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7 WARNING Signs You Chose the Wrong Job

7 WARNING Signs You Chose the Wrong Job

Remember the good old days when you first started your job?

It was exciting right? You were just happy to end the dredge of filling out applications and interviewing non-stop.  You could finally relax a little and start focusing on your work.

decide what to be and go be it

    Now 6, 12, 20 months have passed…and the honeymoon is over.  You’re immersed in the job and can now see it for what it is, free from the rose colored glasses you began with. Maybe the culture is stone cold and you don’t really feel like you fit in or maybe some of the promises you were told before you started the job, have now been forgotten.

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    Whatever the case, you don’t want to crawl back to the job search market…unless you are certain this job isn’t going to work out.

    So what are the signs to look out for?

    1. Your Potential is Being Wasted

    About 17% of the U.S. population is classified as underemployed.  I can imagine that number only grows if you look world wide.

    The recession unfortunately caused many qualified workers to take jobs below their potential in order to make ends meet.  If this was a temporary set back, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.  But for many of you, the job you initially took as a bootstrap, is now looking like your new future.  Just look at this poor girl’s story on Reddit.

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    2. The Industry is Dying

    My good friend and co worker Michelle used to work in the propane industry.  Several years back, she started wondering how much longer a career in this field could go on…so she started looking into a job at Qualcomm (just a startup back then).  Soon after, she landed the job and got into a hot career all because she recognized a dying industry and left before it was too late.

    Like the propane field in Michelle’s story, today we have equivalent industry’s to worry about (newspapers and electronic stores for example.)  Sometimes it’s hard to leave an industry you love, but do you go down with the ship or explore what’s on the horizon?

    3. You Feel Like a Different Person at Work

    Many times a job can put you in uncomfortable positions.  When I was in sales, it took incredible energy to be the aggressive, “don’t take no for an answer” kind of person my boss wanted.  At home I was always the easy going guy, looking to make things easier for everyone else.

    Well that “energy” you spend doing your work in a way that falls outside your natural tendencies leads to stress, burnout, and unhappiness.  Sure, everyone will have to do some things outside their comfort zone, but doing this on a daily basis is a recipe for disaster.

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    4. You Are Taking More Sick Days

    Research has shown that unhappy employees take an average of 15 more sick days a year than happy employees.

    If you find yourself using up more sick days, you might wonder if the job is the cause.

    5. You Stopped Learning

    In the predigital age, it was found that 70 percent of your learning came from on the job training itself.  Today that numbers fallen to 10%.

    With globalization and a shifting economy, learning is not a commodity to be taken lightly.  If you’ve stopped learning new skills in your job, you’re limiting how competitive you can be in the job market.

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    6. The Only Difference Between Last Year’s Resume and This Year’s is the Time on the Job

    Every year you should think of what milestones occurred in the last 12 months that  you can add to your resume.

    If you are drawing blanks on what you accomplished last year, it might be time to move on.

    7. The Only Reward is the Money

    As a career coach, the first thing I ask the readers on my site is what their biggest career challenge is.  We have hundreds of subscribers and not once have we heard that money was the challenge.

    In fact, our most engaged readers often share that they in fact get paid well but feel trapped, stressed out, or just lack the motivation they used to have for their job.

    Farnoosh on an earlier article at Lifehack shares the same feelings, “Let’s face it: the money is nice and there is nothing wrong with loving the money. But if you only do it for the money, then you are in the wrong job.”

    Any of these warning signs resonating with you?  If so share in the comments below.

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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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