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7 Ways to Tell That You’ve Been at Your Job Too Long

Topics: Career Advice
Image Credit: Pexels /
Image Credit: Pexels /

It’s great to feel comfortable and at home at work. However, if you’ve been at your job for too long, there can be some negative consequences too. Work that was once stimulating can become dull, and you might not be as productive or creative as you used to be. Have you stayed at your job for too long?

These days, people change jobs all the time. The average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times over the course of a career. However, it’s still pretty easy to become almost too comfortable in a job, especially when you land one you like. You’ll experience both good and bad effects when the safety and security of a job compels you to stay for years  Certainly, this kind of stability comes with a lot of benefits. But, it’s also not always the greatest to feel sort of invisible at work, or somewhat disconnected. This can happen though when you’ve been doing the same job for a really long time. So, here are a few ways to tell if you’ve been at your job for too long:

1. You don’t talk about it anymore

Sure, it’s a wonderful thing to have proper work-life balance. But, it’s a sign you’ve been at your job for quite some time if you’re never thinking, or talking, about your work during your off hours. It’s great to unplug. Ideally though, you should be interested enough in your job that you discuss it with friends and family members, at least occasionally.

2. You’d need to rent a moving truck if you left

You wouldn’t be carrying your things away in a little box, like you see in the movies, if you left this job. No. You’re keeping far too much stuff at work for that. If you have a mini-fridge, a standard bookcase worth of books, furniture, lamps, or wall hangings in your office that are actually your personal possessions, it’s a sign you’re pretty dug in.

3. You’re slipping

It’s important to notice if your performance and productivity have started to decline. It could be a pretty big and bright red flag that you’ve been at your job for too long. It’s easy to make mistakes when work tasks and duties become rote, or at least to fall short of excellence. If your work no longer keeps you on your toes, it could mean you’ve been at your job a little too long.

4. You resist change

It’s so easy to get stuck in your comfort zone when you’ve been at a job for a long time. But change is a part of modern working life, and it’s important to embrace it. Resisting change at work is common, but the practice keeps companies, and individuals, stuck in the same place at best. In order to truly move forward, you have to be willing to update and shift the way you do things once in a while.

5. You have a strange definition of “new” when it comes to coworkers

It’s definitely a sign that you’ve been at your job for too long if you still describe someone as “new” when they’ve been on the job for more than a couple of years. Similarly, if you can see back four or five personnel changes for any given position, you have probably been at it for quite a while.

6. Your emotionally neutral about work

Your job should move you. Ideally, you should feel at least somewhat emotionally invested in what you do. If you don’t feel excited to go to work, but you don’t feel dread either, it could mean that you’re getting a little too comfortable at your job.

7. You can’t imagine being anywhere else

A study of 2,000 office workers in the UK found that one in ten employees can’t imagine ever working anywhere else they’ve been at their job for so long. Maybe you feel the same. Whether this line of thinking is actually true or not, (most likely, you’re perfectly capable of enjoying working somewhere else) this kind of mentality is certainly an indication that you’ve been at your current job for a very long time.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to change jobs in order to stay passionate and on the ball at work. But staying super plugged in can take a little extra effort when you’ve been doing the same thing for a long time. You could consider moving on. But being comfortable and content at work is a pretty great thing in a lot of ways. So, it might just be worth it to recognize these signs in yourself and invest a little extra energy towards staying fresh and engaged.

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