Not everyone loves their job every single minute of every single day. Even those of us who love our jobs find them to be a grind sometimes.
It’s when that occasional indifference goes further that it becomes “mental resignation”, when an employee has lost interest in the work and no longer sees their future with the company, or even in that line of work.
A survey by specialist recruiter Robert Half found almost half (49%) of Australian businesses have experienced ‘inner resignation’ which they define as ‘when staff members are present physically but have mentally resigned from the job.’
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While Robert Half focused on strategies employers could implement to combat employee ‘inner resignation’, an article in The Guardian earlier this year identified ways you can recognise you’re overdue for a change in employment:
Here are 5 signs you may have mentally resigned from your work.
1. You watch the clock
The worst job I’ve ever had was in retail with a company run by strict employers who seemed determined to stamp out all happiness and joy in their employees. I’d arrive at work, see the time (9.05) and begin the countdown to home time (6 hours and 55 minutes).
Most of us has held down a job like this, hopefully in the distant past, but if you find yourself doing this in your current workplace more days than not, it may be time for a career change.
2. You don’t feel valued
The thought that you could walk out of your job without a backward glance, and the business you’ve abandoned would continue without even blinking is a depressing thought. Employees all want to feel as though they matter.
Even if they don’t.
If you feel as though your contribution to the company at which you are employed isn’t appreciated, and if you have a problem with that, it may be time to find something more meaningful.
3. You don’t know what you do
The days of business cards are long gone and so are the simple job titles. These days employee job descriptions can be complicated and ever-changing.
And if you are asked what you do and you don’t actually know how to put it into words or feel tired at the prospect of talking about it, then it’s time to move on.
A sarcastic response to the question means you should be halfway out the door.
4. Sunday sucks
If you spend Saturday recovering from the week and Sunday feeling sad at the week ahead, you are definitely in the wrong job.
It should take until at least Wednesday for you to start struggling through a day at work, or at the very worst, Tuesday afternoon. Mondays are for promising to have a better week, to ask for that pay rise, to tackle a new challenge.
Wednesday is meant to be hump day. A Monday hump day is a terrible, terrible sign.
5. Your loved ones are sick of you
If you notice your loved ones inching away from you and your sad, hunched shoulders, there may be a bit of an issue. Just as moaning and growing over the same relationship for years can be tiring, even for those you love, so too can grumbling over work.
They may have already said, "Well then why don't you just quit," but 'internal resignation' seems only to be suffered by those who know it's time to move on, but can't find the motivation to do so. Instead they trudge through their day doing everything half-arsed, hoping nobody notices until they themselves are ready to jump ship.
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Productivity is a key consideration for companies ensuring value for money when hiring employees. That means it is in their best interest to keep you motivated.
However, David Jones, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half, says employees need to take responsibility as well, and not just accept inner resignation as part of the job.
“For employees, simply accepting inner resignation as part of the job is the worst possible course of action," he stated on the company website. "In such cases, employees need to find out what is causing their dissatisfaction and lack of motivation, and be prepared to address the issue with your manager or take action and move on to a new job."
That means either figuring out how to enjoy the job you have, or contacting a recruitment company.
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