Photo by Dev Null
Let me tell you a little story first. (Warning.. grab a coffee, take a break… this one is long!)
Once upon a time I too, was in that same swivel chair as you are, thinking about my future and the futility of my career as I realized that I was headed for a bleak looking dead-end.
My near future dead-ended smack into a solid brick wall that could just about stop a careening train.
Needless to say that vision was enough to make me sit up straight and bang out a resignation letter on my stodgy old laptop, like asap! And secretly whisper to myself what an ass I am for sticking it out in a job I loathed.
OK, so that story was (mostly) total fiction. We all know I didn’t work in an office in my past life… I cleaned grubby, dingy vacation homes… scrubbing toilets and tubs and cleaning icky kitchens that slobs left behind just for me! So whose old job is worse, yours or mine? And I was definitely an ass trying to tough it out.
Or just not very bright, but I vote ass, ‘cuz we all know they’re smart!
Luckily I found those smarts and realized I wanted better for myself, and set about making it happen. I didn’t technically draft a letter of resignation, since the business is family owned… instead I just kinda said “I’m done!”
Luckily I can say with complete and utter conviction that was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The secret to becoming free and independent is to listen to your heart’s desire. Listen when your soul is telling you something monumental.
Really, I know those are some corny lines, but it ain’t fiction.
It’s the God’s honest truth, so don’t be a hater, tater.
That said here’s something to shake you up and make you think about finally doing that 180-degree career turn you’ve henceforth been dreaming of. I’ve put together 25 “potential” things that might be tipping you off… that might be giving you a little “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” moment telling you that you simply can’t stay in your current career forever.
Because the future awaits of course! And I’m not talking some dead-end wall of stone kind of future either. I’m talking bright, shiny, and chock full of hope, promise, and excitement… the kind that makes you mutter to yourself “To-toe… we’re not in Kansas anymore!” and that makes your heart pitter patter like a rabbit gone wild.
Now tap your ruby shoes three times and make a wish! Let’s talk signs and indicators it’s time for you to go all entrepreneur on some a%#!
1. Your officemates are no fun.
The people in your office are not just work mates—they’re supposed to be your friends, too. But if you find each other too mind-numbing to talk to, there’s no hope that your relationship will ever blossom beyond the standard office chitchat. Can we say lifeless? Soul sucking?
2. You have a crummy card table for an office desk.
Talk about a little self-respect here. I’ve always believed that your work area reflects what kind of worker you are. (My current cluttered monstrosity notwithstanding, thankyouverymuch!) If you are stuck with something like a card table from which to work, then how can you hope to be inspired? And when all the things you need to work efficiently are not within arm’s reach, how can you become a more productive worker?
3. Your office coffee machine does nothing to help you stay up throughout the day.
You may not think very highly about the coffee in your office, but you have to remember that the coffee machine gives you an opportunity to bond with your officemates. And even if the coffee served in your office doesn’t taste good, it should at least keep you awake throughout the working hours.
4. You spend more hours working than living your life.
Need I explain this more? Your life, my dear, is more important than whatever achievements your career may bring you. If you’re working more than you’re living, then I suggest you do something serious (nay DRASTIC) to change the pace.
5. You wait for holidays with glee much akin to a child waiting for Santa to pop out of the chimney.
Oh yes. I know you’re not five years old, but you act like one when ticking off the days until the next holiday on your office calendar. You’re supposed to look forward to the holidays, true, but not to the point that it’s all you ever do the whole livelong day. Sheesh.
6. Your mom/dad/spouse/best friend knows the ins and outs of your job so well they can practically do it for you.
This is not a good thing! It means that your job is just as about as challenging and interesting as a ball of yarn or the fake plant on your card table of a desk. If your family and friends can do your job for you, it means (a) your job does not require any special talent and (b) you’re better off spending your time doing something that will really awaken the creativity in you. Also known as passion… fire… the beast within! (Should I go on?)
7. You want to call in sick 4 out of 5 working days. 5 if you work 6. 6 if you work 7. Pretty much all the time really…
Every employee dreams about calling in sick to take the day off, but if you do so like it’s a chronic illness, then sorry… your job just isn’t for you even a second longer. Not only are you fooling yourself, you’re also wasting your company’s time and resources by being a non-motivated employee such as yourself. Shame on you!
8. You don’t have privacy—not in the restroom, not at your desk, not in your home.
Privacy is a precious thing, believe me. Imagining myself in a workplace environment where everybody has their nose in someone else’s business just gives me the willies. And if your work (e.g. your boss) invades even the sanctity of your home… I’d say it’s time to call it quits.
9. You earn next to nothing. Or if you earn a whole lot, you never feel happy it at any rate.
Money matters, whether or not you admit that. Your job should give you the financial security that you need and deserve. You can’t expect to earn millions immediately, but you should at least be earning enough to live by and save up a bit for the future. If your job cannot do this for you, look for something a little more lucrative. And if it is doing it for you but just isn’t stoking your fire… time to bail!
10. You’re not proud of what you’re doing.
Pride in your work is important because more often than not, we judge ourselves by what we do. That’s why we have stereotypes, right? Banker = someone in a three-piece suit with no sense of humor… cook = food lover, and so on and so forth. If you’re not proud of what you are doing, there’s no use in continuing to do it. ‘Nuff said.
