Five Signs You're in the Wrong JobBy Amanda Frank, Monster Contributing Writer
Youre not quite content at work, nevertheless you shuttle to and fro your job every business day. You know that nothing in life is perfect, so you do your best to placate the sneaking suspicion that somethings off -- that youre in the wrong job. Is your job an ominous presence you should exorcise from your life? You certainly dont need to be M. Night Shyamalan to see the signs.
Sign No. 1: Youre a Loner at Work
Youre not a social pariah, yet you have no friends at work. Youre not clicking with anyone in your office. Youre unable to forge a connection with your coworkers beyond exchanging the most rudimentary pleasantries. You go in, you do your job and you leave.
Whats keeping you from bonding? Are you too different in terms of age, culture or style? Be honest. Is the kitten appliqué on your colleagues sweatshirt keeping you two from hitting it off? Shallow as it sounds, maybe you need to be in a work environment with colleagues who match up with you a little better.
Working without your peeps is long, dry and alienating. Your productivity depends on friends -- and so does your long-term happiness.
Sign No. 2: Youre Ashamed of Your Job
Heres a sure sign youre in the wrong job. You cant bring yourself to tell people what you do. Think how much your shame will impede your ability to be effective in your job and how many networking opportunities youll miss if you hide behind euphemistic statements like Im in property management when, in fact, you run an adult movie theater.
Whether you manufacture porn or toilet paper, take pride in how well you do your job. If you arent proud of your work youll never be able to derive satisfaction from it.
Sign No. 3: Your Workload Overwhelms You
Its normal to feel a little frazzled now and again, especially amid pressure-cooker deadlines and quarter-end quotas. But its not a good sign if you routinely carry on like a decapitated chicken. Youre in the wrong job if you have more work than youre capable of doing in the allotted time.
Its also not a good sign if youre so overwhelmed that you experience frequent bouts of anxiety. Youre agitated. Youre emotional. You have mood swings. One minute youre on your daily commute laughing at something you heard on sports radio and the next minute you're sobbing inconsolably because somebody cut you off on the road.
Sign No. 4: Youre Stagnating at Work
Youre underutilizing your skills to the point of atrophy. This is not quite the same as being overqualified. You can still be in the right job even if its beneath your level of expertise. But its a bad sign if youre losing the stuff that makes you stand out professionally. Unless you use and develop most skills regularly, youll lose them and fall behind.
What to do? Renew your membership to a trade association, keep current with required training or work a minimum number of hours in your specialization. Youre in the wrong job if you cant or dont have time to do these things.
Sign No. 5: Theres No Growth and Development in Your Job
Somewhere along the way you landed a job, and the company mistook you for a mere functionary. Or maybe you mistook yourself for a mere functionary. Your job contains zero element of discovery. In reality, youre a student of life and have plenty left to learn. Its your responsibility to continue your education. Youre in the wrong job if youre not exposed to learning opportunities or arent taking advantage of them.
Opportunities dont hide under rocks. Theyre all around you -- at industry events, weekend seminars, Webinars. Most companies have budget to send their staff for professional development and training when its relevant to the job. Find out what your employers policy is.
If you cant access company funding, take advantage of your fellow colleagues and clients. If youre new to the job, learn from the tenured people. If youre a veteran, learn from the newbie with the fresh perspective. The key is to keep an open mind and recognize the chances youre given to grow and develop.
If you recognize yourself a little too much in these menacing signs, then use them as a wake-up call. You owe it to yourself to look around for something worthy of your time and energy.