4 signs that a job is the “wrong fit”

Nancy Anderson
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Sometimes when you start a new job, everything seems great – and only later, after the newness has work off, do you realize that you feel like a fish out of water.

Being in a job that’s the wrong fit for your skills, interests or working style can be a dispiriting and draining experience. This is one of the reasons why employers spend so much time during job interviews trying to determine whether or not people are “a good fit” for the job – it saves time, money and energy for everyone involved.

Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, it’s still possible to end up in a job that’s just not quite right for you. And sometimes a “good fit” gradually becomes a “bad fit” as your skills and interests change, but the job doesn’t evolve to keep up.

What are some of the biggest signs that a job is the “wrong fit” for you – and how can you turn a bad fit into a job you love?

• Boredom. Do you find yourself feeling frustrated with the tasks you have to do each day? Do you feel like you could do your job in your sleep? Do you want more opportunities that require creativity and individual initiative? One of the best ways to get past the doldrums is to ask for more work – ask your boss what she’s working on, what are her biggest challenges, what is something that you could take off her to-do list? Make yourself useful and show that you care – before you know it you’ll be swamped with more challenging work.

• Personality differences. Do you have any close friends at work? Do you ever go out for lunch with your co-workers, just for fun? If the answer to these questions is “no” then you might be surrounded by co-workers who just aren’t the right fit for your personality. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone you work with, but it’s a bad sign when you have no one to talk to, no one to confide in, and no one whose company you enjoy. Try to reach out to your colleagues – invite everyone to a monthly team lunch, or have drinks after work. Most people respond favorably to invitations, so if you make an effort to be more sociable, people will usually reciprocate.

• Different work styles. Does your workplace encourage everyone to do things “by the book,” or is it more of a free-flowing atmosphere of collaboration and creativity? Depending on your preferred style of work, either of these extremes could be the wrong fit for you. Talk with your boss about your concerns, and offer to put on a presentation about different styles of work – one good book on this subject is “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand.”

• Disinterest in the company or industry. Do you just not really care about your company? Do you find your industry to be boring and useless? This can be hard to overcome – you might need to find a new job. But try to find something positive to appreciate about your company. Read up on your industry, find some examples of things that your company does better than anyone else.

Remind yourself of the good things that your company does in the community. Even “boring” businesses can still be great places to work.

Ben Gran is a freelance writer based in Des Moines, Iowa. He is an award-winning blogger who loves to write about careers and the future of work.
Find a job that’s the right fit for you on http://www.manhattanjobs.com/

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