How you know you are outgrowing your job
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Towards the end of last year I came across an article on the CNN website with the intriguing title 7 signs you’ve outgrown your job. In summary, the article suggested the following seven areas.
Seven signs you have outgrown your job
1) There is no room for growth – you have more to offer and nowhere to offer it.
2) You don’t feel satisfied – your contribution is no longer fulfilling.
3) You aren’t getting new opportunities to learn – you’re off a path and onto a treadmill.
4) You don’t align with the company’s core vales – maybe you used to, but you’re values and those of the company are now on divergent tracks.
5) Your salary hasn’t budged – which means that with inflation you are, in real terms, taking a year on year pay cut.
6) You become a work daydreamer – you spend more time wondering about what could have been, than about what could yet be.
7) You watch the clock – you’re counting down the time to when you can go home or even when you can leave work for good.
The five “disses”
You can explore the same scenario from the perspective of five “disses.”
Disengagement, the feeling that you don’t really belong any more.
Dismantling – your normal way of working and acting isn’t having the same impact it once did.
Dis-identification – when people ask you what you do you have the feeling inside that the person you are describing is not really “you” anymore.
Disenchantment as when your hopes and aspirations for your job or career don’t look like they are ever going to materialise. You’ve hit the “nevers” (I’ll never be CEO, never be a partner, never introduce the new initiative I so believe in).
Disorientation – you thought you knew how your organisation worked and your place within it, but when you get to work you start to feel lost.
There is hope
The good news is that you can re-focus these negatives into a positive movement towards personal reinvention. Try this:
From disengagement to re-engagement. Since disengagement is typically a cooling of a former emotional attachment, what’s getting you excited now? To what is your attention being drawn? What are you starting to think more about now that wasn’t on your mind until recently?
From dismantling to re-designing. You’ve built up a wonderful store of experience, skills, and relationships which are just crying out to be remoulded and re-modelled into something new. What space opening up in your life that was previously filled?
From dis-identification to re-engineering. When thinking about your job, instead of describing it in terms of what you do, describe it in terms of what you are doing. Then move your thinking on to what you want to be doing next?
From disenchantment to re-envisioning. What unfulfilled dreams and hopes do you have to carry into a new life phase? Which of these could be closer to fulfilment now?
From disorientation to re-orientation? What priority will give you focus for the immediate future. It’s likely that the priorities that took you into your current job or role have fulfilled their purpose. What guiding star will give you your new “true north”?
It’s good to talk
A conversation with a coach can help you re-frame how you see your current work situation and to find a way out what can feel like a current impasse. If you feel your performance is dipping it may not be that you are less effective in your role – it may be a sign that, with a change of environment, you could be capable of a lot more. That conversation could be your first step in a new direction.