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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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