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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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    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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