No matter how interesting your job may seem to others, there’s always a chance it may lose it’s shine for you one day. It may have already done so.
Perhaps the scope of the work has changed, or your role has different responsibilities to what you signed on for. Maybe you’re a creature of novelty, and you’ve simply spent too long doing the same thing. Whatever the case may be, for many the appeal may no longer be there for you, turning a once interesting or challenging position into a chore.
How to tell when you’ve gone from hotdesk to seat-warmer? We’ve compiled a list of tell-tale signs to pay heed to if you feel it’s time to stick a fork in it – and a shortlist of things to consider just to make sure you don’t do anything rash!
Are you Grumpy Cat around the office?
The coffee’s no good. The work never lets up. Somebody stole your milk. Who adjusted your chair? If you’re the resident grump in the office, it could be a sign that you’re actually dissatisfied with your job. It may be time to look at what the root causes might be for your gloomy temperament, before you sour the workplace for everybody else.
Do you appreciate what you’ve got?
This isn’t the same as being ungrateful, or wrestling with feeling under-resourced. But it is a call for perspective. If you have a position that affords you a degree of autonomy and responsibility, you’re already ahead of some in the jobs sector. Take a moment to take stock of whether you’re taking what you have for granted, rather than making the most of your given circumstances.
Does everyone and everything annoy you?
Sure, you’re not necessarily going to get along with everyone you work with. Things won’t always go to plan. But ask yourself: what is it really that’s causing such annoyance? Perhaps, as they say, if you’re not part of the solution… you’re part of the problem. Nobody wants to work in a negative environment, or with negative people. Consider what you’re bringing to the job to make it a better place for others.
It’s time to look at the bigger picture
Maybe you took the job for the perks, and are just staying for the pay – or vice versa. Maybe you’re stubbornly sticking around for that promotion that always feels just around the corner. Maybe you stay for the people, even if the work no longer stimulates you. If you have a nagging sense that this is no longer the job for you, then you’re probably onto something.
The last thing you want is to be blind to your own feelings. You may be fantastic at your job, but if you’ve truly had enough, your attitude may be revealing more about you than you suspect. It even has the potential to damage your reputation and your future prospects.
So what to do, if you do decide the hat no longer fits?
Examine things objectively
Well, the first thing to do is to properly assess things. Take the time to examine your priorities in relation to your career and what you want out of a job and a workplace. If you’re unsure, try Debra Linder’s “4 steps to job satisfaction” as a guide.
Take stock, and take time
If you ARE unhappy, we recommend not making any rash decisions. It’s hard to think clearly and act with purpose in highly emotional states. Review how you’re feeling, then ‘sit on it’ for a few days to a week. This is just to ensure you really are ready for a change, and not just reacting impulsively to the situation. Remember: sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
Accentuate the positive…
You may even find the situation does not require a change in job so much as a little maintenance. Think about the things you do and don’t like in your job in light of the above. Is there anything that can be changed, or shuffled around for better job satisfaction? It may be as simple as requesting a new desk, extra responsibility, or more flexible working conditions.
…eliminate the negative!
Ultimately, when you’ve considered everything with a clear mind, you may still reach the conclusion that there’s nothing to be done and it is time to move on. You may be genuinely unhappy or simply feel that you’ve achieved everything you can in an organisation. And if that is the case – then move on!
Most importantly, don’t get yourself into a rut. It can be hard to see through a pervading sense of dissatisfaction, but maintaining clarity is so important. Try not to get too down on yourself or your work, as it will only serve to make it that much harder to ‘sell’ yourself to other opportunities.
Bring what you can to your work, while you can. But remember to take care of yourself and what you want. It’s your career. Take ownership of it.