. If you don’t see your company as a place you will retire, it could be time for a fresh start.
If any of these reasons feel familiar, don’t panic. Take a breath and quiet the Sunday Scaries for a minute. Feeling unsettled at work can drag down your day, your week, and even your social life. It can be all-consuming. But don’t quit your job just yet.
Instead, focus your energy on making a plan that can empower you.
Prepare your mindset. Job hunting can be time consuming and mentally exhausting. Be realistic with yourself about how long the search could take and what the process will require of you.
Update your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Look at the LinkedIn profiles of people in roles you’d like to have next and refresh your elevator pitch. Revisit your favorite projects—old and new—and make sure your resume and LinkedIn include some of the initiatives and outcomes you’re most proud of.
Keep an eye on the latest job postings. Identify all the job titles that could make sense for your experience and set up job watches on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn.
Talk to your trusted network about your move. You don’t want word that you’re looking to get back to your current employer, but you do want a discrete network of folks looking out for you. Confidentially let those close in your network know that you are looking for new opportunity.
Focus your search. Identify potential companies and reach out to certain employees to introduce yourself. Let them know you are interested in working at their company.
If you’re switching industries, manage your expectations. Keep in mind that switching industries is not easy especially if you want to maintain your current title (with the exception of recruiting, of course!).
Identify recruiters in your space. Some recruiting firms specialize in a particular industry, some— some like Lucas Group have 300 plus recruiters that specialize in function, industry and/or location. At Lucas Group, we have seven practice areas: Sales & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Legal, Military Transition, Supply Chain & Operations, Human Resources, and IT.
Send resumes to recruiters that specialize in your field. You will not always get a response, but here’s some language that will up your chances of hearing back from someone: “Thank you for reviewing my background. Please add me to your database and if you like my background, I would be happy to have a conversation. If this is not your specialty, can you please forward it to that person or let me know who I should reach out to?”
Keep an organized record. Keep a spreadsheet of the company, contact, and date you applied for a role. Also, keep track of how you apply: website, via a recruiter, or referral. And note all communications. Why? You might be reaching out to a lot of people and companies. Keeping things organized will help you keep the record straight on who you’ve spoken to about what.
In this market, things are happening fast, and talent is in demand. But that doesn’t mean you can quit your job because your fed up. And it doesn’t mean you should take a job offer just because it’s on the table. With a clear plan of action, you can shed the Sunday Scaries for good and find your next, most satisfying chapter.