You’re struggling at work, and you’re hit by a sinking sensation — maybe, when it comes down to it, you’re just not the right fit for your job.
Very likely, this could be imposter syndrome at play. But even if it’s true that you really aren’t the best suited to your role, and that the people you work with share this opinion, it’s also worth noting — this isn’t the end of the world. At the end of the day, your job is, well, a job. You can always find one that suits you better.
If you’re beginning to question whether fit could be behind your feelings of overwhelm, here are the signs it might be a good idea to open yourself up to different types of jobs.
1. You feel like you’re constantly working — but find it hard to quantify your impact.
All you do is work, it feels like. And yet, accounting for the actual impact your work has led to feels challenging. Where did the hours go?
2. Your colleagues rarely or never ask for your opinion.
If your colleagues never ask for help from you or even for your thoughts — and that’s true even for situations in which you have relevant expertise — it may be because they don’t trust your authority on the matter. Alternatively, they may feel like you have too much on your plate already. Either way, that doesn’t bode well for your image at work.
3. You’ve had responsibilities or assignments pulled from you.
If you get the sense that assignments that would ordinarily be directed to you are being redistributed to other teammates, it may very well be tied to how your performance or capacity are seen.
4. People are asking if they can lend you a hand.
We all have moments when we’re particularly slammed with deadlines and would welcome aid from coworkers. If you are very regularly on the receiving end of these offers, though, they might be coming from a pointed place.
5. You can’t imagine a future for yourself at the company.
Can you see yourself working for this company, in your current function or a related one, five years from now? One year from now, even?
6. Your boss asks to be CC’ed or otherwise looped into your communication.
If your boss hasn’t always been a micromanager but is paying close attention to your work now and making a point of staying looped in, that’s a shift worth paying attention to.
7. You’re having a hard time falling or staying asleep.
And when you are able to fall asleep, you often find yourself having stressful dreams about your job.
8. You fantasize about quitting, often.
A lot of folks indulge in job-quitting fantasies every now and then. But if these fantasies have picked up steam for you, and you find yourself feeling genuinely invested in or attached to them, that’s a sign it might be time to pivot paths.
9. You can’t remember the last time you felt truly excited about your job.
Despite the narrative we’re fed that our careers have to be wellsprings of passion or that they’re otherwise, by default, not worthwhile, it stands to be noted — if your job is simply a job to you, that’s OK. And yet, most of us do spend a majority of our conscious hours working.
Even if your job is simply a source of income to support other important areas of life, it should still excite you — maybe not all the time, but sometimes. If you can’t remember the last time you felt anything other than dread about the prospect of going to work, that’s a surefire sign that a change could do you good.