Are You Showing Signs of Job Dissatisfaction?
Did you bounce out of bed this morning excited to face the day ahead? Or did the thought of getting up and going to work make you wish you could stay snug in your bed?
If Monday mornings are a low point in your week, it may be a sign that it�s time for a new career.
Often you know what you want subconsciously before you know it consciously. While you may still be debating whether or not to stay at your job, your subconscious mind may have already decided it�s time for you to move on.
Most people who want to quit behave in ways that are noticeably different than employees who are satisfied with their jobs. Try the following quiz to see how many of these "quitting signs" are true for you. For each statement, note whether it is something you Often, Sometimes, or Never experience. (If a statement doesn�t fit, feel free to adapt it to your situation or skip it.)
1) I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
2) I'm late for work.
3) Once I arrive at work, it takes me a while to actually get started working.
4) I sit at my desk and daydream.
5)I have less patience with customers or co-workers than I used to.
6) I spend time at work doing personal tasks.
7) I look at job websites on the Internet when I�m at work.
8) I get impatient with rules and red tape at work.
9) I take longer breaks than I should.
10) When I have to phone people as part of my job I spend more time chatting than I need to.
11) I feel tired during the workday.
12) I don�t bother mentioning concerns to the boss because it�s usually a waste of time.
13) If I leave the office during the day, I take my time getting back to work.
14) I do the minimum amount of work required.
15) 1 I check the time throughout the day to see how close to quitting time it is.
16) I feel bored at work.
17) I "kill time" during the day by chatting with co-workers or doing other non-essential tasks.
18) I schedule medical and other personal appointments during working hours.
19) I start getting ready to leave work before quitting time.
20) I am out the door as soon as it is quitting time.
21) On the weekends I look at the job classifieds or surf job sites on the Internet.
22) I have called in sick when I could actually have worked.
23) I complain to my friends about my job.
24) I have trouble sleeping on Sunday nights because I�m thinking about having to go back to work.
25) When I�m on holidays I dread going back to work.
Give yourself 0 points for each Never answer, 1 point for each Sometimes answer and 2 points for each Often answer then using the following scores as a starting point to measure your level of job satisfaction.
0 to 10 points Very satisfied
11-20 points Somewhat satisfied
21-30 points Somewhat dissatisfied
31-40 points Very dissatisfied
41-50 points Why are you still working there?
While a score over 40 is a clear sign of dissatisfaction, even the most satisfied worker is likely to score some points on this quiz. For example, night owls who prefer to sleep late might score a 2 on "I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning" even if they like their job.
Only you can decide whether you are satisfied with your current job -- or whether you�d rather find a new job that makes you look forward to Mondays almost as much as you look forward to the weekend.
Is It Time For A Job Change?
With the start of a new year, you may be among the millions of people thinking of making an important change in your life. If one of the changes you are considering is your career, here is some advice to help you decide whether to make the move.
Most job changers leave because they no longer enjoy their work. If your job is a source of dissatisfaction, the signs are probably clear.
A feeling of dread may start creeping over you every Sunday evening as the work week approaches. While you once bounced out of bed on Monday mornings eager to get to the office, you may now find yourself hitting the snooze bar as many times as possible.
The thought of calling in sick may cross your mind. In fact, going to work may actually make you sick. (More heart attacks occur on Monday mornings than at any other time of the week.
If your job is no longer something you enjoy, you are not alone. A Wall Street Journal-ABC News poll found that half of all workers polled would choose a new line of work if they had the chance. So why don't more people quit their jobs?
According to John W. Thibaut and Harold H. Kelley, authors of The Social Psychology of Groups, some people will stay in an unsatisfactory situation because they do not see themselves as having alternatives.
In an economic downturn, such as we are experiencing now, employees are less likely to consider leaving. According to the World at Work survey conducted recently by Adecco Employment Services, 53% of employees say it's harder to find a job now compared to five years ago. However, the same survey found that 58% of employers say they actually have more highly sought jobs to offer today.
