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10 Top Signs That Your Current Job May No Longer Be Right For You

10 Top Signs That Your Current Job May No Longer Be Right For You

By the time you realize you have outgrown your job it is usually too late and your employer is making the decision for you. Learn how to recognize the warning signs to improve where you are or get prepared for change.

1. You have a decreased level of job engagement.

If you have stopped or reduced spending your discretionary work time on activities that might improve your job performance or other aspects of your organization, such as working on a research and development project or a fundraiser your company supports, then you might not be interested in your job as much as you have been in the past.

2. You’re not taking informed risks anymore.

Informed risks are not crazy risks; they are the risks which you believe have some potential of being successful. You now take a more cautious approach to projects and activities than you did before. This behavior can restrict your personal growth. Instead of signing up to help with that new project you waste most of your time talking or worrying about is, and  you get stuck in the “What ifs”.

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3. Your work feels routine and boring. 

Routine work is defined by the Task Quotient assessment, a test that provides managers and individuals the ideal percentage of personal work task preferences (routine, trouble-shooting and project) to maximize motivation and job satisfaction, as highly predictable work with an immediate required need for completion. With routine work you are just going through the motions, tasks are on autopilot. An example could be working on a new project that would have once excited you now has has lost any emotional spark.  If you don’t enjoy routine work, then a job change may be in order.

4. You have a decreased pace of personal learning.

Concentrate on continuously learning new things that are important to your job. Doing this will increase your value to your organization and to yourself. If you keep expanding your skillset, you will find yourself able to move up in your current organization — or another one. Finding activities that keep you feeling energized and interested so you can feel accomplishment are paramount to your growth. Sometimes most of these may be happening outside of your job, watch for the signs.

5. You are co-workers or others in similar positions are out-pacing your performance.

Colleagues are starting to get more recognition, or standout from you in other ways more often than they used to. This can feel discouraging and can further distract you from your job. When you first started were you a rising star? Lots of kudos? Then slowly what was commonplace is now the exception? It may be a good time for a change.

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6. You are losing your focus on your current job activities.

Essentially, this means you are spending more time thinking about activities outside of your current work than the work itself. This is not unusual and while many times you will have thoughts of activities at home or outside of work, if they start to become a preoccupation, you may want to consider a career or job change. This typically happens when you start asking a lot of repetitive questions or “getting it” is taking much longer than it used to.

7. You are not able to move up in the organization.

Once your ability to climb the ladder stops or slows down or you realize that your depth of knowledge or experience slows down, it’s time to consider moving on or getting more training. If you are starting to report to people who were once your peers, or even worse off if you hired them to work for you, then it may be time to move on.

8. You are spending more time helping others or doing their work.

When you start choosing to assist others, not because you have to but because you would rather help them because their work is more interesting or engaging than your own work. This behavior should be a red flag for your boss that they are not giving you sufficient challenges. If your boss doesn’t understand this and any pleas for change have gone unanswered then start spending some of the time looking for a change.

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9. Your level of satisfaction or interest with the work is lower.

The satisfaction is independent of the people, and you are more unhappy before, during, or after work. According to Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian psychology professor noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, FLOW is when you have the right balance between challenge and skill in your current work environment, finding the optimal experience will be difficult to achieve. Think about how many times you were so engrossed in your work that you lost the sense of time, this is a state of FLOW. How much of this are you getting in your current position?

 10. You are told by boss or your significant other, “it’s time to move on”.

You’re getting increased prodding from one or more of your life stakeholders, who have an outside perspective of your own life, that you need to change. Think about whether the intensity or frequency is on the rise, if so, then you are a change needed candidate.

 

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Sometimes we are too close to see the signs, or the signs appear too gradually. At some point in time, we all get comfortable or complacent with our work. If this contentment is causing you more discomfort in one or more of the ten signs, then making a change may be in your best interest for long-term success.

Take the first step today by having someone you trust, and who will be brutally honest, to rate each of the 10 questions above on a scale of 1 to 4 (1 = equals none of the time, 2 = some of the time, 3= most of the time, and 4 = all of the time). The closer you are to a score of 40 the more likely you have outgrown your job. This short assessment will to provide you an outside perspective so that you can initiate the appropriate changes to love your job and your life once again.

Featured photo credit: Photograph by Marc Lombardi via marclombardi.zenfolio.com

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Dr. Kevin Gazzara

Senior partner at Magna Leadership Solutions

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5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

1. Take breaks

First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

3. Put your work first

This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

5. Try to be happy and optimistic

If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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