11. You envy budding entrepreneurs to death, mainly because you wish you were them.
So why not join them? (hint, hint)
12. You’ve developed allergies from wearing stiff dress shirts to work every day.
One of the things I can’t understand is why people should be wearing all those clothes that look like armour… starched stiff and ironed to perfection. Who said I couldn’t come to the office in jeans and my favourite flip-flops? I know you should look presentable, but you shouldn’t look prim and untouchable either.
13. You hate the smell of Lysol, Pledge and Glade all mixed up in the atmosphere in your office.
I’ve always hated the small of artificial air fresheners. They make my allergies act up and they clog my nose like a tanker ship. I believe that offices should be clean, yes, but not to the point that every nook and cranny is sanitized and sparkly. And no one—absolutely no one—should mess with the air in the office. Need!… Fresh!… Air!!!… ::insert massive gasping fish face here please::
14. Your closet only contains clothes in 3 colors—black, gray, navy blue and variations thereof. Your fashion sense with shoes has not fared much better.
Another pet peeve of mine is the fact that hardcore career professionals seem to have narrowed their fashion style down to a very limited set of cuts, colors and fabrics. Your job should allow you to express yourself and be who you are, not lock you up in starchy suits of limited colors. Bleck!
15. You have very little, if absolutely zero time, for relaxation.
Like I said, your job ain’t your life. Mixing up the two doesn’t just confuse it, it also makes you more miserable and hateful towards both… you can’t separate them!
16. You don’t revel in office jokes, gossip and anecdotes anymore.
Oooh, come on now.
This is one of those doomsday signs that smacks you over the head with the message there’s nothing more you enjoy about going to the office every day. The office jokes, gossip and mayhem are supposed to lighten up the mood, but if you’ve lost the appetite to revel in them, how can you possibly say that you still enjoy your job? As if!
17. Your clients are so uninteresting they make you want to cry in boredom.
It often takes a creative project to call up a creative mind. You might have the talent, the skills and the attitude to see a challenging project through to the end, but you need the opportunity to prove your mettle. Your job should be stimulating enough to make you come to the office with renewed passion every single day. Boring clients just don’t do it. The end.
18. You have the look of a sainted career professional.
By that I mean that you have bags under your eyes you could pack a lunch, your lipstick and a mobile phone in; skin the color and consistency of recycled paper, and hair that looks as frumpy as a clown’s on his worst day. Your job shouldn’t turn you into the walking dead. Do yourself a favour… give up the stress of your J.O.B. and start doing what makes you smile. Smiling is proven to improve your mood… mood improves your looks!
19. You hate the food at your office cafeteria because the food tastes like your grandma’s socks sprinkled with a tasty side of talcum powder.
Food is important, not just because it nourishes you and keeps you strong and healthy. It’s important because it’s also a break of sorts and provides you an opportunity to relax and unwind with your office pals. That doesn’t mean your job needs to serve up gourmet dinners every day, but hey… it should at least be pleasant and palatable, wouldn’t you agree?
20. Your last out-of-town vacay happened before you took on your current job.
Everyone should have the chance to see the world outside of their office, enjoy the sights and immerse themselves in new and thrilling experiences. Travel is a great way to relax and to reinvigorate yourself. And did I mention it’s fun? Fun is gooooooodddd.
21. You’d rather do crossword puzzles than whatever it is that you’re supposed to be doing at work. Or read a magazine. Or get another cup of coffee. Or email your buddy. Or… Or…
Crossword puzzles are the very height of boredom, I’m telling you!
If you can’t find a more intelligent and satisfying activity to waste your time on, you’ve totally lost all drive to continue working. And as to the rest… you already know they’re just procrastination tactics.
22. You have absolutely no hope of being promoted and given a more challenging role.
After working a year or so in the same position, your boss should trust you enough to do something a little more exciting and begin promoting you to a position with greater responsibility. If this hasn’t happened to you after putting in a few years’ worth of work… time to wake up! You need to find something better suited to your particular brand of talent.
23. You are not in love with your job.
And your job does not love you back. There. Shoot the fracken elephant. It’s now out of the way. It’s just like a romantic relationship—there’s no reason for you to stay if all the love is gone. Capisce?
24. Everyone you know—your friends, family, former teachers, officemates, and even random people you meet on the subway—tell you that you’re meant for something else.
Like I said, switching careers means that you have to listen. But you should listen not just to yourself and your heart, but also to the people around you. They care about what’s good for you, and if anything, they know you enough to recognize that your talents are being wasted on something that other people can do just as well without you. Time to challenge yourself… and besides… if another people are saying it, don’t you think there could just be a grain of truth in it? Just sayin’.
25. You haven’t seen your children (if you have any) play in the last six months.
This is really rather sad. Your family should always be number one, not your job. Carving out enough quality time for your loved ones might be difficult but it shouldn’t be impossible. If you never get the chance to see your children, or play with them, or enjoy them… it only means you’ve clocked in way too many hours at the office.
It’s time for you to go home.
What say you readers? Leave your comments below. Have other indicators? I’d love to hear them!