Even so, many employees are held back by "golden handcuffs," meaning they are so well compensated - through salary, company stocks, pensions, or other benefits - they believe they cannot afford to quit their job. Faced with a mortgage, other financial commitments, and people who depend on them, an employee shackled with golden handcuffs may fear leaving their job will lead to financial loss.
Of course, if you are close to retirement, it may be better to stick it out so you can collect your pension. However, for many people a new job often goes hand in hand with a higher salary, which could make up for lost benefits. And even if a new job means taking a step back financially, it may be worth it.
Given the choice, your loved ones would probably prefer to have more time with you, and see you less stressed, even if it meant scaling back your lifestyle.
But before you march into your boss's office and announce "I quit," there may be other options. If you enjoyed your job at one time, but have become dissatisfied with it lately, you may be able to boost your job satisfaction without leaving your current employer.
For example, one reason people decide to change jobs is because they have become bored with their work. Yet boredom can be a natural consequence of mastering your job. When you first started your job, you probably found your work challenging and interesting as you were learning how to do it. As you learned more, your challenge was to become an expert. Once you became an expert, the challenge was gone.
Instead of moving, why not see if you can take on new challenges in your current workplace. Most employers realize it is costly to replace good employees, and will do what they can to keep them. Talking with your boss about why you are dissatisfied may lead to a solution. You may be able to move to a new position in your organization, or take on new tasks in your present position.
If the problem isn't a lack of challenge, but exactly the opposite (too much stress and too little family time) you may want to consider a completely different type of career change - moving down. For example, if you loved the frontline job you had before becoming a manager, you may be able to reduce your stress and resume working regular hours by returning to a frontline position.
If the problem is not the work itself, but the people you work with, start by looking at whether this is a common pattern. If you have had serious problems with your boss or co-workers in almost every job you've had, chances are you will eventually experience the same problems no matter where you move.
Office politics or personality differences exist in virtually all organizations. It may be easier to learn more effective ways of dealing with these issues, rather than trying to find a workplace where they don't exist. Furthermore, most employers prefer candidates with a stable job history, so changing jobs too often can affect your future career prospects.
If compensation is the main issue, consider asking for a raise or additional benefits. It's a good idea to research salaries for similar positions in your industry, so you have some concrete data to show your boss. Even more important is quantifying the value you bring to your employer (for example, showing how much revenue you have brought in or how much you have saved the company).
If you are not able to find a solution with your current employer, then it may be time for a change. Assuming you work an average of 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 50 years, you will spend 100,000 hours at work. You deserve to spend most of that time doing something rewarding and meaningful.
You need a career or at least a job to tide you over until you find out what you want to do when you grow up. Start here for ideas to get you heading in the right direction.
If you wish to tackle self-employment options, click here.
Evaluating Your Skills
If you don't know what type of work is right for you, you may want to test your personality and skills. Use this resource to help you pin down the right type of field for you to work.
Personality, IQ, and Business Tests
Tests, Tests, Tests - Variety of many tests on personality, stress, IQ, career and more.
Gaining The Edge
The average worker is a dime a dozen. Most want to work a set schedule, do as little work as they can get away with and collect a check at the end of the week. This core group of workers generally don't have much interest in the company itself and have a "you big business OWE me a living" attitude.
If you want to have a better job, lose that chip on your shoulder quickly! Believe it or not, those who have created your job position and many other job positions have worked a lot harder than you can imagine to get to where they are today. Without them, you would not have a job.
Most employers realize the majority staff is in it only for a quick pay off and it is fine with them. They set out a specific minimum load they expect from each worker and pay them for a job done. In the short term it seems to work out, but over a period of time, the workers start to get disgruntled wondering why they make peanuts in comparison to the boss or management.
If you want to get ahead in any company, you must be concerned with the entire nature of the business almost as if it were your own. You need to study it. You need to devote extra time learning what is expected from each position. You need to know how to run this business from top to bottom and be willing to do what it takes to get as much done as possible.
