By Artur Meyster
the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.
Most people decide from a young age what their career will be, but not everyone makes the right choice the first time. The old-fashion idea was that nobody loves their job and that it was normal to hate working. But now, it is more common for people to follow their passion, even if it means changing careers at the age of fifty. If you’ve been feeling unhappy with your work, these are eight signs that warn you that your job isn’t for you.
- The Goals of the Company Aren’t Your Own
One of the main factors to work comfortably in a company is to believe in the company’s goals and adopt them as your own. If your values are aligned with the impact the company wants to make you will feel happy; you will feel your work is accomplishing something good. Generally, if you feel like your job has a purpose, you will be more likely to want to do it.
On the other hand, if your values and beliefs don’t align with the company’s goals, everything about your job will have negative connotations for your mental and emotional health. For example, if you want to work in a position that helps the environment, but you work for an oil and gas company, you will always be disappointed.
- You Don’t See Opportunities to Grow
Life is constant change and growth, so it is normal to expect a career where there is always that next step to improve. If you believe you are in a place where you can’t grow further, what will motivate you to be better? It can also happen that the possible growth opportunities aren’t enough of a challenge or don’t align with what you want to accomplish.
People without a vision for the future lack an incentive for innovation and creativity. So, you will start performing poorly in your job position anyway. In that case, it is better to make a drastic change than continuing to ruin your reputation as a productive worker.
- You’re Constantly Bored
A clear sign that your career isn’t for you is that you are always bored at the office. This can mean a lack of challenge or that you just don’t believe that your work is essential. Besides, bored workers get distracted easily and end up with low productivity levels.
If you have some dull moments in your job, that’s ok but if you find yourself constantly bored and distracted, pay attention because this is a sign. After all, what’s the point of spending every second of your life waiting for the next Friday or the next vacation to finally escape work?
- You Don’t Use Your Strengths
It is hard to imagine that anyone can choose a career at 18 and it will be the right choice for the rest of their lives. Sometimes people want jobs that don’t necessarily exploit their strengths. Everybody already knows that people have different types of intelligence and personality traits.
Thus, if you find that, after a few years working, you aren’t exploiting your strengths, this a sign that your career isn’t for you. Something as simple as having the natural skill of talking with strangers is a valuable skill. But if you are a WordPress Developer instead of a salesperson, you are probably wasting that skill.
- You Lost Your Passion
Having a passion for what you do is vital to have a career that makes you happy. It will motivate you to do even the most tedious tasks because you will feel that every little detail counts. A loss of passion can occur for different reasons, like a demanding boss, negative coworkers or office environment, and even family problems.
If you believe that your work isn’t essential any more and you lack passion, try to analyze what is the source of this feeling. However, if you spend hours daydreaming about what you could be doing instead of being at the office, then that probably means your career isn’t for you.
- The Negative Outweighs The Positive
Sometimes negative feelings caused by your work can have different sources. For example, you could be hating your job right now, but it can be related to the company you are working for and not your career choice. It can also be a problem with a coworker that’s generating the negativity.
An option to evaluate if your career is right for you is to make a list of the pros and cons. If the cons and negatives outweigh the pros, then don’t think more about it and make the change. More negative aspects will only continue to make your life miserable.
- You Are Constantly Overwhelmed
Being in a career where you are always overwhelmed with responsibilities means you aren’t in the right position. Sometimes it is hard for our pride to accept that our skills aren’t enough to do something. But being overwhelmed will only lead to stress and, in the end, poor performance.
So, if you feel like this, take the time to consider if the position is too stressful for you or just the career doesn’t mix well with your personality. Either way, being overwhelmed all the time is a sure warning sign that something isn’t right.
- You are Not Motivated To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning
All the signs mentioned before add up to a lack of motivation that will make getting up in the morning a hard task. There is nothing more meaningful than getting up happy because you are excited about your day and your work. More motivation will only bring benefits to your career. By contrast, if you hate going to work, it will severely impact your mood and your working relationships.
If you recognize some or all of this sign in your feelings about your current career, then you need to change careers. Don’t let fear rule your decisions; more people every year are changing careers late in life. Plus, there are many resources and online courses that will help smooth the transition.