“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs said this to a graduating class at Stanford in 2005.
At that time, the concept of “meaningful work” was already pretty well-established. But this expression had barely appeared anywhere before the 1970s. In that era, managers started telling workers how they should discover their lives’ true purposes through work. Before that era, it was assumed by many that all jobs sucked.
At present, dollar compensation is no longer a sufficient driver of job motivation. So, many people are wondering whether they’re supposed to love the jobs they carry out.
Of course, there are many who love what they’re doing. For them, the jobs they carry out every day aren’t ‘work.’ But what about people who feel disillusioned about their jobs?
Is it true that they suck at their job or are they feeling this way because matters are a bit more complicated for them at the moment? Differentiating between the two is critical because no one wants to quit a job that matches their career objectives. There’s always the option of “learning to love” jobs. On the other hand, continuing to do work that you hate can lead to various problems.
Many people hold on to poor work situations. They suffer from burnout, dehydration, and other stress-related ailments. In fact, burnout risk in offices has increased by a whopping 33% since 2020.
Now is the right time for employees to discover whether they’re truly bad at their jobs. Or are there some inner issues that they themselves need to address?
What are the Signs You Suck at Your Current Job?
Here are some clear signs that you and your current job might be incompatible –
1. Personal Frustration
Are you constantly feeling that you’re letting of certain dreams or goals by sticking at your current job? It is probably time to move on, especially if your current job isn’t enhancing your long-term career objectives.
2. Your Skills are Underused
Self-actualization is key to workplace success. So, when workers feel that their skills are not being used at their workplace in a proper manner (and probably never will be used properly), it’s normal for them to seek career changes.
3. Hostile Work Environment
If your peers or seniors start giving you cold shoulders, it is possible that there are some deeper issues at play. Maybe they aren’t pleased with your progress at the workplace. Maybe their cold shoulders are subtle hints asking you to voluntarily leave the workforce. Or it could all be in your head. But if you keep getting cold shoulders from the people you share office space with, it’s better to silently start looking for alternatives.
4. Constant Criticism
You will agree that some amounts of negative feedback are always welcome, and often helpful. But what if employees start receiving nothing but poor feedback and criticism from their peers and their seniors? Then it may be time for them to reconsider their career options. Consistently poor feedback in performance evaluations in particular is a clear sign that the job in question isn’t suitable for the candidate.
5. Physical Ailments
Difficulty sleeping, changing appetite, irrational mood swings – these are just some of the ailments people suffer from when they’re working in the wrong jobs. Notice how all of these ailments are symptoms of depression? Well, that’s what happens when there’s a constant source of negative energy in your life. If the job is that source of negative energy, the wise thing to do would be to first get evaluated by a doctor. Then, employees should address the real problem which is the job itself.
6. Lack of Enthusiasm
Many people take up jobs that are uninteresting for them. They intend to just keep roofs over their heads. Most still manage to cough up some level of enthusiasm every day. Do you feel that whatever little passion for work you had when you started the job is waning every day? Then it is better to quit the job. In this way, you will avoid serious mental breakdowns.
7. Deteriorating Skill Levels
Consider this case- things you used to be good at seem like impossible mountains to climb at your current job. Then there’s a high chance that your mind has experienced sustained periods of burnout and anxiety. Such negative impacts lead to the degeneration of skills, talents, and productivity levels in the long run.
8. Multiplying Vices
Many professionals cope with work-related stress by treating themselves with vices. Be it increasing numbers of cigarette breaks or adding piles of comfort food – when your work-related stress compels you to direct your resentment towards your own body, it’s high time to reevaluate your career prospects.
Find any commonalities with these symptoms? If not, answer these basic questions and see which category your responses fall under (negative or positive)-
- How much time do you spend venting about your work to yourself or to trusted friends/family members?
- When was the last time you had a raise?
- How much time have you spent engaging in hobbies or spending time with friends/family in the past year?
- What was your last memorable day off?
- If your answers to these questions are negative in nature, you should reconsider your tenure and start looking at new solutions.
Should You Consider Changing Yourself?
People who dislike their jobs but don’t want to risk quitting hastily should consider this 4-step approach –
- Avoid gossip and baseless information.
- Resist negativity and look for positive qualities of your job and your employers.
- Develop coping mechanisms to address minor issues and qualms at the workplace.
II. Long-Term Perspective
After rigorous self-assessment, employees need to understand whether their problems come directly from their jobs or from other underlying issues.
- Let your seniors know what’s bothering you
- Resolve the small things about the job that irk you.
- Focus on the work.
III. Reproaching Work as a Concept
Now, start adding factors like personal time, time spent with family and friends, day-offs, etc., to your assessments.
- Ask for vacations.
- Take sick leaves to reenergize.
- Recognize the instances where you need breaks.
If that crippling feeling of being out of place keeps returning even when you’re not overworked, it’s time for changes.
If none of these steps, mind hacks and de-stressing periods have solved the problems you face at work, it’s better to conjure up some nerve, skills, and financial risk and pursue work that you’re truly passionate about. Quitting a job is harder than it sounds. But sticking to a job that you hate is much worse!