The “funny/not so funny” article on career transition

By Julie Hubert, President and CEO of Workland

Being unhappy at work is no laughing matter. We’ve all been there at some points in our careers, experiencing it at different levels of intensity. Delivered with a little side of humour (because after all, the situation is already serious enough), here are 6 signs that you should be considering a career change:

  1. Time stops, but not in a good way: You give it your all not to look at the clock, but you just cannot seem to stop yourself. It’s only 9:15AM… When you go get your coffee, you tell yourself that it will be 9:30 before you know it and then only two and a half more hours before lunch. You sit with your back to the clock in the meeting room so that you don’t get obsessed with the hands moving ever-so-slowly. When your boss leaves for the afternoon, you are tempted to call it a day at 4:30PM instead of 5PM… Are you increasingly catching yourself counting time?
  2. You have more BAD days than GOOD ones: You dread Sunday nights and you hate Mondays. Can’t say you’re a big fan of Tuesdays either. You’re okay with Wednesday; after lunch, that is, the true halfway mark.  Thursday things start to look better but you know deep down in your heart that you are a true Friday fan (TGIF!). You even bought a funny T-shirt that says “I hate Mondays” and just wearing it kind of makes you feel better for some reason. Sound familiar?
  3. The thought of something embarrassing happening to your boss makes you smile. Okay, not too many people will openly admit it, but we have all had our Ally McBeal moments (funny 90s show) when we let our imagination run wild with funny scenarios involving our boss.  If your boss treats you like a five-year-old child, why wouldn’t the thought of him or her tripping on the stairs on their way up the stage during a national sales meeting, in front of the entire company, not make you want to really laugh?
  4. Excessively happy people annoy you more than usual: So Cassandra from Accounting is starting to get on your nerves with her cheerfulness and ultra-zen answers to simple questions like “How are you?” or “How was your weekend?” Do you purposely try to avoid conversations with certain people that you know LOVE to talk about how fantastic their jobs are or the recurring question from your brother-in-law asking you: “So…how’s work?” If you can’t be happy, then NO ONE can be that happy, right? 
  5. Your performance and concentration levels are off: Do you catch yourself sometimes staring at your computer screen on autopilot? Spending a little bit too much time planning for that next vacation in 6 months or researching that Asian cooking class you always wanted to take? You know you have a ton of work to do. You tell yourself you want to perform and give your best because it is who you are, but somehow everything’s getting in the way and your usual “motivational drive” has gone missing. You are most definitely ready for a change!
  6. You find yourself daydreaming of a better place: You catch yourself dreaming about what it would be like to pick up your stuff and leave everything behind to go work in a café on a tropical island in the Caribbean. You don’t need that big house and all that stuff after all, right? No need to leave the kids or consider other crazy extremes when just finding a better work fit will be much less damaging to your finances and career. However, since the first step to any transition is to acknowledge that there is a better place out there…Dream on!

All jokes aside, being unhappy at work is definitely no laughing matter, especially when you are the one living that reality. Oddly enough, it’s the kind of thing that seems to slowly creep up on you, taking bites out of your happiness one day at a time and before you know it, it becomes seemingly unbearable and affects all spheres of your life. What’s most important is to always be able to make the distinction between a really bad work week and a really bad job fit. A career has a fixed time frame and there is no need to waste any of your good years doing work that doesn’t fulfill you completely.

Are you beginning to see an increasing number of red lights and warning signs?If you are experiencing some or all of the aforementioned warning signs, here’s a couple of recommendations:

  1. Take some time on your own, ideally in a quiet zen place, to introspect and determine what’s important to you and what passions you at work (or use to);
  2. Determine a list of work “critical factors”, your job, company & boss “MUSTS” and objectively evaluate if any or all of these factors are missing in your current job. Is it your perception of the current situation that has to change or your procedures?
  3. Based on the results of your little introspecting session, make a firm decision to either stick or call it quits and follow-up immediately with concrete action in the direction you have committed yourself to.

Need help? If you are in a very serious situation where your wellbeing and health are on the line, never hesitate one moment to seek outside advice and counselling with a professional who can objectively guide you towards the right plan of action.

Ultimately, when work stops being fun, chances are that it is probably time to consider a career transition. Even if we try to convince ourselves otherwise, no matter how stressful changing jobs can be, it is far more stressful to overstay in a job that makes you unhappy. You deserve to find that perfect match and a company that will bring you the happiness and the job satisfaction you deserve.

Remember, it could be just a few courageous clicks away…

About me: My company Workland has developed an intelligent talent acquisition platform that automates job search & recruitment.  Compatibility between parties is calculated to pre-qualify relationships and evaluate potential fit right from the start. Welcome to the future of recruitment!