We all have to work our way up, and especially when you’re young you can expect to work some jobs you don’t really like and aren’t as fulfilling as you hoped they would be. If anything, it’s part of life.
Once you graduate college, you’re going to be hunting for that one job. I could know. After I graduated college in June of last year I started freelancing to combat this, but I quickly realized that it’s hard to pay all your bills, save up to rent a place, pay back college debt and have money on the side to do fun stuff. It’s certainly possible, and although I love the freelance life, I quickly realized how much I missed actually going to work, chatting with co-workers and being actually done at the end of the day.
Long story short, I’m on the hunt for a job again. This made me think about how to know when a job is right for you – and how to know when a job isn’t right for you.
You might not know that the job isn’t right for you right away, it could be months or years before you start realizing that you’re unhappy where you are. Here are three signs to look out for.
You’re not giving it your 100%
If you’re truly invested in your job and love the challenge, you will give it your 100%. But if it isn’t the right job for you, you will quickly find yourself not really caring about the work and how well it’s going. You won’t be giving it your 100%, instead, you’ll give it just enough. This happens to a lot of people, and it’s definitely a sign that this job isn’t for you in the long run.
You’re ashamed of your job
If you can’t bring yourself to tell others what you do, you’re in the wrong job for sure. Of course, we live in a society where some people are shamed for the work they do, and it sucks, but if you’re perfectly happy in your waitress job (absolutely nothing wrong with that, I know people who love working in the food industry or customer service!) you shouldn’t be ashamed to tell others about it because you love it and you care about what you do.
You’re constantly waiting for the next big thing
Do you find yourself scrolling through jobs near you on LinkedIn or Indeed? Are you dreaming about something bigger, more challenging and where you can actually learn something? Big sign you’re in the wrong job. Your job apparently isn’t utilizing your skills, you’re not growing as a person and the job is probably beneath your skills (or doesn’t fit your skillset at all). Maybe it’s time to actually apply to those jobs.
So, what now?
Working a job you don’t like sucks. I was listening to a podcast episode called ‘When To Let Go Of Your Dreams’ by Ladies Who Lunch (ep. 43) the other day, and Cat and Ingrid talked about how you sometimes have to do something you don’t really like in other to do something you do like. This is a natural part of life, but it’s important to set a time limit for yourself.
- I’m only going to work this job until I’ve saved up enough money to start my own business.
- I want to move to a new place within a year, that’s the maximum amount of time I’m going to work this job
- I’m only working this job to pay the bills, as soon as I can find something better, I will let it go.
I think we owe it to ourselves to find a job we actually enjoy doing. Yes, working a crappy job with good pay can be a good short-term solution, but when it starts interfering with your happiness and creativity, it’s time to start looking at other options.