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Leaving a job that isn't right for you can be hard. This week, Chelsea explains the red flags to look out for that let you know your "real job" isn't the right fit. She shares some important questions to ask before accepting a new job in this video:

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Hey guys, it's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And this week's video is brought to you by FreshBooks. Something we talk a lot about on the channel is finding a job that's right for you. Now, obviously, it's something that's top of mind when you're just graduating from school. But even as you generally make it through your career, landing in the job that makes sense for you and makes you happy is something we're always thinking about. And performing well at that job when you're in it is something that's also very important, and we talk about that a lot as well. But something that's also really important to consider, that maybe doesn't always get as much airtime, is what to do when a job is just not right for you. Sometimes we're so concerned with just getting into a job and locking it up, that we don't stop to realize that sometimes a job we've landed may not be the right job for us. And even though getting fired is a really, really scary prospect, quitting can oftentimes be way harder because it can take you years to work up the courage to do it, even when you hate your job. Almost everyone on the TFD team at some point has been in a job that they knew they didn't want to stay in, but they stayed in anyway because they were frankly too nervous and couldn't really work up the courage to leave it. It had that sense of familiarity and comfort, and plus, you feel like you owe it to your employers not to leave. But realizing that a job isn't right for you and leaving it in a respectful and thoughtful way is just part of being a professional adult. And while it's not a perfect system, we believe that there are some key points to look out for in any job that really let you know that it's not the job for you. Seeing one or several of these warning signs that your current job doesn't mean you're walking in and quitting dramatically tomorrow, a la that scene in Half Baked. It just means that you know that you're on the path of finding something new and have tangible reasons to leave. So without further ado, here are six key warning signs to look for at your current job to let you know that it's time to find a new one.

Number one, you find it difficult and are unmotivated to finish projects and assignments. Now, obviously, you are never going to feel 100%, Richard Simmons, rah rah, excited to finish every project. And yes, there are going to be short term periods where your personal life might be very complicated and you will find it difficult to concentrate or to care about work. Those are all normal things. But the difference is finding yourself in a long term slump where that key fundamental internal motivation has gone. You can't be good at any job if you don't fundamentally care about it. And no, they don't have to be your number one passion in life. But without that internal self-motivation to do things to the best of your ability, you're basically doomed to fail. A lot of people have a misconception that your job is supposed to be the most important or validating part of your life. And it doesn't have to be. In fact, it shouldn't be. But whether you're a barista or a senior vice president, no job is going to work out if you can't find something within it that pulls you to do well. When you've lost the motivation to finish assignments or projects or even do basic parts of your job, that's a pretty good indication that it's time to leave.

Number two, you aren't really sure what you're being judged on. Now this is sort of the opposite of the last point, in the last point, you can't find the motivation to complete your tasks to the best of your ability and in this point you're not even really sure what those tasks specifically are. Every job, no matter what it is, needs a set of clear metrics on which you are judged. Not only does it help you advance through raises and promotions and up the ladder, it also gives you a day-to-day understanding of how your performance is. Now some corporate jobs, for example, have extremely standardized metrics. You're judged on very specific quotas, you might be ranked in a system of something like one to five at your performance review, and you generally know exactly what you're being judged on. But at some jobs these metrics are very unclear, and can lead to a dangerous work environment where your goal posts are always moving. For example, if you start the year believing that your biggest goals are a few specific projects and end the year getting a bad performance review because you didn't do something else that you weren't even really aware was a focus, that's a huge red flag. A lot of not so good employers use these really weird shifty metrics as a way to keep people in the same position and at the same salary a lot longer than they should be. When you don't know what your metrics are you can't advocate for yourself, and more importantly, you can't really plan for your future within the company. It will simply drive you insane if you have to go to work every day not knowing what you're judged on.

Number three, work stress has begun to affect your health or your personal life. Now let me be clear, in a lot of jobs there are going to be periods where it's really, really intense and everyone is going to have to be going overtime. You might be finishing a pitch or a project and have to stay really late and come in on the weekend. But the difference between a good and a bad employer is that a good employer recognizes that those times must be isolated and compensated for. A good employer, even if they can't give you overtime pay, which they should be, will at least say, hey, you've been really killing yourself these past two weeks, why don't you work from home a couple of days or take a couple days off. If you constantly feel like you're in that burnout mode at work, always working overtime and never feeling like you have some time to recoup from it, it's inevitable that your personal life and your health are going to suffer. And an employer who doesn't respect that is not an employer you can be with long term. It does not matter if you were the most excited person in the world when you landed this job. If doing it is causing the rest of your life to crumble, you must leave it. For example, as a writer, I know several other writers who have had to quit jobs at big glossy magazines that they dreamed about their entire lives. They had to do it not because the pay was even not particularly bad, but because the employer knew that they were so desperate and excited to work at this place that they assumed they could take over their entire lives. These friends were constantly finding themselves at unpaid work events at night, having to come in on the weekends, having to do three more jobs than they signed up for, and being expected to be a part of this brand identity no matter what time of the day or week it was. You must especially watch out for this employer behavior in competitive or glamorous industries because they know they can take advantage of you. And this is also a big problem in higher salaried jobs. But no matter where you are, an employer that does not care about the rest of your life is an employer who does not care about you.

