9 Signs Your Graduate Job Just Isn’t Working Out Any More
It’s OK to admit that a job just isn’t working for you. Here are some signs yours is one of them.
1. You wake up dreading work.
Nobody really likes waking up in the morning knowing they have to go to work. But if you’re waking every day hating the thought of it, it might be time to question why that is and what you can do about it. It could just be a change you need to make in your own lifestyle, or it could be the job itself that needs to change.
2. You constantly berate yourself for your mistakes, however minor.
Making mistakes can be a good thing; they’re inevitable and it’s pretty hard to learn without them. The important thing, particularly in a professional environment, is that if and when you do make a mistake, you receive constructive criticism that will help you know what not to do next time. It should never be the case that each mistake you make, no matter how tiny, begins to chip away at your motivation and hinder your progression.
3. You’re still scared to ask for help.
It’s perfectly natural to feel like you don’t want to ask for help at first; you want to prove yourself capable without needing to be spoon fed. The truth is you should never be scared to ask for help, and usually once you’ve found your feet and gained a bit of confidence, you won’t think twice about asking. However, if after a fair amount of time you’re still nervous about seeking help from your colleagues, or feel you have no one you can ask, that’s not how it should be. You should never be afraid to say: “I don’t know how to do this.”
4. Food no longer satisfies you.
When you hate what you do for a living, what do you do for an ounce of happiness? You turn to comfort food. Or some of us do, anyway. I personally would leave eating my lunch to the last 2 hours before I finished work to give me motivation to complete my tasks. One day I was sitting at my desk with a box of nuts and a homemade sandwich, and each bite no longer filled me with the urgency to carry on. You should be able to enjoy your lunches and not use food as a bribe or a distraction.
5. You don’t know how to kick the boredom.
Let’s be honest, everyone gets a little bored at work sometimes, no matter how much they love their job. It might be that you’re having a quiet day, or it might be that you’re just not feeling it, but these should be occasional events. If you frequently find yourself at loose ends, watching the clock in the corner of your screen, ask yourself why. Is there something that can be done? Is there more responsibility you can ask for? Or is this job just not right for you?
6. You find your coworkers constantly annoying.
It’s highly unlikely – although not impossible if you’re lucky! – you’re going to get on with every single one of your colleagues. There’ll always be at least one person who unintentionally or otherwise grinds your gears. But if you’re in a position where you’re not getting on with anyone, the working day can become a nightmare. For me, I realised this was a reflection of how I was feeling about my job more than how I felt about everyone else. I didn’t want to make conversation in a place where I wasn’t happy, and and I didn’t want to drag others into my misery if they were happy doing their job.
7. The work you do is never acknowledged.
It’s not that you want a medal every time you complete a task, but having your work acknowledged is hugely important when it comes to being positive about your job. If you feel you’re constantly trying to work harder for approval that never comes, you’re only going to feel worse about what you’re doing. In my role, deadlines were more important than work well done, and that was very demotivating. It was almost impossible to tell whether what I was doing was actually benefiting the company or not.
8. You take multiple toilet breaks just to get away from work.
OK, so, we all do this sometimes. You don’t really need to go, but you just fancy a little walk away from your desk. But if it starts to become a habit, or even a ritual, something needs to be done. Don’t do what I did and prolong every stage of the toilet break just so I could avoid going back to work for as long as possible.
9. And finally, you keep asking yourself why you’re still staying on at this job.
“Why am I still here?” “Why don’t I just leave?” “Can I just leave?” If you’re starting to question whether the only reason you’re staying is because you feel you have to or you’re scared of what else is out there for graduates at the moment, then really the only thing holding you back is yourself. Life’s too short for complacency. Valuing being able to afford life’s luxuries is all well and good, but valuing yourself is more important. You’re allowed to look for other jobs. You’re allowed to admit to yourself that this just isn’t working. It’s going to take several leaps of faith and a lot of courage, but something better is out there.