(Warning: this article may cause some serious brain pain. If this isn’t for you, please proceed onto Youtube for some light cat videos)
5 Ways To Recognize You’re In The Wrong Job
One of the first and most important things to notice if you’re in the wrong job is if you say to yourself things like, “I hate my job”, or, “If he tells me one more time how to do my job…!”…these are the obvious signs.
Here are some other more subtle clues that it’s time for a change in jobs or careers:
- you dread Mondays and eventually dread every workday
- you find yourself constantly complaining (internally or out loud to others)
- you avoid the boss or supervisor during your workday
- you feel mentally exhausted by the end of the day
- there is no growth opportunity for you (even though you are itching to do more than your work title allows for)
- you switch jobs a lot (almost routinely), as often as every 6 months to a year or 2
- you have physical ailments, such as trouble falling asleep, digestive issues, or fatigue
- you answer, “It pays the bills!” to the common question of, “How’s work?” (You have no excitement for the work that you do)
The 1st Step Towards Your IDEAL WORK
Before you start diving into any new job (or career) search, there is one fundamental step towards achieving your goals and dreams which must be completed. If this step is skipped, you may as well lay down and die (I mean give up).
So what is Step 1? It is to take responsibility for the situation you are in today.
Why is this CRUCIAL?
Because when we point the blame onto someone else, nothing gets resolved for you and the things that you can improve on will not be visible to you.
As you read this, you may start resisting and coming up with thoughts in your head as to why you have a mismatched job (or lack of satisfaction or money) and why it isn’t your fault.
That’s your Ego showing its face. Your Ego is just defending its status quo, but it is by no means necessary for you to take it to heart. Let it go. Your Ego is not YOU.
Now, say it with me:
“Hello, my name is________, and the reason I am in this situation today is because of ME.”
The sooner we accept the above for any situation which brings us pain, the sooner we can amend it.
The 2nd Step Towards Your IDEAL WORK: Techniques
The next step would be to identify what you want out of a job. If you’re not sure, think about the logistics of your ideal job and how it would better fit into your life. What hours would you like to work and in which location.
If you are still having trouble coming up with a great job scenario (in addition to the hours and location), take everything you hate about your current job and create opposites. For example, say, you hate being micromanaged. What that really means is that at your next job you’d prefer to have more autonomy. Continue this technique until you have a somewhat complete list of your “wants”.
The 3rd Step Towards Your IDEAL WORK
Once you know what you want out of a job, or a business, clearly written out, write out your goals. Not only your career goals, but, “start with the end in mind” (as Stephen Covey shares in his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).
Here are some questions to help you identify your goals:
- Where would you like to be in 5, 10, and 20 years?
- Where would you live?
- What car would you drive?
- What kind of relationships would you have with your spouse/kids/family/friends/coworkers?
- How much money would you want in your bank account?
- What’s your income?
- What other hobbies would you have leisure time to enjoy?
- What would you like to become a master of?
Those may be tough questions to answer, especially for those of us who constantly feel rushed and overwhelmed with work and home life. When we live in this “urgency” state of mind, we tend to forget to stop and look ahead. If recognize this, the fact that you most likely are in this “urgency space”, you can now give yourself the space to breathe for a moment and do this kind of work, as mentioned above, and really make a difference in your life.
Once you have your vision for 20 or so years from today, you can start to go backwards to form smaller, shorter term goals which will eventually lead up to the bigger ones, like a step by step guide. Some people find it helpful to build the goals bottom up, in reverse, so it depends what feels better to you.
You can make this process of “goal identification” as detailed or as brief as you like, since the main action for you to take now is to simply START. Start small and add on as you go, if that’s more your style. Or if you’re an achiever and go-getter, feel free to dive right in, just be tactical about it.
Step 4, START!
Now that you have some more clarity of what you want and where you’d like to be (in terms of career), at least more than before, decide what kind of work you’d like to do.
Do you want to…:
- Change departments
- Change jobs
- Change a career altogether, or
- Start a side business to supplement your job and give yourself a creative outlet?
Whatever you decide, remember that being in consistent ACTION is key for attaining the results you want. What will serve you best is if you set a time aside, every single week, maybe a few times a week, and conduct your job search for an allotted amount of time. Applying for jobs and then eventually going on interviews is all about practice. The more you do, the easier it gets, and the more clarity you’ll have where you need to be working.