Number four, you have unhealthy boundaries with your coworkers. Again, given the industry that we are in at TFD, I have had the opportunity to know a lot of people who worked for a lot of startups. And often these super tight knit startups or small businesses are the kinds of environments that are very toxic in terms of how colleagues interact with each other. A lot of these small companies have a real tendency to create this environment of, your colleagues should all be your best friends and this brand should be a huge part of your identity and this job should be your life. And part of the way that they suck you into that unhealthy dynamic is by convincing you that the people you work with are essentially your second family. Some key signs to look out for in this kind of boundary-less work environment are things like constant mandatory socialization with your coworkers, a lot of personal invasive questions, a lot of alcohol-fueled evenings, and a total discernible lack of HR. A lot of people I know have stayed for a long time at jobs they weren't right for it because they felt that they had an almost personal obligation to their employer. And they felt like, oh, but this boss is like my best friend, how could I leave? And to that there are two things to say. First of all, a boss should really not be your best friend because in the best of cases, it's a super unhealthy power dynamic and in the worst of cases it's a potential lawsuit. And second of all, even if your boss was your best friend, that should not at all stop you from leaving a job if it's wrong for you because a best friend would understand that you have to make the right decision for your career. Getting into a feeling of being trapped with your co-workers because you don't want to upset them is completely misunderstanding what it means to have an employer-employee relationship. You should like your coworkers to a normal extent, you should perhaps be friends with a few of them naturally, and you should have a friendly relationship with all of them. But at the end of the day, your personal lives should generally remain separate because it's not healthy to mix the two. Blurring the lines between what is work and what is friendship leads to the previous problem, which is feeling like you are constantly working and therefore are burned out. And above all, if there is no discernible HR in your company to effectively deal with these boundary issues, that is a huge red flag in and of itself.

Number five, you've hit a wall where you've just stopped learning and evolving in your job. There are going to be slower times and more interesting times in every career. But if at the end of the day you can look back at a year at a job and not identify one big skill that you've learned or really improved on or something that you do differently now than you did a year ago, that's a big red flag. When you've been at a company for a long time. It's very easy to start stagnating and get comfortable because you feel like you know the job like the back of your hand. But not only is this bad for your progress within the company you're at, it's also very bad for your resume if you want to go to new companies eventually. Some of the things that you should look to have at your job to keep you evolving are things like a mentor figure, goals for your year, and really clear metrics that help push you. And if you find yourself in a position where at the end of the year you can't look at your work and really identify what was you versus what was the rest of the team, that's a huge red flag. In bigger corporate structures, it is weirdly easy to move up into managerial positions where the tangible results of your work are not clear, and neither are your skills. And at every job you should be able to clearly present and defend things that were your work and that you completed. If you cannot clearly answer the question, why are you essential to this company, that is a huge red flag. And looking out for those signs of no longer evolving is a great way to stop that process before you get there.

Number six is that the job is not what you signed up for. This is especially important for post-grads or people just entering their first career path. We are currently in an economy in which people are overqualified and underpaid. And that means one thing above all else, oftentimes the terms of the job that you're entering into are very deceptive. I would say approximately 50% of the college graduates I know who entered into a 9 to 5 job felt rather deceived by what they expected to do versus what they ended up doing. And a lot of that usually comes down to, I was expecting to do this one job and I'm essentially taking on the tasks of three. And they often feel like they complain about it because they know that a line of people with their fresh new degrees are waiting at the door to take that job. But even if you cannot leave today, a job that was not honest about what the day-to-day requirements of the position are is not a job that you can grow long term with. There will always be an element of bait and switch with this employer because they know that they can get away with it. So what does that mean for you? It means you have to start looking at what are the tangible skills that you can add to your resume to not only make yourself more indispensable, but to give yourself wider options for new jobs. It will be a lot easier to get into a new 9 to 5 job when you've already had one under your belt. For example, I'm bilingual which allowed me to tutor while I was changing career paths and work abroad, and Lauren is constantly expanding her design skills via online classes in her spare time. And these are not overnight things. But they're professional skills which don't require more college and allow you to have a stronger, more indispensable resume that allows you to be more discerning about your employers. Finding a job is great, excelling at that job is even better, but knowing when it's time to leave that job is a mark of a real professional. You do not ever have to feel guilty about moving on in a professional way from a job that just isn't right for you. Because if you're not willing to do that, you could lose years or even decades on the wrong career path.

As always, thank you for watching and don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday for new and awesome videos. Bye. This video was brought to you by FreshBooks. As you guys know, Lauren and I run TFD, which means a lot of number crunching, invoicing, and keeping track of paperwork. And if you've ever freelanced, side hustled, or had your own project, you probably know what it feels like to get overwhelmed just keeping track of numbers. That's where FreshBooks comes in. Basically, it's cloud accounting software that allows you to keep track of your business and get paid in the fastest and easiest way. It acts like your own mini personal assistant, keeping track of everything from deposits to the money you're owed and reminding you along the way. Plus, their unique tools are set up to make sure you get paid faster. And best of all, it was designed with people in mind who are really bad with numbers, like me. And FreshBooks is offering TFD viewers a free 30-day unrestricted trial. To try it out, go to, or /thefinancialdiet, and enter The Financial Diet in the how did you hear about us section. Start getting paid faster with FreshBooks.