Remember how as children we couldn’t wait to finish school and start on our dream jobs. Those days working sounded like living on the proverbial sugar candy mountain. Now that we are here, very few of us have great things to say about their jobs. If it weren’t for the children’s school fees, the bank loans and the tough landlord, most of us would gladly take a leap and pray we don’t crash. If you chronically wake up feeling exhausted dreading the Monday meetings or are frustrated by the results of your efforts, you my friend are in dead end job. A dead-end job is one that no matter how well you perform, your opportunity to grow professionally is limited or non-existent—either because the job or environment is not a good fit for you or because of industry or company factors. If you’re in a dead end job, you should start developing a plan to move on at an appropriate time. Here are some factors that might make a job a dead end.
You feel trapped
While there is usually general dissatisfaction in places of work, there are those employees who intensely hate their jobs, believe they are underpaid, or are angry about not getting ahead, but don’t take action. Unfortunately for some, changing employers is daunting. Inertia to stay in your current job can be rooted in lack of knowledge of how to look for a new job, the lack of obvious opportunities, the fear of change or of the unknown, or a combination of all those things.
For years I dreamed of working with a certain company and finally when my dream came true I realized that I was unsuitable for it because of my personality. It goes without saying that if a job is totally wrong for you, you should move on. However, a surprising number of people pursue and stay in jobs to fulfill the expectations of their parents or others. No matter how glamorous, fun, important, prestigious or stimulating your career may be to someone else, if it doesn’t work for you, you owe it to yourself to find out what does.
When you work out of loyalty
Loyalty to one’s employer is of course a good thing. We should all aspire to work for an employer we admire, trust, and with whom we are proud to be associated. Some people, however, become so loyal that they overlook serious issues at the company or put their employer first at the expense of their own career.
Do you feel as if your boss is intentionally stifling your effort? Have you been at the same level for the last decade with no promotion at all? If you feel like there is no way up then it is time for you to move out. A tense but stable boss/subordinate situation takes a turn for the worse, and then everything starts going wrong. This can happen quickly, blindsiding the employee who didn’t see it coming. Once the situation begins to spiral downward, it can be very difficult, if not impossible to reverse. Sometimes there is an underlying issue or personality conflict between the boss and subordinate, but in other cases it may have little or nothing to do with the employee. Perhaps the company is having financial problems, or the boss has family or personal problems that are contributing to his apparent irrationality.