There’s nothing like the feeling of starting a job you love and going to work every day feeling excited and challenged. But what happens when a job that started out as a great step towards building a flourishing career takes a nose dive?
Suddenly, the song You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling becomes your new theme (not the cool Top Gun version covered by Maverick and Goose) and you feel unsure about your current career path.
When your job becomes just “a job,” a lot of things happen that you may not even realize. It can cause you to turn into a completely different person from the wide-eyed bushy tailed professional you were at the beginning of your career. You not only lose sight of your initial goals, but also jeopardize the future of your career without even knowing it.
Here are some warning signs that your job is ruining your career.
1. You are no longer excited about starting new projects.
Taking on new projects is a great way to learn and display leadership in your job. If you find that another project just means more work for you that’s not worth the kudus or mediocre salary, it may be a sign that you’ve withdrawn from your job.
Once you start losing interest in what you do, it will show and negatively impact your career.
2. You are just going through the motions.
If wake up, go to work, drink coffee, answer emails, and go home sounds like your typical day, then there’s something missing: your active participation. Are you just getting through the day and can do your job with your eyes closed?
If the answer is “yes” then it’s time to reevaluate your job. A job where you just go through the motions without much thought is great if you’re a robot, but you’re not.
It’s important to have a job that challenges you daily and keeps your brain sharp or else you risk losing your ability to generate career-enhancing ideas that will help you grow.
3. You are not making a competitive salary.
Staying in a dead-end job is not only bad for your career, but hurts your pockets too. Forbes contributor reporter Cameron Keng published an article regarding employees staying at the same company making 50% less than those who leave.
This means that you lose money over the course of your career the longer you stay at a job and receive the average 1.3% raise, if any. Sometimes the fear of being a “job hopper” makes the decision difficult.
But staying at the same job that doesn’t offer financial and professional growth puts you at a disadvantage and makes you less competitive in your industry.
4. You are doing the same thing that you’ve always done.
Your job should offer ongoing opportunities to be challenged. It’s hard to be considered a high-performer at work if you’re not challenged. Being comfortable will make you stagnant and not grow in your career.
Try to take on new tasks or see if there is a way to improve a current process. If you’re not learning new skills or taking on new roles, you risk being passed over for acknowledgement, raises, and promotions.
5. You are always complaining.
Did you know that “grumpiness” is one of the side effects of being unhappy with your job? And that’s putting it in a nice way. You may not realize that you turned in to a different person, but your coworkers and friends do.
It’s normal to vent about work from time to time. But make sure your unhappiness with your job isn’t negatively affecting your business and personal relationships. Constantly complaining may deter others from wanting to work with you or refer you for a potential opportunity.
6. You are not on top of your industry.
When you have a flourishing career, it is more likely that you are current with new technology, standards, and principles because it’s an important part of doing your job effectively.
Look for opportunities to practice new things even if you have to do it outside of work. If your job doesn’t incorporate modern or new techniques in your field, you risk falling behind based on current industry standards.
7. You are not using your best skills.
Your job should give you the opportunity to perform tasks that utilize and enhance your best skill set. For example, if you are a people person but work in front of a computer all day with minimal contact, it can be very unfulfilling.
There will always be some aspects of a job that you don’t like, but make sure they bring out the best of your skills, so that you can build an impressive list of career highlights in your role.
If not, you jeopardize your ability to build a strong portfolio of achievements based on showcasing your best qualities that make you unique.
8. You are making small mistakes with everyday tasks.
A tell-tale sign that you’re at your wits’ end with a job is making simple mistakes. Sure everybody makes mistakes, but if you’re frustrated you tend to make more. This could be because you hate tedious tasks and rather watch paint dry than to organize one more meeting or run one more report.
Although you may not put too much thought into it other than pure annoyance, these mistakes may negatively impact how your manager and colleagues view your ability to get the job done.
9. You are fighting with your manager.
Your manager can make your job a breeze or a walk through hell. When your manager lacks good leadership skills, it can be a challenge to do your job right and be a great source of tension. Your manager is the one who gives directions and should guide you when help is needed.
If you find that their lack of leadership leads to constant fighting, it could be a warning sign that your job performance will be questioned—whether rightfully so or not. Tension with your manager can impact your career when it comes to performance evaluations and recommendations.
10. You are doubting yourself.
The biggest impact of staying at the wrong job is that it eventually wears on your confidence. Over time you start questioning things about yourself that you would never question like saying the right thing or taking the right action.
It’s so easy to get caught up in a toxic situation whether it’s due to having a horrible manager, difficult coworkers, or just a dead-end job. This can affect your ability to effectively convey your personal brand in a way that will attract new opportunities.
When your job no longer lends to your growth and ability to feel good about yourself, it’s time to move on for the sake of your career.
Featured photo credit: confused man chooses road outdoor via shutterstock.com