Dreaded Monday mornings may not be a sign of being in the wrong job – but if coupled with declining work performance, a feeling each day drags or sickness hits when on holidays, it probably is not the best fit. It is common for workers to start out their working career in one area then find one day they are no longer happy, performing well or what they wanted is not what it seemed.
Outplacement Australia career coach Gillian Kelly says more often than not promotions or opportunities come up and workers unconsciously drift off their path to end up in a role they did not plan to have. Workers can also make conscious decisions to move down a path that is not as great as they thought it would be when they started. “But there’s always opportunity to take action and control over your career, it’s never too late,” she says. “You’ve got to balance your needs – your personal needs with if you’ve got bills to pay. “It never hurts to explore and look for ways to move into a better fit.”
Poor performance is the first key indicator workers need to watch for. “But that’s not necessarily the case – sometimes you can be really good at doing something but it’s not necessarily a fit for you,” Kelly says. “You might have been promoted into roles; you might love the actual technical job itself.” Typical signs of not being interested in the job such as dreaded Mondays, time dragging at work or not liking tasks ring true. However, it may be the organisation rather than the role that is the bad fit. “You might be in the right job and the job might change and the organisation might change, or the team might change,” she says. “It might be you that changed. “It’s really about looking and really analysing what it is about this position... or what it is that you might want to get out of bed on a Monday morning for.”
Stuart Taylor, founder of The Resilience Institute Australia, says less obvious signs include withdrawal. “This is one of the first signs of decline where we are pulling back from our normal level of interaction with friends, family and colleagues,” he says. “A key indicator at this level is that my thinking is more pessimistic and self-doubt is prevalent. “My performance is dropping off. I am disengaged and demotivated about my job.”
Being prone to illness, fatigue and time off indicates neglect and burnout – getting sick when on holidays being a major red flag, he says. Feelings of drowning or physical problems such as hyperventilating, suffering a skin rash or high blood pressure also are warning signs.
So What Now?
Workers need to take stock of their situation and take control of their careers. Taylor recommends considering if it was the job or the worker’s approach to it that is the root of the issue. “I think it is a big mistake to think that making a career/employer change when in decline will fix the issue,” he says.
“The grass is not always greener on the other side and it is likely you will find yourself in a similar predicament unless the root cause is addressed.” Define what tasks are enjoyable, personal strengths, skills, values and what brings career satisfaction. “It’s about exploring and finding what is a good fit,” Kelly says.
“Once you know that, you can make a decision to move forward with that – look to re-skill or retrain, or may be it’s just moving to a different team within your current organisation.” Obtaining professional support and advice from an organisation such as the Career Development Association of Australia is recommended. “If you’re unhappy and you’re feeling that, it’s never too late to do something about it,” Kelly says. “It’s far too long to be at work and not enjoy it.”
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