Most of us have jobs while only some of us have careers. What’s the difference you ask? Well, a career is the job you wake up each morning excited to get to it. It fulfills your needs by utilizing your potential, building your achievements in your industry, and completing fetes and accomplishments that lay the groundwork for your ultimate goals for your profession.
When you have a job like most of us after the financial crisis in 2008, you experience a dreading of going to work each day because you’re unhappy with the lack of satisfaction of achieving something worthwhile. Yes, you have a job and it pays the bills, but it doesn’t speak to your passion and your need to achieve the goals you’ve set for your life. When you’ve been told the job market is hard and having a job is a blessing in itself, it’s hard to express feelings of frustration for that particular job.
What happens if you leave and then you’re stuck unemployed for months or even years, searching for the position you truly want? So, why leave a secure position for the unknown? How do you know if you’re stuck? When do you decide enough is enough and move onto something different and meaningful? Well, there are signs that can enlighten you:
1. Waking up in the morning doesn’t fill you with happiness and a desire to rush to your job. When you’re happy with your position, you’ll find you can’t wait to start your day and get down to the bare bones or nitty gritty of daily tasks. These tasks will actually fill you dread and loathing instead. You’ll even feel resentment towards the tasks because they don’t mean anything to you but tedious busywork.
2. You look for any excuse not to work while at work. You can’t stand the idea of being there so you’ll leave before it’s time, show up later than scheduled, and find any excuse to take a break throughout the day in hopes of getting away from it, even if it’s just a few minutes.
3. The clock is the slowest moving instrument you could ever imagine. It’s like a child waiting for Santa to come on Christmas Eve. You can’t stop staring at the clock, willing it to move even as it ticks away at its normal pace.
4. Your position should fill you with excitement at the new challenges that are presented to you each day. With these challenges and deadlines, you should be feeling an adrenaline rush of achievement when you accomplish your tasks and exceed the expectations of others. When you hate your job, you don’t feel anything but boredom and/or redundancy of the tasks that leave you unsatisfied and unchallenged.
5. Getting to know your coworkers and like spending time with them inside the four walls of your company is what makes most teams work well together. That’s not to say that drama and other issues can come up from time to time, but how all of you deal with those issues is what makes a team work. When one member of the team can’t stand the others for whatever reason, the team is no longer working. If you’re the person that can’t stand your coworkers, then it’s time to move on because you’re resentment or hatred towards them can affect the team dynamic and how customers see the company.
6. When you’re at work, do you dream of doing something else or being somewhere else? If you do, then it’s time to take the first baby steps towards those dreams you have. If you work in retail or an office, but your dream is to be a writer or a painter, then you’re in the wrong field entirely.
7. Work isn’t always meant to be fun, but you should find some enjoyment in the tasks you complete during your workday. When you come to hate your job, you have lost your excitement in the smallest of tasks and that can bring on a dreadful and resentful feeling towards your job, your employer, and even your coworkers.
8. Do you find yourself prolonging your time before work for as long as you can? Are you fighting the urge to just crawl back into bed and ignore the outside world where your job awaits you? Then, you’ve reached a point in your professional life where you’re ready to examine what it is you want. If you’re not ready to take the steps towards achieving what you want, then you should try to find something decent about your work. Otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time getting through the day.
Familiarity with any of these signs and feelings towards your current position should make you pause and ponder the ramifications of staying in that position for your well-being and that of the others around you. You want your job to meet your expectations and your needs so that you’ll feel connected to your position, to your employer, and to the company.
If those aren’t there, then it’s probably time to move onto other pursuits that do make you want to jump out of bed each morning and greet the day as you hurry off to work. With the economy slowly recovering and depending on your situation, you may find that now is the right time to explore your options and follow your dreams. Take your chance when you have it because not all us are so lucky.