So many people wonder if they’re in the right relationship, but just as many wonder if they’re in the right job. Given how much time we spend at work, it’s understandable that disillusionment or uncertainty about it can significantly impact our sense of wellbeing.

In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I go through some of the reasons why we question whether we’re in the right job in the first place. I also share key signs that suggest that we’re in the wrong job or that we certainly need to re-evaluate and make a shift. I’ve also included some exercises and questions to help you get your job situation figured out.

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Some nuggets from the episode

Reasons why we question whether we’re in the right job include…

  • Anxiety and worrying is how we spend our free time.
  • We struggle with Imposter Syndrome because we haven’t internalised our accomplishments and achievements.
  • We like the job, we just don’t realise that we do.
  • Having a ‘grass is greener’ mentality.
  • Based on who we are and where we’re headed, we’re not sure if the job is a fit. 
  • We didn’t choose the job. 
  • Being there for the social life, feeling part of a community, even though things have felt wrong for some time. 
  • Love the job, can’t stand the people or company. 
  • The job isn’t what the company said it would be (or what we assumed). 
  • We can’t actually say that we like/love our job. 
  • Being pigeon-holed. 
  • We’ve ignored niggling thoughts and feelings for a long time. 

It’s tricky to be committed to something if the whole time we’re in it, we’re wondering if we should be out of it.

  • Is it the job, or is it how you’re going about the job?
  • If you’ve relied on other people to steer many of your life choices, you won’t know what you want.
15 signs you’re in the wrong job (or that you certainly need to re-evaluate)
  • You’re becoming less of who you are. The job brings out the worst in you, has you regressing into a child role, or forces you to go against your inherent nature.
  • You have a better understanding of your needs and intentions. You’re not the same person who took the job, so you’ve outgrown the job.  
  • The reasons you took the job no longer exist or have changed significantly.
  • Every day feels like you’re walking through treacle. Lost your spunk. Hating your life. 
  • You’re working extremely long hours to try to prove yourself or to try to keep up with an unreasonable workload that you’re also not being paid for.
  • Your emotional needs aren’t being met by the role. 
  • You’re self-medicating to get through the week. 
  • You’re on autopilot. Boredom, but also a sign that you’re out of touch with yourself and disconnected from your thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • You’ve been complaining about the job for longer than you haven’t.
  • You don’t believe in what they’re doing, or your values are at odds with the company culture.
  •  You’re working around or for people where you would need to take on a role that reminds you of other unhealthy relationships in your life.
  • You don’t feel challenged or valued. Might feel as if you’re peeing your time up a wall. Can you grow and develop? Do you want to go on to bigger things? Some people don’t want to, and that’s OK. But if you’re not growing in life because of the job, then, yeah, it’s the wrong job.
  • You don’t want anyone else’s job in the company, or possibly in the industry!
  • You’re almost praying for a catastrophe or contemplating something else that isn’t a good fit to give you an out from the job.

If you had your time all over again with respect to this job or career, would you still do things the same way?

  • Get clear about what you like and dislike about your job. If in doubt, track your week including noticing how you feel and which things and people are getting on your last nerve. 
  • Get a sheet of paper and write down your associations with the terms job and career. So, write down all memories, phrases, basically anything that springs to mind. Examples: X is a good job. This is a job for life. Working in X is the best job you can get. You’re not supposed to enjoy work. Only quitters quit. Creative careers are for pansies. There’s no money in art and creativity. It’s very hard to break into X. You work until your 65 when you collect your gold watch and VCR. Companies frown on you for taking time out from work. No one takes part-timers seriously. It’s very hard to get back into the market if you leave X company. You can’t get a mortgage if you’re self-employed (or, it’s much harder to). If you’re not hustling/struggling, you’re not working hard enough. Only people who are willing to sacrifice sleep, family and basically a personal life are successful. 

Is questioning your job a metaphor for how you’re living your life or the way in which you go about making decisions?

  • It’s not possible to be all-singing and dancing over every itty-bitty task and element of your job, but if you don’t like, never mind love what you do a lot of the time, you can do better.
  • If the job doesn’t match who you are or want to become, and basically what you want, then yeah, you’re in the wrong job.

Sometimes it takes being in the wrong job (or relationship for that matter) to figure out what the right one is. Think stepping stones rather than got to get it all right in one slick move. 

  • It’s ok to be in the ‘wrong job’ as a means to an end for a short to medium period of time. In that case, it might be the wrong job but right for right now in that gets you to where you need to go.
  • Stop carrying on as if it’s the only job.
  • Some jobs aren’t the “right” job; they’re stepping stones — and that makes them, with the benefit of hindsight, the right job for that phase of our journey.

Links mentioned

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