If you are constantly distracted and not motivated to come to work, it's a warning sign, says Lakshmi Murthy.
Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
Most of us join an organisation just because we cracked an interview and the organisation is willing to pay the salary we asked.
It is only later in the day, that it dawns upon us that we are either in a wrong career or a wrong job.
Sometimes it is possible to undo and at times one has to just accept the present situation and forgo one's dreams.
The first step towards undoing is to realise and accept that one is in a wrong place or a career before it is too long.
Here are some warning signs to take note of:
- Your learning curve and interest in doing new things goes down every successive year. There is this nagging internal feeling that one is not doing anything worth
- The idea of going to office puts you off and you try finding ways of not reaching on time or fall sick often.
- The project and assignment deadlines no longer challenge you nor do they pose a threat of consequences if not completed.
- When you evaluate your day, you end up feeling that you have not done anything new except for fire fighting and routine/ mundane job.
- The job you are considered good at may not be relevant in recent times. Most of the jobs are becoming redundant within 5 to 10 years. For example, with the advent of online sales of retail product, sales jobs are being redefined. In these times of social media, those in print media may be at some loss.
- If you expect a standard increment from your appraisal, you are in the wrong place. If you are in the right job, you would deliver beyond expectation and will definitely not look forward to standard salary rises.
- While at work, you are constantly distracted and are unable to focus on any one area or complete a task, it is a bad sign.
- You generally avoid being with the team or interact with them. You do not feel like sharing anything with anyone ( personal or professional). You are contended working in isolation.
- If you go out and are generally not very excited to share about your work/ assignment or organisation. There is this feeling of being ashamed.
- You have this general feeling always that someone is out there to get you. You have bad relations with your customer, boss, colleagues... in fact everyone.
What can you do?
The easiest thing to do is to get out of the job or career and find your passion.
But this is not possible for everyone.
There can be alternatives and one should consider various factors before making that move.
One should take any decision to change or move based on one's situation. Example: If you have joined an organisation after two successive short stints and then you realise, that you are in a wrong job, you should still hang around for a little longer to get the feeling of 'stability' before moving on.
You should move only where it will be a quantum jump and will change your career graph.
Tips to keep in mind
Take care of your financial needs
Always ensure that the day-to-day financial needs of self and family are met before making the move. Because, finding a job or career of one’s passion or liking takes time.
You might want to try some alternative methods to earn money while you are on the lookout for your dream career.
Talk to people
Talk to the seniors or friends on such requirements.
Having understood the requirements, then one should learn the skills, stretch a little to execute some tangible projects/ assignments which generates others interest.
Make a list
If one has to look out, then make a list of ideal jobs and situations. Also list down the requirements of the jobs and match it with your current skills.
After the self-examination, find ways to bridge the gap either through training or certifications or projects.
Start creating resources and external network which you can leverage to fulfill your dreams.
If possible, look for a senior mentor or guide to help you find direction.
Read about the job/ career and industry in which you would like to make your life. Once you are fully prepared, start applying for the jobs.
If the job is something you have never done in life, then go through reference as most of the hiring managers would like to hire a person with relevant skills than a rank outsider.
Moreover, while you are exploring options, keep in mind to deliver results in your current job.
Organisation prefer hiring people with winning attitude rather than those with expertise and bad attitude.
Look for opportunities with confidence and a well thought out career movement; not as a victim of fate or bad decisions.
The author Lakshmi Murthy is chief people officer, ITM Group Of Institutions, a vocational training and recruitment institution.