Advertising
Advertising

11 Signs That Your Job Is Not Suitable For You

11 Signs That Your Job Is Not Suitable For You

You’ve noticed that something is off, and you just can’t put your finger on it. Your enthusiasm has waned, you can’t recall the last time you felt good about getting up and going to work, and you spend your days on the job clock-watching and dreaming of escaping. These are signs that perhaps it’s time to be honest and ask yourself whether this particular role is actually suitable for you. Being in a job that is not suitable for you is depressing, and can impact not only your work life, but life outside of work, too. So, why stay?

Does it get your juices flowing? Does it tap into your passion? Is it doing anything for you other than providing you with a pay check? Does it meet your career needs?

If you’re umming and ahhing about whether to stay or go, here are a few signs that may help you in deciphering whether this role is indeed the role for you.

1. You’re unable to use your natural thought processes

If the job messes with your natural thought process, or does not require you to use your natural thought process, you may find it difficult to grasp the fundamentals of the role and the systems put in place. If you’re a creative thinker for example, a systematic role may cause immense confusion as you continuously struggle to get to grips with methodical processes which require you to be extremely organized and analytical. Likewise, if you are a methodical thinker, a role requiring creative, intuitive, and out-of-the-box thinking may make you feel all out of sorts and disorganized.

Working against your natural rhythm can have its benefits. It can challenge you and develop a whole new side of you. However, if you find that continuously working against your innate thought process leaves you feeling insecure, it may be time to start looking for a job more suited to your way of thinking. After all, we were all created differently with differing strengths. It may be time to put your strengths to use.

Advertising

2. You feel it brings out the worst in you

When you started, you may have felt a tiny bag of nerves, unsure and a little tense (we all do), but that’s nothing compared to what you’re experiencing now. Any insecurities you may have had about your abilities are heightened; you feel like an imposter, you’re frayed, stressed, and anxious, and find yourself getting angry at the slightest things. In short, you feel all out of whack.

Not only will these feelings become impossible to ignore, but if you feel that deep down inside this role is definitely not suited to you, it’ll begin to plant major self-doubt within—you don’t want that kind of trouble! Also, take note of any new habits you may have taken up as a way to cope with this unsuitable role. Excessive drinking, smoking, eating (or under-eating), or any self-destructive patterns need to be addressed immediately.

If you feel the job is indeed changing you for the worst, it’s time you find something that will help to bring out your best.

3. Your fighter spirit has upped and disappeared

If workplace challenges don’t bring out your fighter spirit, a.k.a. your “can-do” attitude, it’s time to start thinking about moving on. Instead of making you want to face any work challenges head on, knowing you’re likely to come out on top, you’d rather run for the hills and avoid any challenges whatsoever.

In the ideal role, challenges can bring out the best in you, making you a confident and capable worker. However, if you’re in a role that just isn’t right for you, you’re more than likely to be floored by any difficult situation you come up against, even the seemingly easy ones, as your heart and soul are just not in it. Knowing this is a step in the right direction, as you begin thinking about the sort of job you would, and could, fight for.

Advertising

4. Your skills feel under-utilized

All those years of training, experience, and skill building, and you’re not putting any of it to use? This is a sure way to leave you feeling completely down and discouraged about your career prospects. If it doesn’t utilize at least some of your skills, what’s the point? Your skill set is extremely important and provides you with the confidence and ability to be successful at a role; knowing what to do, when, and how best to utilize your knowledge. If you’re not putting to use any of your skills, this means you’re not able to improve upon them within the job, which means your skills will lay dormant. If this is the case, please begin looking elsewhere. Continuously building on your skills is a sign you’re progressing.

5. You don’t see the role going anywhere

If the role has very little room for advancement, it may be time to rethink your reasons for staying. Feeling like you’re in a dead-end job is bad. Knowing you are, is worse. With no room to grow or manoeuvre, the gig could get old very quickly. Take this as an early sign to begin looking elsewhere for something that provides you with the opportunity for growth.

6. You know your heart is elsewhere

You not only dream about your ideal job, you’ve trained for it, bought the tools, and worked at it. But for whatever reason, you’ve put it aside, or downgraded it to hobby status. But the more you think about it, the more you realize how unsuitable your current situation is.

