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6 Signs You’re in the Wrong Job

So you’re unhappy with your job. How do you know if it’s you, the company or just a phase you’d get over soon?

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BY Jared Carl Millan - 23 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

No one wants to be stuck in a thankless job only to wake up one day, some years later, and realize they’ve wasted precious time not doing something they really love. But how do you know whether you’re just having a bad day or it’s time to explore other avenues in your career?

Here’s a couple things that can help you figure it out.

1. Mondays feel oppressive

Let’s face it, no one likes Mondays: it heralds the start of a new week and the amount of work waiting at your desk. However, there’s a difference between disliking Mondays and actually dreading its arrival. If you break out in cold sweat every Sunday night at the mere thought of going back to work, then you may be in troubled waters.

2. You get no pleasure from your job

Enthusiasm is the birthplace of learning and growth. If you can’t find any joy from the work that you do, then every day will feel like a struggle, and the simplest tasks will take too much effort to accomplish. If you feel indifferent toward your job, and often find yourself questioning whether or not your work is worthwhile, then perhaps it’s time to steer yourself in a different direction.

3. There’s disconnect between your tasks and talents

“If your current job doesn't give you the stepping stones or skill sets that you need to meet your career goal, you’re usually a wrong match for the job,” says Kit Singson, president and CEO of start-up 55Square Cafe, who has had her fair share of career detours before finding one she truly feels passionate about.

What are you good at? In which areas do you excel? Are you being able to utilize your skills every day? It’s important that you ask yourself these questions because your responsibilities should be aligned with your strengths. Misallocating your resources this way is to do yourself a disservice, letting your untapped potential go to waste.

4. Exhaustion has become a lifestyle

Everyone has bad days, but if every day is a fight and by the end of it you find yourself so drained of life, physically and emotionally, then something is clearly amiss.

“You’re usually in the wrong job when you have to drag yourself out of bed every morning,” says Stephanie Oentoro, community manager for Propel Manila, one of the Philippines’ first independent digital creative agencies.

Exhaustion can be fulfilling, but if your exhaustion leaves you emotionally and mentally wiped out, then it’s indicative that its source is neither serving nor growing you.

5. You can’t imagine doing the same work for the rest of your life

This is perhaps one of the glaring signs that you’re in the wrong job. As trite as it may sound, doing something you’re passionate about gives you a reason to wake up in the morning. It keeps you inspired and motivated even in the worst of days. Not only is it difficult to sustain a job you have no affection for, but it’s also a waste of your time and effort.

6. There’s no connection between you and your colleagues

You don’t need to be friends with the people you work with, but it’s necessary that you share a real collaborative bond with them. You need to surround yourself with people who share similar vision, values, and goals, for they will help cultivate your skills and help you grow both personally and professionally. If don’t have a common ground with your colleagues, then it’s time for a change of environment.

If you suspect that you’re in the wrong job, one of the best things you can do is to be still and really ascertain where your unhappiness stems from. Is it your responsibilities? Your boss? The work environment? Then figure out whether you can do something about it.

Remember that your unhappiness doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to quit: sometimes finding a new job someplace else isn't always the right move. Sit down with your supervisors and ask to do more of what you love; maybe there’s a place for you within the company where you can fully utilize your strengths and shine.

However, if there’s nothing left for you in the company, and you’ve finally made up your mind about leaving for greener pastures, do your homework first. In this Inc. Southeast Asia article you’ll find five pointers to make sure you’re prepared to embark on the new chapter of your life.

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