If you decide to apply to new jobs, you can see what’s out there, what sounds attractive to you, and go with your gut. If you want to apply to a job that sounds right but you don’t have much experience in that field, ask yourself what attracted you to that job description in the first place?
Bumps In The Road Are To Be Expected
It’s also worth mentioning that whatever may be causing you to stop in your tracks anywhere in this process, it can be dealt with. When you start paying attention to what your thoughts or beliefs are regarding whether you’re good enough or have enough value to add to a company, these are the exact same beliefs that kept you in a dead-end job all these years. Notice what you believe about yourself, your capabilities, how much do you care about upholding your self-image, and so on.
Now realize this: you have come this far in life for a reason. You were obviously good at something, you not only survived but likely have some positive outcomes to show for it. Use this to get to the center of your authentic self. Not to sound preachy, but I truly believe this: each one of you have a set of personal qualities and strengths unique to ONLY YOU.
How to identify your strengths and align yourself with the right employer or realize you would do well to start your own business:
- Think of what you can do that comes easily for you but not for others
- What are you best at in your current job?
- What brings you excitement?
- What would you not mind staying up late for to complete?
- What topic would you gladly talk someone’s ear off?
That line of questioning would lead you closer to your ideal work environment or role.
What if all your past work experience is not at all related to your ideal job situation? This is definitely a possibility, and it is the reason why it’s so important to start looking at job postings regularly to see what is out there (as well as talking to other people about it). Eventually, what will happen is that you will start noticing that you are attracted to certain types of positions. Look deeper into them and identify what about those jobs interest you, specifically.
Chances are, if you’re passionate about the work you want to do (and have a good work ethic), you will make a great asset to that company, no matter what your past experience is. The right employer for you will have the same vision or mission as you (most of them put it on the job post). Find those employers that are aligned with you.
Keep in mind, however, that this is a filtering process.
If you go into the job search with the mindset of, “I have to prove myself and ace the interview,” you will likely get nowhere but only achieve a change of scenery for a short period (by getting the same job in a different company). The goal here is to show the real you, your passionate side and seek out where your “tribe” is.
It’s like pretending to be perfect on a 1st date or just before you get married. Sure, it’s fine at first, but the person you pretend to be will attract the wrong mate, who will forever have expectations of this “ideal” you, causing disappointment and pain in the future.
If You Are Still Clueless About Your Passion or Purpose
If you still have no idea what kind of job you want to be doing or you have too many ideas, you may be unclear about your life purpose. We all have one, but we don’t all recognize it (hence the many grumpy people in this abundant land of America).
On my journey to finding my passion and purpose, I have found the following to be useful, either for myself or for others, in gaining clarity of where they would fit in best:
- work with a coach or a mentor
- sign up for the Life Purpose Course by Leo Gura at Actualized.org
- sign up for a Karmic Map Reading from a spiritual guide (for example, Ihar Cherskiy from NYC at EnergyExpert.online)
- complete a Behavior and Motivators assessment (usually from a coach or buy it yourself).
Now, I don’t have contracts of any sort with the above-mentioned companies, these are just some suggestions, but I have seen people I know personally gain significant traction and start on a new career path using the methods I just mentioned (myself included). You can do this on your own as well, it just may take a bit longer.
There are likely multiple other options out there for helping you figure out your path to your ideal career so remember to take all advice with a grain of salt and do what feels right the most. The more mentors you can have, whether it be a coach, an author, or a podcastor, your truth will be somewhere in between all of them, as Leo Gura calls it, the Triangulated Truth. The recommended number of mentors to have is 3, so you don’t experience information overload.
Career Success on the grand scheme of things
Unfortunately, I could not keep this article as short as I planned and I thank you for staying with me this far. But I hope this was valuable to you and that I was able to communicate that your less than ideal work situation right now is not a surface issue that could be fixed with a simple distraction, or “band-aid,” like changing jobs on a regular basis. There is tremendous hope of great improvement, if you take the action.
The most important points, if you take anything away from this article, are these:
- Take responsibility for your current miserable situation
- Create goals
- Create the ideal job scenario, your “wants”, opposites of “don’t wants” in a job
- Identify your life purpose
- Take ACTION, seek out your ideal job
Like all things in life worth doing, this may take some time to figure out and experiment with, but it will take you to a place where you can feel free, fulfilled, purposeful, and authentically YOURSELF, for the rest of your life.