Do you dread Monday mornings? Does your job feel like a dead end? Are you wondering if it is time to walk away?   We all have bad days occasionally, but if your bad days become your “every day”, it is time to step back. Have a heart to heart with yourself or a close friend or a coach and really evaluate the situation.

Identify the core issues:  Is it the commute that is dragging you down? Do you have a “values clash” with your organization? Is it a personality clash with your manager or a culture clash with your team? Is there harassment going on at work? Are the politics getting to you?   Are you in a fading profession? Is there no room to move up? Do you feel an impending layoff or firing coming up?  Has there been a poor career fit? Are you feeling burned out?  What do you love about your job? What do you hate about it? Do you like doing independent work but dislike working in teams or dealing with customers?  Talk out or write out the key problems and challenges that you are facing.

Next, look at what it would take for you to stay: more money, flexible hours, shifting to a different team? Also look at what is within your power to change-that could make a difference. This might be a shift in your view of yourself and others at work. This might involve getting a mentor or a coach. It might mean proactively working to better your relationship with your team or manager. It might involve you taking more training, or learning more effective skills in handling conflict. There are some things you won’t be able to change, however there might be things you hadn’t thought of- that could help.

What about timing? If you just had a baby or bought a house or are dealing with a health issue, you made need to consider carefully whether the time is right to exit. You can begin planning for your next step, but may need to delay action.  You can research companies, expand your network, get training, and polish up your Linked-in Profile and your resume in the meantime. Just taking those steps will make a difference in how you feel day to day- knowing you are preparing for your next leap.

If you are miserable at work, don’t ignore those feelings—think through them carefully and then be strategic about how and when to take action.