Careers

Work Nightmares and Nausea on the Job Are Signs It’s Time to Leave


You may admire the JetBlue flight attendant who left his job with a jump down the emergency chute, but remember—he’s unemployed and facing criminal charges.

If you are contemplating a similar meltdown, you’ve waited too long to start your job search, according to Molly Peckman, the director of associate development at Dechert. In an article for the Legal Intelligencer, she outlines the signs that it’s time to leave your law firm.

It’s a bad sign if you start drinking on the job or abusing drugs, including legal ones like caffeine, cough syrup, ibuprofen and antacids, she writes. Work-related nightmares are an indication it’s time to move on, as are difficulties falling asleep at night or getting out of bed in the morning.

“Other signs it’s time to start polishing off the resumé are crying, sleeping or getting nauseous at work or when thinking about work,” she writes. “What is the best part of your day? If it is discovering leftover pizza or cookies in a conference room, talking sports with the late-night security guard or fantasizing about co-worker misfortune and disfigurement, start considering your options.”

It’s also important to start looking if you hate what you do, or hate who you do it with, “especially if your ethics, your integrity or your psyche are at risk,” she says.

After you’ve decided to leave, you still have to remain a model employee. “Do not check out, physically or mentally,” she advises. “Do not start turning down assignments, missing deadlines or handing in work which is not your best product. Do not go missing in action. Remember your professional responsibilities.”

Keep your intentions a secret and your emotions in check, she adds.

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