By Shi Tianyun
"I hate my job!" This commonplace phrase is uttered by disgruntled staff in offices everywhere. Guilty of sprouting these four words yourself? If you are close to giving up, stop and think hard: do you truly detest what you are doing or are you just tired of what you have been doing? Yes, there are differences, as subtle as they may seem to an individual, between being a victim of career burnout and being stuck in the wrong job, as you will see below:
Signs of Career Burnout
You feel that there’s no room for progression at work
You have lost all perspective on why you are doing this job. It didn't seem a long time ago when you were full of optimism that you were going to make it big in the office. Perhaps you have been stuck in the same position for some time and in your opinion, the chance of getting promoted in the near future is close to nil.
You are tired all the time
Be it physically or mentally, your job seems to be sucking the life out of you. You are a shadow of the energiser bunny you used to be. Everyone dreads going to work on a Monday morning but even when Friday looms near, you don’t see your mood improving because you are already hating the idea of going into work after the weekend.
You become antisocial at work
Once upon a time, you were Mr Popular. But now, you avoid the pantry like the plague and decline lunch invitations, opting to eat in alone instead. You might believe that you are going through a phase in life, however, if this behaviour doesn’t happen with your personal friends and is isolated to the workplace, then the reason for this could most likely stem from the office.
You are going through the motions
The thrill of nailing that presentation or rush of meeting a deadline just doesn't excite you anymore. The lack of motivation drags you down and you are plainly doing the minimal to get the workday over and done with. You have stopped finding the meaning behind your work because you think it doesn’t make a difference to the company anyway.
Signs that you are in the wrong job
You actively seek distractions at work
Your work just doesn't interest you and you'd rather be chatting online with your pals or updating your Facebook page than completing your tasks at hand. What you do is just not important to you - you don't identify with it and pay any attention to it if the boss is not around.
Your skill sets don’t fit your job
You have certain skills you are proud of but don’t have the opportunity to use them at work. At the same time, you don't derive any satisfaction from what you do at work. Let's say you are a people person who prides yourself for your communication skills but are stuck in an office where the only interaction you have is with your computer, this disconnect between your strengths and job scope can be demoralising.
Your boss doesn’t talk about your future in a positive way
The issue here is not about receiving good feedback or a pat on the back for a job well done, your superior has not discussed with you about your mapped out career path and there is no indication that he sees you progressing up the ladder in the future.
You are just working for money
It's really all about the money. Not only do you feel that you are not learning anything important at work, your job is not part of your self-identity and you don't feel that you should invest any extra time or effort in it. But here's the danger, a pay raise may be welcomed but any amount of money won't make you love your job.
For those of you experiencing career burnout, click here for some tips on how to get yourself recharged, refreshed and raring to go again! As for those in the wrong job, here’s a tip or two on finding the right job:
• Ask yourself what you would be willing to do for the rest of your life for free. You'll find that the answer will turn out to be your passion in life. Steer the direction of your career towards that passion and you will fall in love with your job!
• If quitting your job isn't an option right now, think about how you can change up your current job. While you might not be interested in the scope per se, are there any new tasks or responsibilities you can pick up to challenge yourself? How about moving to another department or position? Your boss will be happy to help; after all, he also does not want to face a sullen employee every day!
How did you cope with a career burnout or being in the wrong job? Share with us in the comment box!
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