Many of us have experienced the wrong job. It’s really no one’s fault — however, it’s beginning to dawn on you that your work life may be dangerously out of alignment.
Nothing is worse than throwing yourself into work, yet things just seem to continue to go very, very wrong.
The trick here? Identifying the problem for what it is (in very short shrift) and acting to make meaningful changes. Poor matches do happen. So, let yourself off the hook and avoid a longer-term “soul sucking” experience.
Remember that “withering on the vine” is not a viable career strategy.
Here are 6 signs that you should be paying attention to:
- You feel lost. Have you had the classic nightmare that you arrive at class, only to find that you’ve not read a single page of the textbook and it is final exam day? This should not be your experience with work during waking hours. If every task or project leaves you feeling unprepared, take note: selection errors do occur. Sometimes that “next step” in your career or organization, has been the wrong step.
- You are in avoidance mode. Be honest with yourself — the process of going to work is absolutely excruciating. If you had your druthers, you would never set foot in the office again. If you’ve tried to make things work and you still can’t envision a future for yourself in your current role, you have a serious problem.
- Your strengths aren’t being tapped. Ultimately our work should align with our strengths. If this is not the case, it’s time to start exploring other options. If you feel that your weaknesses have taken center stage, it’s unlikely you’ll stay energized for the long haul. Have a conversation with your supervisor now — and don’t wait.
- You feel disconnected. Does it feel as if everyone else is on one page and you are on another? Whether you work in customer service, sales or consulting — if it feels as if you are not aligning with the vision of the organization, the person-job match may be off. If you see yourself as an island (and everyone is speaking an entirely different “language”), it may be time to explore moving on.
- You can’t seem to complete anything. Everything seems pointless and your level of motivation is at an all-time low. Are you dealing with looming deadlines with a blank screen continually staring back at you? Have you simply stopped caring? These are telling signs.
- You are entering self-blame mode. You certainly can own the part of the problem that you’ve controlled (you’ve ignored your “inner voice”, for example). However, I guarantee there were plenty of other factors in play. The bottom line is this: You are not happy and it’s time to act. Blame doesn’t help things resolve — only a plan to move forward will.
Of course — please pay attention to physical signs of stress. If you are not sleeping or eating take heed. Feeling depressed or anxious is a clear indicator that something is off. Time to take the issue to your supervisor, a trusted mentor of career professional.
Has this ever been your experience? Share the story with us.