Outgrown Your Job?

By Mel Sim

Signs it’s time to move in.

It’s been three years since you first started working for your company – how fast time flies! You’ve learnt quite a bit and met interesting people from the industry. But it’s been a while … and now you’re feeling kinda bored as if every day at work is the same old, same old.

Maybe it’s a phase and soon things will pick up again.

Or maybe it’s because you’ve outgrown your job.

It is possible to outgrow what was a dream job before, and there’s nothing to feel bad about. After all, your experience has expanded and your skills improved. But the job scope remains and frankly, you could do with something new and exciting.

Sounds like something you’ve been feeling lately at work? Just to be sure you’ve really outgrown your current position and not just going through the motions of burnout or feeling unsettled, here are the signs on when your job is no longer a good fit and what to do about it.

#1 You’re bored
Unless you work for the CIA (even then, we’re pretty sure there are some quiet days!), work boredom is a real thing. And it’s a sign you’ve outgrown your job if you come to work bored almost every single day! If you feel like you’ve been doing the same things day after day (and you can do it with one eye closed) without any indicator that things will pick up in a month or two, then that’s a good sign you either need a new role with new challenges… or a new job with new opportunities. Be careful not to disregard boredom at work! A side effect of being bored is you don’t have anything new to learn – and that won’t add value to your professional life!

#2 You’re not improving your current set of skills
OK, so work is just as busy as it was but the problem is you’re busy doing the same things every day. Busy is good but busy without the opportunity to pick up new skills can be bad for your long-term goals. Ask yourself this question: Is what you’re doing every day or are there going to be opportunities to help you fill in the skills gap? Will you gain experience in your current role to meet the requirements of a newer and more senior position? If the answer is no, then your current job is not a good fit for your next move.

#3 What motivation?
It’s hard to stay motivated and productive at work if the job itself doesn’t excite you as it did in your earlier stage. If you don’t feel motivated to work harder or improve yourself for a possible promotion, then you might just be stuck in your current role for a while – which won’t do you any good in your career progression.

#4 Work pride is… meh
Congratulations on meeting that deadline! Wait, what’s that – it’s no biggie? Hmm, maybe it’s time to move on if you don’t feel any pride in your work! One of the main reasons why people stick to their role and company is because they feel they have so much more to contribute and there’s so much more to learn. But if this is the total opposite of how you feel… well, you know the reason why.

#5 What pay increase?
This is one of the most obvious telltale signs that you’ve outgrown your job – when your salary is stagnant and you don’t see it increasing anytime soon. Sure, you may have received an increment before… but that was like two years ago. And even though you’ve been working hard and putting in the extra hours, your boss tells you the company isn’t doing great and there’s a freeze on all salaries. Even if your job still has a lot to offer but if the company doesn’t seem like it’s going to be able to offer you anything more, it’s clear you’ve outgrown the company, not the job.

#6 It’s no longer fun
You used to look forward going to work and lunchtime with your colleagues… but lately, work’s not all that exciting or great anymore. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s the company – but if you’re not enjoying your job the way you did previously, you might want to consider something new. Sometimes, it’s not as if the job is making you miserable but for the simple fact that it’s not giving you the same satisfaction as before.

So what do you do if you are feeling all of the above and more about your job?

#1 Talk to your boss
If your boss asks how you’re feeling lately (because boredom is something that’s quite obvious, believe it or not), be honest and tell your boss you need something to happen soon to make your job exciting and challenging again. Maybe ask if you could learn how things work in a different department or for something extra to do. Tell your boss what your goals for the future are and how your current situation isn’t great for it.

#2 Pick up something new
If it is just a downtime you’re going through in your current position, take the opportunity to pick up some learning and development programmes either on your own or with your company. You can sign up for classes outside of work to improve yourself. Or finally have all that time to focus on yourself, whether it is to sign up for a Mandarin class, go to the gym more or read!

#3 Time to move on
If all else fails and your job really doesn’t give you anymore satisfaction, then you might want to consider a move. Get your resume in order and begin the process of finding a new job that is more aligned to your current skills and experience.

Photo by Johnny Cohen and Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

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