Back-to-work blues or time for a new job?

4 mins read
Job Seeker career advice growth motivation new job

Working in recruitment over the last 7 years, I often notice a surge in candidates approaching me in the new year looking for new job opportunities. Employees come back from holiday and realise that even after taking a break, those same feelings of boredom, stress, being undervalued, etc. are still there post-holiday. So how can you tell if you simply have a case of the back-to-work blues or if it’s time to start looking for a new job? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Did you take a proper break?

Ok, most of us come back from holiday wondering why it went so quickly, but did you actually have enough time to relax and do the things that make you happy? Starting the year off feeling fresh and recharged can go a long way towards feeling positive at work. If you need to, book some extra time off. Not only will this give you something to look forward to, but it will also give you some shorter weeks so you can ease back into things slowly.

If you still feel unhappy after this then it might be time to consider whether your job is allowing you the work/life balance you need to do the things that make you happy.

Do you enjoy your job?

Let’s be honest, most people find there’s at least one aspect of their role that they don’t like, but overall, do you enjoy the majority of what you do? If the answer is no, have a think about what it is that you don’t like — is it something you can change and make more enjoyable? Can you talk to your colleagues or boss to see if they have any recommendations? If neither of these options work, you may need to think carefully about whether you’re happy living with this and continuing on in your role, or whether it might be time to look elsewhere.

What is your team environment like?

Do you get along with your teammates? Even though it’s hard coming back to the office after a long break, it makes it a lot easier when you have a team around you going through the same emotions, who you enjoy spending time with and who will help motivate you. Of course, if you don’t have a good team environment to work in, then that’s where you might want to consider looking at other opportunities with a better team culture.

Are you motivated?

Speaking of motivation, it’s certainly hard to get motivated and back into the swing of things after a break, so think about scheduling some time in your diary to go for a walk, go to the gym, get out into the sun (or the fresh air if the weather is bad!), or simply treat yourself to a nice lunch out. If you’re still lacking motivation after this, then spend some time thinking about what’s demotivating you and whether a different role or organisation would help reinvigorate you.

What opportunities do you have?

One of the main things candidates tell me is that there’s no opportunity to grow in the organisation, whether that be from a lack of learning and development, or promotion pathways. Coming into the new year knowing that you have something to work towards is important, so make sure you have clear goals/objectives, training opportunities, or networking events lined up.

If you’re company isn’t invested in letting you grow and develop then you may want to consider looking at other companies that do understand the importance of this.


Whether you’re a candidate looking for a new job opportunity or client looking to replace a team member, please feel free to contact me on 09 303 4455 or and I’d be more than happy to have a chat. You can find out more about me here.

Heather Kerr
Senior Consultant

A bit about me I arrived in New Zealand in 2008 after spending most of my life growing up in England and France. I returned to the UK for a brief period in…

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