There comes a time in most people’s lives when they start questioning their career choice. Finding the right career or even the right job is nothing less than a journey of self-discovery and learning. The path you’re on now may seem smooth and somewhat consequential, as it does for most. And yet, between 60 and 80 percent of those in certain fields are unsatisfied with their jobs. So, you may be among them without even knowing.
There are certain telltale signs that the career you are pursuing is far from the perfect fit.
1. A Strong Feeling of Dissatisfaction
- Dissatisfaction leads to several other issues that make it more and more difficult to stick to a job or a career.
- You’re starting to resent Monday mornings and every other work day for that matter, and taking increasingly more sick days.
We all have a bad day or even a bad week. However, as time passes and the feeling continues to grow, you may want to revise your choice of job and career. It’s true that we can’t get all things right all the time, but a strong, constant feeling of dissatisfaction will only wear you down long-term. Consider your health, well-being, and another career path.
2. Postponing and Procrastinating
- There’s a tendency to postpone anything even remotely urgent and procrastinate until the last minute.
- You stick to a career just because there’s a flickering hope that if you bear it for long enough, the incompatibility alert will go away.
When we find ourselves trapped in the wrong career, it’s easy to lose sight of the experience and skill sets we gained along the way. As such, feeling resentful is not too far behind. When we are resentful, we seem unable to master the energy to tackle new tasks assigned to us. When you find this happening to you, stop and reassess your priorities. It could be just a temporary phase, but ask yourself if in one or two years from now you’d still bear to be there.
3. The Feeling that You Are Living Somebody Else’s Dream
- You are pursuing the career because you couldn’t afford the expensive tuition fees for the studies that interested you the most.
- You followed down this path because it seemed lucrative in the past, yet now it doesn’t fit your personality.
A career that doesn’t fit will inflict boredom, unhappiness, confusion and the feeling of uncertainty. It’s never too late to choose a career that makes you get up in the morning and not dread another week at work. Perhaps you could create your own dream job and achieve full independence and accountability.
So by all means, ditch that retail job and start pursuing a marketing career if that’s where your passion lies. Obtaining a true sense of satisfaction in your professional life is not easy. There are always going to be obstacles along the way, but as long as you take that first step towards fulfilling your dreams, you are on the right track to achieving true happiness.
4. The ‘What If’ Game on Repeat
- You’re daydreaming about a completely different career while you’re postponing the new projects piling up on your desk.
Playing the “What If” game may be fun for a while. However, when you ask yourself “What if I had chosen a different career path in college?”, “What if I had become a photographer?” or others of the like, one time too often, it’s time to act upon the answers and move on.
5. The Mismatch between Your Goals and Those of Your Employer
- Your employer subtly asks you to sacrifice a part of your personal life in favor of the job.
- Your employer tips every balance in favor of the company.
Reconsider your personal goals and figure out if they resonate with those of your employer and the broad vision for the company. Nowadays, careers are fluid. There is no point in investing time in a company which may not offer you the possibility of maintaining a healthy balance between your work life and your personal life, or room for advancement.
6. The Feeling that You Are Undervalued
- New challenges don’t come your way anymore.
- You have the feeling that you are stuck.
For a while, it’s normal to grab every opportunity laid before you and prove your skills and value to the company. The problem arises when those opportunities turn into a routine which sadly doesn’t leave room for further advancement. That means it’s time to consider moving on, provided the situation has been ongoing for a while. It might be the job, or it might be your career choice altogether.
7. The Perceived Limits to Growth
- You aren’t given opportunities to shine.
- Nothing has the power to bring back the excitement you felt on the first day of the job.
- Your skills are taken for granted, and there’s no new promotion to shoot for.
These are telltale signs that you might need to opt for a different career. Nowhere to grow in a company, both professionally and personally, is almost always synonymous with discouragement and numbness. Don’t let it settle in. Instead, focus on new endeavors.
8. Not Caring as Much as Your Colleagues Do
- Your colleagues seem excited about the next project meeting, new possibilities, and accomplishing objectives, while you are not.
- You remember that, in the beginning, you were just as excited as them about the chance to affirm yourself.
- In a different time, you would push for your ideas and your team, but now it seems less of a priority.
Nowadays, deadlines are missed, procrastination takes the lead and meetings seem somewhat pointless. The eagerness from the beginning turned to numbness, and you no longer look for opportunities to bring your ideas to the table. Instead, you put up increasingly less resistance to anyone else’s pitches and let the time pass by until the end of the meeting. The sooner it finishes, the sooner you can go home. If you find yourself adopting that mentality, perhaps it’s time to adopt another career instead.
9. The Job Burnout
- You feel a longer period of constant exhaustion.
- Your work takes its toll on your mental, emotional and physical health.
- Constant work-related stress transfers to the home environment and hurts relations.
Work is intense for everyone who takes their job seriously. While there are moments when we feel exhausted after a long day, it becomes a problem when it starts to affect visibly us. Weight gain, weight loss, and inadequate sleep are symptoms triggered by stress and the incumbent job burnout. You should consider taking a break, regain your strength and even think of another career path. Nobody wants to live with constant stress, fear, and exhaustion.
10. Not Being Able to Express Yourself Freely
- Your work environment doesn’t encourage employees to push their ideas forward.
- You think and re-think everything you are going to say out of fear.
- Your employer does not encourage you to express your opinion.
One of the pre-requisites of every job or career should be to allow people to express themselves freely. Some work environments are very restrictive in that regard. However, it should not be considered normal. Your career and job should support your path to growth and become something that keeps you happy, interested and excited for every minute of every day. If it doesn’t, consider taking a step back.
Don’t shy away from change. Take a daring leap of faith and move on. The chances are that it will be worth it, and you will find yourself wondering why you haven’t done it sooner.