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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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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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  • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
  • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
  • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
  • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

For Changing a Job

  1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
  2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
  3. Get a raise.
  4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
  5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
  6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
  7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
  8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
  9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
  10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

For Switching Career Path

  1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
  2. Find a mentor.
  3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
  4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
  5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
  6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
  7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
  8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
  9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
  10. Create a financial plan.

For Getting a Promotion

  1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
  2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
  3. Become a mentor.
  4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
  5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
  6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
  7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
  8. Become a better communicator.
  9. Find new ways to be a team player.
  10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

For Acing a Job Interview

  1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
  2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
  3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
  4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
  5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
  6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
  7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
  8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
  9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
  10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

Career Goal Setting FAQs

I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

4. Can I have several career goals?

It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

Summary

You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

  • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
  • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
  • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
  • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
  • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

More Tips About Setting Work Goals

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

Reference

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