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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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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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