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10 Signs That You’re Probably Bad In Your Job

10 Signs That You’re Probably Bad In Your Job

Are you wondering if you’re bad in your job? In today’s world of high job turnover and career jumps, it’s important to keep up if you want to keep your job. If a job isn’t working for you, then it’s best to keep an eye on new opportunities that might come your way. After all, staying with a company for years (and years and years) is becoming a thing of the past. But sometimes it’s hard to tell if your job isn’t right for you, or if you’re just plain bad at it. So we’ve compiled 10 signs to help you figure it out.

1. You Keep Getting Left Out

Sometimes when you’re about to get the axe, other parties at the company will be notified ahead of time (both for workload reasons and through the grapevine). A lot of times, if you’re the next to go, people will avoid including you in social events so they won’t have to face awkward questions.

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2. Your Boss Avoids You

Similar to #1, a huge indicator that you might be on the chopping block is if your boss is avoiding you. Obviously as a subordinate, you normally have numerous, extended conversations with your boss. If these suddenly start to taper off, then it’s probably an indicator that he or she is waiting for the right time to bring up the bad news.

3. Your Workload Gets Lighter

If you start noticing that less and less work is coming down the pipeline, that’s usually a bad sign. It’s an indicator that a conversation has taken place on the top level about limiting the amount of responsibilities you have. That way there is less of a chance that your performance will affect a large part of the business. This is also a way for the company to start giving your work to other employees who will be there for a while.

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4. You Receive Less Important Assignments

In addition to limiting your amount of work, managers who know you will soon be let go will stop giving you large-scale, high-level assignments. By doing this, they are both ensuring that none of your work will be left over after you leave and that your performance issues won’t affect an important part of the business.

5. You Feel Overwhelmed Despite a Light Workload

If you are starting to feel overwhelmed but notice that your workload is comparable (or much lighter) than fellow employees, this could be an indicator that you aren’t a great fit for the position. While this one is less of a red flag that people are considering letting you go, it is a way to tell if you aren’t exactly cut out for the job. A good way to amend this is to try to stay on top of your work by making priority lists or put in a few extra hours a week.

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6. You Remain at Your Job Level for a Long Time

One of the best pieces of advice a jobseeker receives is this: if they are at a position for two or more years without any upward motion or change in title, then it is probably a good idea to look for another job. This indicates that you aren’t being challenged appropriately, and that perhaps there isn’t much of a future in this position. This is also an indicator that the higher-ups don’t have much faith in you over the long-term.

7. You Start to See Other Employees Taking Over Your Work

If you start to notice that other employees are working on similar projects as you, then this could mean your manager has assigned it to them to prepare for your departure. Similarly, if a colleague outright asks you details about how you complete your projects (when they haven’t shown much interest before), this could mean that they are preparing to take your work over soon—a red flag that you might be considered expendable.

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8. You See More IT or HR Restrictions

If you start to notice that you’re locked out of certain servers or accounts (when you weren’t before), then this might be a sign of preparation for you being fired. Sometimes the first place this is seen occurs with VPN or remote access. If you suddenly aren’t allowed to access admin files or your email account when you aren’t in the office, then your privileges may have been revoked. This is usually step one for the IT team to ensure information safety when an employee leaves.

9. You Are Allowed to Slack Off

If you start to see less interest in your tardiness, whereabouts or general performance, then this could be a sign that your employer is “cutting their losses.” In other words, if they are going to let you go within a couple of weeks, they might not be concerned if you show up late or if you take a super long lunch break. While this might seem nice, it could mean your days are numbered.

10. You Aren’t Invited to as Many Team Meetings

 Finally, if you notice that your meeting invites are decreasing and you see that subsets of your team are still attending the same general amount of meetings, then you could be on the shortlist to be let go. This is, again, a way for an employer to wean you off of forthcoming projects as to make the transition smoother. Similarly, if you are a part-time employee and you are being assigned to fewer and fewer shifts, your time at the company could be coming to a close.

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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