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I’m Restless in My Job

I’m Restless in My Job

How Do I Discern When It’s Time to Move on?

I wish I had an easy answer, but the truth is, we can’t know for sure. Tapping into the source of your restlessness is a good place to start. Are you bored, unhappy, emotionally or physically stressed, or simply have the feeling that “your work here is done”? None is the right or wrong reason to leave a job, but identifying the driving factor will help with the discernment process.

Next, identify whether it’s the job or the organization. If you like your workplace, Step 1 might be to have an honest conversation with your supervisor. Let him or her know that you want to stay on, but would like to explore a new role that would build on your strengths and help you contribute more to the company. A win-win in any book!

If a lateral move within your company is not an option or you’re ready to move on, try to separate the wheat from the chaff. Set aside the negative factors that may be influencing you to move on, and focus on the positives – what you seek in your next position and what gifts and talents you hope to bring to that next chapter.

None of the strategies listed so far will help you answer whether God is inspiring you to move on. That’s where prayer comes in. Bring it all – your unease, anxieties, excitement, restlessness – to Jesus.

Try to spend 20 minutes in silent prayer each day just to listen for God’s response. Consider going on a daylong or weekend retreat if you can swing it.

Open your mind and heart to the Holy Spirit. Ask God to show you the difference between fleeting feelings (e.g., I don’t want to go to work today because of X, Y or Z) and a true longing for God’s will for your life.

Know and accept that any change involves risk and loss, and the grass may not be greener. But don’t let that stop you from moving forward, because work life is generally not a straight line from good job to better job to best job. Embrace the uncertainty, trusting that God has something to teach us each step of the way. Depend upon him.

As Jesus reminds us: “Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” (Mt 6:26-27)


Patricia Mish is a managing editor at FAITH Catholic.