How to Know You Are Pursuing a Wrong Career

Ways of knowing you are in a wrong career

Many career experts are of the view that people who devote their time and energy to a job they are not cut out for are likely to end up frustrated and unproductive. This article shares the warning signs of such a sorry situation.

Introducing the issue
Many career experts believe that, in today's world, many people battle to climb the wrong career ladder. Some blame it on high rates of unemployment, others say it is due to poor career advice or lack of it. One thing they agree on is that it is very tough if not near impossible for an individual to succeed in a profession that is not meant for them. The reason is simple: square pegs won’t fit in round holes.

In some cases, it takes years for people to realise they made a mistake in choosing a career. When that happens, some take steps to correct their mistake; others end up stuck, forced to settle for limited success.

There are numerous warning signs an individual can look out for in order to determine if they have erred when they decided what profession or job they would spend their time doing. Many people who would have been millionaires if they had channeled their energies into pursuing the right career, battle to survive on the wrong job.

Wrong Career Choice: Man sitting and leaning on a table dejectedly

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Signs of a wrong career

Some of the signs that an individual is walking the wrong career path are:

1). Lack of pride in your career
When friends ask for career advice and the only thing you can honestly tell them is to stay clear from the one you are in; when commuting to your job, your mind is already busy planning your schedule for the moment you clock out; when you wake up on Monday wishing it were Friday, again; when you receive a ‘Needs Improvement’ on your performance review; when your employer decides to transfer you to another functional department to ‘see if things might improve;’ when you get on an elevator and somebody asks, ‘how’s it going?’ and you answer, ‘It’s going;’ when you find yourself fantasising about a ‘lost time injury;’ when you are more excited about the food in the cafeteria than any new client or business announcements; and when you have calculated and have a running tally of the number of days you have to ‘survive’ to be ‘fully vested’ in your company’s retirement system.

2). Lack of passion or commitment
Forbes Magazine contributor, Erika Anderson, writes in an article that by reviewing the surroundings, job satisfaction and the connection with the profession, an individual can deduce whether the career or job is the right one.

On surroundings, she says the realities of the job and the company matter. According to her, it matters whether the work space is comfortable and it makes it easier to do good work. She adds that it also matters if you have the tools and resources you need, and if you like the people around you and consider the processes and policies reasonably efficient.

Job Satisfaction:
When it comes to what you do, she explains that questions regarding whether your day-to-day job “consists of things you like to do (for the most part) and find engaging and challenging.” It also matters if “your job generally plays to your strengths – that is, is your success at work primarily dependent on doing stuff you’re good at doing?”

Here, Anderson writes, “Are you passionate about the company’s mission? Are you proud to be associated with it? Do you feel reasonably content and grateful to be working for this company, this department, this boss? Do you feel acknowledged and supported to succeed? If somebody asked you whether you’re planning on building a career here, would you say yes?”

Experts at say the following signs also indicate that you are in the wrong profession:

3). You drag yourself to work everyday
If you find yourself dragging yourself to work today, looking forward to your dentist’s appointment and hoping you are sick every morning, then you are not enjoying your work. It is a sign that this career is probably not giving you what you are looking for in life.

4). You aren’t good at your work
One of the reasons people enjoy their job is because they are good at it. Knowing that you excel at what you do makes you instantly happier about your job. Conversely, if you just can’t get your head around what is expected of you, you will be unhappy. It’s time to consider another career.

5). You hate talking about what you do
When you go for a party or a date, if the last thing you want to talk about is your job, then you aren’t happy about what you’re doing and probably need to consider a different line of work.

6). You constantly complain about your job
Constantly cribbing and bitching about your job means only one thing – you need to get another one. Then consider if it is the workplace, your colleagues or your boss that you can’t tolerate or if it is the work itself. If it’s the latter, look out for a new career.

7). You go in late and leave early
Lack of motivation manifested in going in late and leaving early is a sure sign that you don’t enjoy what you are doing and should probably consider a different line of work. Regularly shirking your work means you just don’t like your job.

8). You spend most of your time on the social media
At work, if all you seem to be doing is browsing on Facebook, then either you have very little work or you don’t care to complete your work. Both are definite warning signs that you are in the wrong career.

9). You don’t feel challenged
Some people get extremely de-motivated when they find themselves in a role that does not challenge them. They will drag themselves to work, bunk whenever possible and generally perform badly. If you are not challenged about your work, consider a different career.

10). You look for ways to keep busy
If you keep finding yourself looking for ways to keep yourself busy at work, it means you are not challenged and you don’t have enough things to do. Both are certain recipes for disaster so reconsider your career right away.

Concluding the matter

It is a big decision to change your career particularly if you have major responsibilities, however, if you find a job you love, you will not have to work a day in your life, because you will find yourself enjoying what you love to do. So, if you are experiencing any of the signs above, bite the bullet and change your career.

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