When you are in a job it is hard to step back and evaluate how you are going. Managing priorities such as work load, new requirements, issues and office politics will consume most of your time. You don’t want to find yourself falling behind in your career, becoming irrelevant or burnt out. It is good to step back once in awhile to assess how you are doing at your job.
While most of us have rough patches in our jobs, there are some warning signs that you have to watch out for. If these signs are persistent, it would be a good time to reconsider your career options.
What are some of the things to watch out for?
Taking on two jobs for more than a month
“I love my job and the way my boss and I work together. When my boss was struggling to fill a vacancy I put my hand up to do both jobs. It’s now been three months and I am exhausted with working such long hours.”
While it is great that this company brings out such loyalty from its employees, accepting to take over the role of two employees at once for more than a month is not sustainable. Competent leaders do not burn their staff out. They assess the situation and recommend alternative options to alleviate the situation.
If you are unfortunate to have an incompetent manager, it will be your responsibility to propose alternative solutions. Prevent yourself from making your manager’s issue your issue.
Spending most of your time doing routine tasks
“I am good at complicated reconciliations. Now my boss is asking me to help the team whenever they are stuck. My days are filled with reconciliations!”
You will not build your strengths by repeating routine tasks that you are good at. Make sure your days are not filled with routine tasks. It is better to do your job efficiently and then put up your hand to do project-based work. Project-based work will build on key skills and relationships that can advance your career.
Constantly being set un-achievable targets
“Not sure how they decide the targets.They are highly unrealistic. . I wish someone had the guts to tell the bosses about this.”
If you find this is the case year after year, there is something wrong with the approach. Targets not only relate to sales and marketing, but also technical and operational functions. Stretch targets are great as long as there is a high chance of reaching them. You shouldn’t be in an environment where fair effort is not recognised or rewarded.
Being in your comfort zone
“I know the job inside out. I am on auto pilot at the moment.”
While this may seem like a dream come true, in reality it means you are stagnating or going backwards. Finding innovative ways to do your job can help you grow and demonstrate that you continue to add value to the organisation.
No time to network
“With the busy job, travel and events, I rarely find time to socialise with anyone.”
It is normal to be focused on your job, especially when it is exciting and rewarding. But it is equally important to know what and who is out there in your industry or profession. You never know what changes may come about in the future. It is important that you have a sound network to rely on if you have to find other opportunities.
Not staying up to date with the latest professional trends
In all professions, the need to keep up with the latest trends and insights is critical. If you are not conversant with the latest you will cease to be relevant. In time, you will no longer value to your employer. It is best to keep abreast to these latest developments through courses, professional training or reading.
Taken for granted?
“I spent the whole weekend working with the IT and warehousing guys to fix this major customer delivery failure. But then, on Monday, the boss didn’t even ask me how I was.”
Doing a great job and not being appreciated or valued will not take you far in your career. Make sure that you are aware of how you treated by the leaders in the organisation.
Take time out now to consider if any of these things resonate with you. If so, it is time to consider how to break this pattern.
If you need help with your career register with Stridez.com.au.