Look, it’s commendable to work on your dream career while doing a job that pays, and at times advisable, as it not only provides you with the necessary means to fund your dream, but you also acquire experience that may be invaluable in the future. The risk is, however, that you may become completely sidetracked by the money, benefits, or routine of the job. Your dream remains just that, a dream. If you know you’ve relegated your dream job to solely dream status, and are bored out of your mind in your current role, maybe it’s time to take that leap of faith and just go for it. Trust yourself. There will be other jobs, there may not be another dream.

7. You feel it has become second nature

Though this may not seem like a bad thing, if you never have to think about what you’re doing while you’re doing it, chances are you’re not being challenged and are now in robotic mode! The role has become too mechanical and does not require you to be “awake” for any of it. If you’re not thinking about what you’re doing while you’re doing it, it’s probably time to move on. And this goes for everything else in life! Second nature can be a good thing, but too much familiarity can lead to way too much comfortability, and you’re unlikely to make changes to a dead-end situation if you’re too comfortable! This is your life, your career. It’s time to move on to something you can put your mind to.

Advertising

8. You have been told to move on

Those close to you have probably already caught on that the job is not suitable for you. Sometimes, they are the best points of reference, especially if you’re in two minds as to what to do next. Being on the outside allows those in your circle to be objective. Detached from the bevy of emotions that may surround your decision to stay or go, their truth is a great indicator of your reality. Plus, there’s the added benefit that they truly want to see you happy and fulfilled. So listen up, they’ve probably been saying what you’ve been thinking, and feeling, all along.

9. You feel obligated to stay

Maybe you’ve recently gotten a promotion, a friend got you the role, or you have an awesome boss who has invested a great deal of time and energy in developing the role around your skills. Now, the idea of leaving feels, well, wrong. Perhaps you’ve invested years in this job, and know you’re an integral part of the force, and feel that leaving will have a negative impact on your team. It’s great that you’ve made such a positive impact, but there’s nothing more suffocating than the feeling of obligation, and pretty soon you’ll start to resent it—all of it.

You feel owned, controlled, and locked in. Yes, you feel a sense of nobility as you follow through with your deed and debt to others, but in truth, if you dislike everything about the job and only stay put out of obligation. It’s probably time to acknowledge those feelings and think about moving on. Be grateful for the opportunities, and thank those who have helped you along the way. Those who truly value you and your work will respect your decision, and even encourage it.

10. You’re in the job out of fear

If you’re in a job out of the fear of pursuing your true dreams, using it to suspend movement for fear of failure, chances are you already know this role is not suitable for you. You have to make the conscious decision to refuse to allow fear to dictate what you do. This is tremendously important. Being stuck in a job you have very little like for is soul destroying, but doing so because you’re afraid that things may not work out “out there,” sadly means you’ve already failed. If need be, take small steps to get moving if you’re not comfortable, but get moving.

It’s been said before, but now’s the time to face your fears and do it anyway. Get started on that journey. You’ll be glad you did.

Advertising

11. You’re not passionate about the role

The truth is, if you’re not passionate about the job, you’re not really going to care about what you’re doing. This is sure to lead to overall dissatisfaction with your job. Lack of passion will inevitably filter into you becoming nonchalant about deadlines, meetings, administration, finances, and a whole host of things that keeps business ticking. Plus, lack of passion for the job probably means you’re having to feign any kind of interest. This alone is exhausting, as the extra effort you have to put in to get you through the day, and week, becomes apparent to you, and most likely to those around you. It may not be always ideal, or possible, but finding a job that taps into at least a few of your passions is a step up on that ladder to overall job satisfaction.

Remember, giving in isn’t the same as giving up! Knowing something isn’t right for you means you’re on the right track in finding something that is, so be encouraged and get started. Good luck!

Featured photo credit: Hayden Petrie/Thinking about a dip via flickr.com

More by this author

Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

15 Tell-Tale Signs You’re an Old Soul and Think Differently 11 Signs That Your Job Is Not Suitable For You What Does It Mean to Be an Extroverted Introvert? Toxic Behaviors That Are Making You Unhappy (And You Don’t Even Notice) If You Want A Long-Lasting Relationship, You Should Keep Doing These 10 Things

Trending in Work

1 7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success 2 The Savvy Employees Guide to Asking for a Raise 3 How to Master the Art of Stress Free Work 4 23 Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing for an Interview 5 20 Critical Skills to Add to Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

Advertising

  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

Advertising

  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

Advertising

What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

Advertising

Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

More Tips on Advancing Your Career

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next