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How to tell whether your job is going well or not

  • October 18, 2018

When things are going well in your job it’s a great feeling. Work that interests you and which you find enjoyable doesn’t just make the week go by quicker, it leaves you feeling fulfilled and that you are making a difference.

But what happens if things aren’t going quite so well? What tell-tale signs should you look out for, and how can you tell whether seeking employment elsewhere would be beneficial? With 24% of British workers feeling that their workplace culture is not supportive, being able to recognise whether your job is going well or if elements of it, such as culture, could be improved is important. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you determine how well your job is going – and what you can do to make a positive difference.

When things aren’t quite going right in your position

In life and at work things sometimes go wrong. Perhaps you applied for a promotion that you didn’t get or maybe you made an honest mistake in your work. Whatever the reason, when things don’t quite go right, it can be very off-putting. It can leave you feeling distracted, worried about your position, and this can often lead to underperformance, creating a vicious circle.

The most important thing is being able to recognise when you can make improvements and when things are beyond your control. For example, asking your senior team or even HR for feedback might explain what you could do differently next time to secure the promotion. Or maybe you’ll discover that the budget for the new position was unexpectedly withdrawn, which isn’t something you can help. Positive action will give you a clearer answer than worrying about a situation will, and will save you the sleepless nights too!

How do you know if you should stay in your position or leave?

Being positive and taking proactive steps are important. However, if you feel that things aren’t quite right it’s still important that you consider whether you should stay with or leave the business.

If you’ve asked yourself what changes you can make for the better, acted on those changes, and things still aren’t working out, the next step is to speak to your manager. Can they provide extra support? If things don’t improve, or if help is not forthcoming then it could be a sign that it’s time to consider a new position.

What are the warning signs for when things are not going well?

Determining whether your job is going well or not can be tough, although there are signs to watch out for which will help you decide.

Internal factors: Low motivation is a clue that your job is not fulfilling you. If you fear the thought of working with colleagues or seeing your boss then it’s also a sign that things could be better. Spending time wishing for the weekend or dreading Monday morning are also indicators that the job is not going as well as it could.

External factors: Key things to watch out for which suggest that your job is not going well are missing targets, being invited to performance reviews by management, and not being asked to perform certain tasks. Ask for feedback wherever you can as this will equip you with information which you can act on and try to change things for a more positive outcome. If the feedback is vague, very negative or you don’t receive any, then it could be an indication that the job isn’t playing to your strengths.

What is your workload like: too much or not enough?

Your workload has a big impact on your success in a position. While being busy can be very motivating, having too much to do can be detrimental. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive indicate that 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, anxiety and depression during 2016-17. Earlier reports suggest that 44% of all work-related stress was caused by the individual’s workload. If you find yourself in a similar situation, then a discussion with your manager could result in something more achievable.

On the other hand, maybe you feel that you don’t have enough to do. If you’re unmotivated or under stimulated by your work, it could mean that the position isn’t quite right.

It’s about achieving a balanced workload that will challenge you without leaving you burnt out.

Is the company culture right for you?

The culture of a company influences not only your work but also how much you enjoy working in your job role. If the culture doesn’t appeal to you, then it can be a major factor in prompting you to leave. Research published by Deloitte found that 87% of companies believe that culture is important and are working to improve it. While that’s an encouraging thought, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your employer’s culture fits with you. In fact, as little as 13% of the global workforce is ‘highly engaged’. If you feel that there’s still work to be done on your employer’s company culture, or if you don’t feel engaged by it, this will impact on how you feel about your job and your performance in the end.

Do the firm’s values marry with your own?

The values of a business often link closely with its culture. If the values don’t match up with your own then you might find that things don’t go smoothly in your job. Company values often influence the everyday things about a workplace, such as how colleagues interact with each other. They also have an impact on much broader issues, covering everything from the company’s social responsibility to their environmental policy, it’s gender pay gap reporting to flexible working.

If any of these values differ to yours, the impact is likely to affect how you feel about your position. For example, Deloitte and Timewise carried out research which found that 30% of flexible workers felt less important than their colleagues. Whatever your company’s values, if they jar with your own personal values it can make your experience of a job very unenjoyable increase your chances of looking for a new position.

Feeling happy with your decision

Whether you decide to stay in your current job role or to move on, the most important thing is that it’s the right decision for you. Taking the above into account will help you establish whether or not you should stay and try to make improvements or to jump ship.

We’ve worked with professionals for decades to help them get the best out of their careers – whether that means staying or leaving a job. So, if you’re feeling unsure about the best course of action, then speak to one of our team on 01772 259 121 – we’d be happy to help.

If you are thinking of moving jobs, then you may like to read our blog: How can you tell if a job is right for you.

You can also register your CV online, and why not have a browse through some of our existing vacancies.

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