Most successful people will tell you that you've found your dream job when work doesn't actually feel like work. Here's how to tell if that definitely isn't the case in your current rareer or job role...
The Shine has Worn Off
The job you were once proud and excited to rave about to friends and family has now become the one that you “don’t want to talk about,” and its very mention is met with rolling eyes. It may have become the one that makes others sorry they asked about due to your 10-minute rant about everything from the décor in the building to annoying co-worker habits, to the fact that you feel over-worked and under-valued. The nostalgic feeling that your job (and your future) was rich with possibility has worn off and even major company projects, advances and achievements don’t excite you. Is this you? If so, step back and examine the root causes behind such feelings.
You Are Just Getting By
The days of kissing ass, jumping through hoops and going above and beyond what is expected are things of the past. Instead, now you do the bare minimum. The length of time spent in the office has slowly began to dwindle, after-work plans are made with zero regard to the possibility of having to work late and that extra cocktail on Thursday night is now welcomed rather than refused. After all, your start time is now 10am when it was once 8:30.
It’s a Challenge to be Challenged
At the other end of the spectrum is the job that feels like you have done all the learning and professional growing you can, and thus tasks and projects that were once challenging and inspired you to push yourself have now become routine. This is especially typical for young professionals when there is no immediate opportunity for a promotion, raises or increased responsibility. When your job loses its challenge, productivity (and enthusiasm) tends to dwindle.
You Have Grown Too Big for Your Britches
When you started, you were very respectful of your seniors and your co-workers and they may have even intimidated you. Now, even though you’ve become friends with the boss, you have begun to walk around like you own the place. Instead of eating at your desk, you take lengthy lunch breaks a la the company credit card. You delegate jobs to interns that you could easily do yourself and refuse tasks, projects and clients if they are not an optimal fit in your opinion.
You Daydream the Day Away
Do you spend more and more time at your desk dreaming of your ideal job, life or vacation? This likely means that you are not happy in your job (and/or life) and are looking for a means to escape. Perhaps you have been drinking a little more than normal to facilitate this escape from reality. A few drinks here and there are normal and a vacation is essential to relax and reflect but if you are counting down the minutes until the clock reaches 5 or go to sleep (and wake up) feeling depressed on Monday mornings, then you need to re-evaluate.
So, is this you? If so, what are you going to do about it?