If you are persistent, many employers will allow you to take on the extra work once they are confident that you are not going to quit as soon as they train you into doing new things.
If you were to further your education, it would also give you a better edge in moving up the company ladder. Take a few college courses and in time you can earn a degree or advance a degree you have earned.
If your company has seminars and extra classes, volunteer to take them. If someone calls in sick, offer to fill in that job until the worker comes back. If your boss will allow you to work extra hours, do it and get busy. Don't slack on the job! Sitting by idly gossiping at the water cooler is a sure way to tell your boss that you are only in the business for a check period - not advancing material.
Setting Up A Resume
Once you have an idea in mind of the type of job you want, you will need to type up a resume. Before you do this, make sure you have accurate contact information on hand since most employers will check them. If the contact information you list is invalid it will make you seem untrustworthy and almost immediately disqualify you from a position.
Also, be realistic. If you have no experience or education, you will have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Don't make up phony references to your so-called abilities. If you get hired on bogus qualifications for which you have no training, your inexperience will show up and you will quickly lose that job. It is better to be on the ball and a hard worker to work your way up in the field of your choice than to lie and flounder from job to job.
Leave off any mention of what you made in your last jobs and what you want to make if hired. You can mention this in an interview if they are seriously considering employing you. Only then you can negotiate a fair payment for your work. If they are curious as to what you made in your last job, they will ask your former employer and may even confirm it with you during an interview.
Know before you set up the resume what your goal is for employment. What position are you seeking? What do you want to do on the job? What would you like to contribute to the company? Remember, a resume is nothing but a sales letter to sell yourself to the company. They want to know what you can do for them. This is why it is crucial that you exclude what you want out of it when selling yourself to a company. They are in business to make a profit for themselves. They are only willing to pay the money to those who will be an asset to the company and help them make more money. So your goal should be to push the good of the company.
This is where you must make sure your contacts are valid. Contact former employers and schools. Make sure they are still at the same address and phone number. Make sure you have a name that can verify you were actually at that place in the times you specify. If possible, try to get a written reference as to your character and past performance.
Preparing For The Interview
Do your homework before you are called in for an interview. Find out all you can about the company. Who are the owners and managers? How long have they been in business? What is the product or service sold? Who are the customers? What are the usual business hours? How many other employees? How do they do business?
With solid information about the important details of the company, you are fully prepared to impress the interviewer. You will know what angle will sell yourself at a higher premium. Make sure, just as in the resume, you are telling what you can do for the company. Without being a showoff or know it all, impress upon them how you will be a benefit to them. Show them how hiring you will make them more money, increase the business, improve relations with customers and other employees, decrease overtime while making the regular hours more efficient. When you can show them how valuable your service will be to the company, they will take you more seriously than one who comes in with an attitude problem.
The attitude problem is a common syndrome among young people fresh in the job market. Many will come in asking for a job if it will benefit themselves and not giving too many benefits for the employer. Some have the attitude that they are owed a job and high salary because they erroneously believe they can do the job. The business does not survive by overpaying people who are not willing to do the job at hand. They are paying you for a service that you claimed you could perform during the interview. If you cannot perform the service you agreed upon then your future will not be very bright at that company. You are selling your service to the business. Lose the attitude. Think about how you would react to someone coming to your home trying to twist your arm in buying merchandise you don't need.
You must not only get the point across that you are willing to do your job, but go above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of the business. This is why you should go after the jobs that really interests you. If you do not qualify for your dream job, do what it takes to qualify even if you have to start with a lower paying position. You have to start at the bottom before you can get to the top.
Explore The Possibility Of Self Employment
This is not something I would recommend for everyone. People who have no experience in the world of business will fall flat on their faces by going blindly into business for themselves. If you do have some experience working for someone else and have a unique skill or product to market, then you should explore the possibility of setting up your own shop.
Use these other useful resources when looking for your spot in the sun: