Signs you’re in a dead-end job and how to get out

If you find yourself stuck in your current position where your skills are underutilized or unappreciated, or if you feel like you might be on the chopping block –it might be a sign you’re in a dead-end job.  That’s the case,  start planning your exit strategy.

If you’re wondering if it’s time for you to start looking for greener pastures, keep reading for the red flags that signal a dead-end job.

Signs of a Dead-End Job

Your skills are not being utilized

If you find yourself working in a job where your creative ideas are being “swept under the rug,” it might be a sign that your company doesn’t appreciate what you have to offer. We all have different skills and experiences, but if your manager is continuously shutting you down, it might be time to look elsewhere. 

You might also find yourself taking on a lot of extra projects or creating new tools without any recognition or appreciation. If you aren’t being recognized or rewarded for going above and beyond, then it’s probably best to move on where your contributions will be valued.

The only way to move up is to move out

Sometimes you have to “move out to move up.” Perhaps you’re ready for the next level, but your company does not have the budget or headcount to support a promotion. This could mean it’s a good time to put your resume together with your accomplishments and go on the job hunt.

Just because your current employer can’t afford to pay you what your worth, does not mean that someone else can’t. If there’s no room for advancement, then there’s not much reason to stay.

Your position is being phased out

A good sign that you are in a dead-end job is if you see your job getting phased out. Some big signs to look for are lay-offs, people on your team transferring to other teams, and even corporate outsourcing. Once this happens, it could mean that your team or department will be shut down.

Get ahead of this before it’s too late and explore your options. It’s unnerving when you see positions getting outsourced or company-wide downsizing. Generally, it’s only a matter of time before your position is eliminated as well.

How do you get out of a dead-end job?

Keep Your Resume Updated

It’s a good idea to update your resume every six months or whenever you move into a new position. Keeping your resume updated will help you apply faster when the right job opens up. 

Network on LinkedIn

Update your LinkedIn profile to maintain a strong online presence for recruiters. This will help keep your options open and showcase your qualifications and experience. It will also give you a chance to network with other professionals in a similar field and see if there are available opportunities. 

Stay On Top of Company Success

Trust your instincts and look at your company’s shared financial reports. If there’s more money going out than coming in, then that’s a big red flag that something is not right, and you should be considering other options.

The good news is if you identify problems early enough, you can continue to work while searching for new employment. It’s good to be in a position where you can be somewhat selective in your options instead of being rushed to gain employment after you’ve been laid off. 

Don’t let your company “loyalty” get in the way. Employees generally have a stronger sense of loyalty to their organization than the organization does to them.

The truth of the matter is that if the job can be filled by someone for less money, they will find a way to make it happen, so don’t get too attached and keep moving forward.