Have You Outgrown Your Job?

By Mel Sim

The obvious signs and what to do about it.

You’ve been at your entry-level role for a while now and seem to be really getting the hang of it. You’re gaining valuable experience, meeting all the right people – hey, you’re even doing some work that’s above your level.

But there’s also that same old, same old feeling that makes work sometimes… well, boring.

Sounds like you? Guess what – you may have outgrown your job.

And it’s perfectly normal! After all, you are supposed to “outgrow” your job as you get better at it, which means you are ready for something more challenging, whether it is a promotion, a new job function or even maybe a new role in a new company (if there’s no way for you to go up in your current role). But there is a difference between just needing a break and really outgrowing your job. In the former, you’re tired and just want to give it a rest for a while, but in the latter, here are the signs.

#1 You are constantly bored
In the beginning, doing certain tasks may really excite you. But once you’ve aced it and can do it with both eyes closed, well it can get a little boring. Boredom is normal in most jobs now and then but if you are constantly feeling bored at work, it’s a sign that you may need something more. Not being challenge is a good indicator that you’ve outgrown your job. It basically means that you’re not learning anything anymore which is why you’re bored.

#2 It’s not fun anymore
Yes, work can be fun – whether it is working with the best team or doing work that is really exciting. You may have once completely loved your job and can’t wait to get to work every morning but if this doesn’t seem like the case anymore, then perhaps it’s time to move on to something else. Especially if you aren’t getting the same satisfaction anymore! But take note though: Your job doesn’t have to be dreadful in order for it not to be fun; it’s as easy as not getting any gratification from it anymore and not feeling inspired to go to work.

#3 Your salary isn’t moving up
This is a HUGE indication that you’ve outgrown your job and that it’s time to move. If you’re still being paid what you were two years ago, chances are you are not going to get paid any higher anytime soon. It could be the company that isn’t appreciating your input or you’re not exactly growing in your job so your boss doesn’t see the need to “reward” you with a new salary.

#4 It just doesn’t feel right anymore
Remember how excited you were on your first week at work, feeling like you’ve hit the jackpot with your new role? You’re likely not to feel it now if you’re two years into your job but if there’s a nagging feeling that the job isn’t right for you anymore, chances are it isn’t right. Also, there could have been a change in management or in your role which may not sit quite right with you. Or maybe you’ve become a different person from when you first joined. Either way, if deep down inside you feel that the job’s not right anymore, listen to that gut feeling.

#5 Your colleagues are outpacing you
So you and Colleague A started at the same time but she’s miles ahead in her role, maybe even your team leader now. This can be discouraging and make you feel like you’re not doing it right. Let’s face it – sometimes you may not be the right fit anymore for the job or it may not even be the one for you in the first place. Nothing wrong with that; it’s just an indication that perhaps you’re better suited for something else.


Yes, yes, yes to all of the above? So what do you do? There are a few things you can do:

#1 Give it a while
Sometimes the feeling is temporary (maybe you’re going through something in your personal life?) and if you sit it out a little bit longer, you may find that you’ve not outgrown your job, you’ve just become a little disillusioned. Give it a month before you really decide what you want to do.

#2 Talk to your boss
Gave it a month and nope, still feel the same? Address your concern to your superior. Be honest about how you’re feeling and see perhaps if your team leader can give you something more to do in your role or even look into a promotion if you’ve been performing all this while.

#3 Ask for a change in role
Maybe offer a temporary solution by asking if you could try doing something else… or volunteer for something completely different from what you’ve been doing. Explain to your boss that you’d like to have a chance to try something new to see if maybe you would be better suited for that. It could be temporary so this way you aren’t stuck in a new function that you’re not suited for and you can always go back to your old role and be better at it having tried something else.

#4 Look for a new job
When it really comes down to it, if you’ve really outgrown your role, then it’s time for a new job. Whether in the same company or somewhere else. It is natural to want to progress in your career. So if you feel like you’ve got more to show, then time to polish that CV and resume!

Read this to find out how you can attract your new boss with a spectacular CV.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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