We’ve all had that experience when it feels like we’re just going through the motions, but with work being such a big part of our lives, it’s important not to get stuck in a rut that becomes impossible to get out of. Work shouldn’t be a chore. Here are five signs you might be stuck in a dead end job and some tips on getting out.
- Doing it for a pay check. Financial security is obviously important, but if the only thing you like about your job is the pay cheque, then it’s probably time to move on. Work can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Make a list of things you’d like to get out of work and then go out and look for a job that matches that criterion.
“There is an employer out there who will appreciate you and what you can contribute to the business,” say Kristine Tuazon, Principal Consultant at Good People HR. “Take action and start applying for new jobs – the first step is always the hardest, but also the most important.”
- Unreasonable expectations. If you’re getting emails from the boss at 3am calling a meeting at 7am, it might be time to start looking for a new job. Maintaining a work-life balance is crucial for your physical and mental well being. It’s simply unacceptable that any manager expects his or her staff to be available 24 hours a day.
- Everyone leaves after a few months of starting. High turnover of staff is usually a tell-tale sign that there’s something fundamentally wrong within the business. It’s often a reflection that staff aren’t happy for whatever reason, and suggests there might be a problem with the culture that’s driving people away. If you notice this happening it might be a good idea to discuss it with a work colleague you have a good relationship with. Ask them why they think everyone is leaving.
- Not feeling fulfilled or rewarded. You’ll find that if your work gives you a sense of fulfilment you’ll perform much better. Moreover, it can have beneficial effects on your life outside work; it will bring you much more joy and happiness.
- No challenge or opportunities for growth. If you look at the people in positions above you at your workplace and think, “I don’t particularly respect them and the job they do,” it might be a sign that you need to look elsewhere for advancement. Similarly, if everyone around you has been stuck in the same role for years, it might be a sign that there are just not enough opportunities where you’re at for career progression.
Moreover, a change in career, while daunting, can be an enriching and worthwhile experience.
As Tuazon reminds us, “Remember that happiness is not the employer’s responsibility, it’s ours, and we choose it every day – in every moment. So use this “dead end job” as a lesson to interview who’s hiring you next to ensure you don’t fall in this rut again.”