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We’ve all been in jobs we don’t like but how do you move on? Defining what it is about your job that you don’t like is a good place to start, says Career Coach Denise Taylor of Amazing People. Here are five signs that you might be in the wrong job right now…
It may seem like quite an obvious indicator, but actually this feeling can creep up on you when previously all seemed to be going swimmingly. If it’s a new job, you may start really positively, keeping on top of skills that might not come naturally to you, but one day, you could just wake up and realise how hard it is! Discovering this can be a huge upset, and you can use up a lot of energy stressing about it, eventually leading to burn-out. Another example is if you are promoted into a role that you shouldn’t be doing. Often if you’re good at your job, people think you should automatically be promoted but this isn’t necessarily so. If you’re great at selling, for example, it’s because you’re good with customers, not the paperwork that comes with being a manager!
Nobody should have to put up with bullying but this is something more subtle. You may have colleagues – or a boss – that are just mean-spirited, their put-downs chipping away at you and your work all the time. Developing a tough skin is easier said than done, and it’s extremely difficult to not let such comments affect you. If you’ve tried to fend off their jibes with a couple of well-placed quips of your own and this hasn’t worked, make sure you have something to look forward to outside of work – it’s important not to dwell on the negativity created in the office.
The ideal job is one where you have room to grow and progress, whether it’s with promotions or the chance to try new and exciting projects. If you find you’re stuck in a rut with no variation, try taking the matter into your own hands and volunteer to do extra things. Earn a name for being helpful by asking to proof read colleagues’ reports, for example, or look at how to solve various problems within your organisation. To keep your interest levels maintained you could try studying part-time and look at ways to introduce what you’re learning into your job.
If your company doesn’t have a structured career path, or the promotional roles just aren’t available at the moment, don’t despair. Think laterally and look to see if there is room to move sideways – perhaps a move from finance to marketing might suit you, for example. This way you get to learn new skills, you’re presented with new and exciting challenges, and the benefit to the company is that you already know the organisation and you’ve already seen how another department works.
If the thought of going into the office fills you with despair, think about what bit of your working life is so awful and then try to find a glimmer of something you do like about it and hang onto that. Perhaps you hate the way it takes two hours to get to work in rush hour – in that case try working different hours to avoid prime commuting time. Maybe you don’t like the fact that there’s no canteen, so use it as an excuse to take in a really healthy lunch every day. A good tip to make your day seem brighter is at lunchtime, think of one good thing that’s happened to you that day, even if it’s something small and seemingly insignificant.
However, at the end of the day, if you’ve tried to make the most of your situation and nothing changes, don’t be afraid to make the decision to leave. Use the experience to work out exactly what you do and don’t want from a job so that you can identify suitable roles for the future.