Posted 15 December 2014 | 0 Comments

With the possible exception of the Cadburys product tasting team, everybody has a bad day at work from time to time. There’s no need to panic about your career choices if you’re not deliriously happy every day,  but when the bad days start outnumbering the good it might be time to consider your options.

So here’s the BIG question; how do you know when you’re in the wrong job? Of course it’s different for everyone but to help you decide if you’re where you want to be, we’ve put together a list of the major factors to think about. We’re good like that.

You big know it all

It is unlikely nowadays that your first, second or even third job will be your last.

Your job may provide you with excellent experience and lay the groundwork for your future career but, if you have learned everything there is to learn in the role and there are no further training opportunities within the company, it’s time to give some serious thought to furthering yourself elsewhere.

Change the record!

If you find yourself having the same conversations day in and day out with your friends and family about your gripes with the job or the company you work for, it is definitely time to change the record and do something about it!

Everyone can get stuck in a rut. It’s so easy to just keep plodding on even when you’re unhappy, but don’t allow fear of the unknown or just being downright lazy in your job search to hold you back. When you start noticing eyes rolling (or worse, glazing over) when you gear up for your rant of the day about work, you know you’ve been unhappy too long. Get your CV updated and start looking for something you can really enjoy – you’re loved ones will definitely thank you for it!

NOTE: Before you get started on writing your new CV, check out our top tips: Spring Clean Your CV and CV Mistakes – 5 Do’s and Dont’s

All dressed up and nowhere to go

Unless you’re the CEO, knowing you have the possibility of progression can be a major motivator  at work. You want to be the best you can be, work as hard as possible and prove that you deserve to take the next step in the business and in your career. But what if you’ve reached the highest you can go?

This can happen for so many reasons. Perhaps you work at a legal firm and, without achieving the necessary qualifications, can’t get to a higher point because it’s simply not allowed. You might work in a family run business where management/board level positions are reserved for those with their names above the door, or maybe it’s as simple as believing you will never progress beyond colleagues who have been with the business longer.

In some cases, there really is no step forward and if you want to move up you will need to look elsewhere. Sometimes companies just aren’t interested in developing more junior staff and that doesn’t mean you should give up on your aspirations.

It’s worth noting that in these situations you should always broach your concerns with management; you might be mistaken and find your work is more valued or your path more clear than you think. Many companies will fund training, carve out new positions or at least make clear that length of service doesn’t always mean the same as hard work and talent when decisions about promotions are being made.

If you’ve considered and discussed your options and still find you’ve reached a dead end, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Square peg, round hole

Cultural fit is a major part of the recruitment process that is often overlooked by hiring managers, job seekers and recruiters alike. (Not us obviously, we’re totally on the ball.)

You might have found a job that was perfect for you on paper but that doesn’t mean much when you find you don’t get on with your colleagues or enjoy the way the company works. If you crave freedom in your work but the business is all about process or love structure and feel you’re given too much space, you should spend time looking for a role that is better suited to your personality and style.

Aint nobody got time for that !   

This is certainly a less common problem, or at least it’s a problem many never realise they have because life and other issues get in the way.

Consider this; you like the people you work with, the money is great, training abundant and progression opportunities are rife. Sounds great right? Of course it does. But when you’re in this enviable position, you might find yourself starting to wonder whether you actually want the career laid out ahead of you.

If you are dealing with this issue, it’s likely you’ll feel that you’re being ungrateful or that it’s foolish to “look a gift horse in the mouth” but your career is a huge part of your life and you need to be sure the one you are building is the one you want. Don’t waste years climbing the ladder only to find you don’t like what’s at the top.

Take a good look at the work your managers do and if you feel comfortable doing it, ask them what they think your future will look like at the company. If you like what you see/hear then you’re golden. If you don’t, take a step back and think carefully about what you really want to be doing. Your time is precious, spend it wisely.

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