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The Top 5 Signs You May Be In the Wrong Job and What You Can Do About it Today

This is a guest post written by Farnoosh Brock, the founder of prolific living.


My problem with my corporate career was never lack of motivation. I have more motivation and drive than I can know what to do with!

My problem was that I had no idea I was in the wrong place and that is why no matter how much success I had, how much money I made, how many stock option they granted me, I continued to be unfulfilled. For a while, I was convinced that I was the most ungrateful woman, something so unlike my personality. I appreciate the smallest things in life and yet I could not find fulfillment at work.

It turns out nothing was wrong with me. In fact, I am pretty special and brilliant as are all of you reading this right now. The corporate lifestyle and the whole idea of working for someone else doing something I did not enjoy, now that was the real problem.

How do we get so foggy about simple truths?

I think we ignore clear signs staring us in the face.

I ignored all the signs that were telling me to do meaningful work. And that cost me time, our most precious asset. So in an attempt to save you the wasted effort, I share with you the top 5 signs you are in the wrong job with immediate actionable steps on what to do about it, because as Sibyl reminds us often, the possibilities of today are endless and I add, if we only pay attention once in a while.

So let’s get into these 5 clear signs and some immediate advice for the near future. Ideally you will be leaving this job behind with a smart exit strategy someday but until then, put these tips to work:

the top 5 signs:

Sign #1: Boredom and extreme distractions: You feel drained at the work place and enjoy distractions more than your work.

Actionable advice #1: Come up with one single aspect of your work that you enjoy. Focus on that. Then talk to your boss. Propose arrangements to focus more of your time on this aspect. Tell him this is your strength and true gift to the organization.

Sign #2: Doing it just for the money: When you look at your career simply as a job, and when you do it just to get a paycheck, you are acting more like a robot than a human being – and yes, it can be done. I did it for years; I didn’t give up that sweet income easily. Nonetheless, this is not a good sign!

Actionable Advice #2: Find something that you would do for free for the rest of your life: If there were one thing you could do without getting paid, what would it be? Don’t be hasty. Even your hobbies can bore you if you do them daily. What is it that you really love to do with a passion that only grows rather than fades? Then do that on the side as you keep the day job. Get to know your strengths. Perhaps, this can be your foundation as you find your way out of this wrong job.

Sign #3: Dread going through the motions: You dread waking up in the morning. You don’t want to go into work at all.

Actionable Advice #3: You can make arrangements with your boss around telecommuting. When your boss trusts you, you can create a way to work and be productive remotely. As a full-time telecommuter for 6 years, I can attest to how wonderful that was. Even if you do it once a week, you break up the routine so you can push through the week easier.

Sign #4: Feel completely indifferent to company direction and news: You no longer care about what happens to your company. You have unplugged and no longer identify with the organization.

Actionable Advice #4: Find a community where you can belong: As human beings, we need to belong to a community so find one  – either inside or outside of your professional life – where you can belong and meet positive people that can be your new influencers. Who knows, the new community may just become your next great adventure in your career!

Sign #5: Zero sense of excitement or pride for your project: You have no drive to do good job and this goes so against your own work ethics and yet, you are not motivated at all. You get by with just the bare minimums.

Actionable Advice #5: Create the beginner mindset: When you feel so detached from your work, you need to create serious beginner mindset to shift gears and put you in steep learning mode. See if you can move around to a new project or team. The beginner mindset can engage your brain and helps you get through your days with some excitement.

For a full list of the signs you are in the wrong job, watch my recorded group coaching call here.

If you are ready to create a step-by-step exit strategy out of the wrong job and pave the way on your true path, check out the Smart Exit Blueprint. Registration is open only through the end of this week.

Farnoosh Brock left a 12-year career at a Fortune 100 company for her pursuits in writing, coaching, blogging and building her company. She talks about smart habits for rich living with a focus on helping people create a smart exit strategy out of the wrong job to their true path. Oh and grab the 14 weekly power career tips and uncensored corporate escape advice from here!