Have You Chosen the Right Career?
Here Are the Tell-Tale Signs

See also: Personal SWOT Analysis

Picking a career path is among the toughest and most crucial moments in a person's life, whether it is for the first, second, or tenth time. At the same time, finding an opening for your dream job may be quite a rare occurrence, so it is imperative to give it your best shot. After all, letting such an opportunity simply slip by because you didn't put enough effort into preparing for it could turn into one of your biggest regrets.

Naturally, the first step would be to create a stand-out CV that will perfectly represent your strengths as well as the skills and expertise you would bring to the company. While it may sound simple, many people struggle when deciding which of their work experiences are the most relevant for the role they are currently applying for. If this is the case for you as well, it may be worth trying an expert CV writing service. Doing so will ensure that you will get a customized CV highlighting both the necessary work achievements and your unique personality.

After passing the resume round, going through the live interviews, and landing that seemingly perfect job opportunity, you may start wondering if that was actually the right choice. This is a normal reaction as many professions may seem quite glamorous when observed from the outside. Here is a list of eight important tell-tale signs that your current job and you may not be made for each other.

1. Feeling Constantly Overwhelmed

While being overwhelmed when just starting a job may be acceptable, that is not the case if it has become a regular part of it. Good managers would never let their employees be swamped by difficult tasks.

Continued pressure could lead to poor results, low motivation, missed deadlines, and other negative outcomes. If the situation doesn't change even after talking with your manager, it might be time to start looking for new job opportunities.

2. Day-to-Day Tasks Differ from the Job Description

Sometimes, hiring managers are forced to use a job description that doesn't align perfectly with the actual position. Such issues are more common in larger companies where the job descriptions cannot be easily modified. As a result, the candidates may have very different expectations compared to the actual reality of the job.

A good starting point in tackling this problem is to have a serious conversation with your manager about your current role in the company and how it doesn't match the image you were presented with when applying for it. If nothing changes, even after an extended period of time, then it should be clear that this is not the place for you.

3. Lack of Growth Opportunities

If you have exhausted the avenues for growth in your current organization, it may be another sign that it is time to move on. Keep in mind that vertical advances and promotions are not the only types of work-related growth.

Getting new and exciting projects, learning how a different side of the business operates, having access to educational tools, or being mentored by one of the organization's senior managers can all prove to be invaluable opportunities for personal and career growth.

Try to conduct a formal discussion with your manager about such options. If all of your requests are denied, and the company as a whole seems unlikely to change its stance in the foreseeable future, then you shouldn't waste more of your precious time there.

4. You Are Not Being Challenged

There is an unquestionable comfort in doing an easy job that doesn't require much in terms of quick thinking or constantly refreshing and expanding your knowledge. Underusing your skills, however, is not a good idea.

Staying in such a position means that you are intentionally limiting your growth potential and thus missing out on far better job opportunities. In addition, it may lead to complacency, a false sense of achievement, or low work motivation.

5. You Are Not Following Your Passion

No matter how good the salary and the perks are, if you are not personally interested and invested, it will not be a good career choice in the long term. It is simply not feasible to force yourself day after day to do something that you do not derive any enjoyment from. If this sounds exactly like your current situation and the organization cannot offer a more fulfilling role, you should consider leaving.

6. You Can't Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Spending sufficient time out of the office is necessary to revitalize yourself, clear your head and return to work with new energy and fresh ideas. No job is perfect, however, and occasional overtime work may be necessary in order to meet a looming deadline.

Problems arise when this becomes a common practice or if each employee is expected to stay regularly after official work hours. You should consider this as a severe warning sign. Having to work overtime and the skewed work-life balance that comes as a result can have an adverse effect on your health, mental well-being, productivity, motivation, and lead to subpar work results.

Try to establish clear work boundaries with your manager. Still, if there are no indications that anything will change, it may be for the best to continue your career at a different organization.

7. The Impact of Your Work is Not Visible

To keep employees motivated and ready to give their all towards achieving the current tasks, companies should strive to clearly demonstrate the impact that each job position has on the overall business.

Otherwise, employees may start feeling disillusioned with their current roles or consider their contributions to be meaningless and thus not worth putting in their best effort. Approach this problem by talking with your manager and asking for tasks that play into your strengths and have a more evident impact on the organization.

8. An Unhealthy or Toxic Work Environment

While your specific job may be close to ideal, if the overall work environment is unhealthy or exhibits toxic tendencies, it may be for the best to walk away. Prolonged exposure to a hostile work atmosphere may seriously impact your mental state, lower motivation to even go to work, increase stress, and lead to severe frustration.

Some characteristics of an unhealthy work environment are overly punitive management practices, interpersonal problems between the senior leaders that spill out and affect the employees, harassment or shaming of certain employees, and more.

Even if one of these warning signs is present at your current career choice, it may be a deal-breaker if it is severe enough. Sit down and try to answer a single question - Would you recommend your current workplace to your friends? After all, why are you still staying there if you don't consider the company good enough to recruit your friends?

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Develop the skills you need to get that job.

This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.

About the Author

Andrew Arkley

Andrew Arkley is the founder of PurpleCV, one of the UK's leading CV writing providers. With over 15 years’ experience in HR and recruitment at a senior level and having conducted thousands of interviews, he knows precisely what it takes to land a job! Andrew has personally written over 3000 CVs, and since its inception PurpleCV has grown rapidly to encompass a UK-based team committed to providing market-leading CVs for any job seeker or individual.