When people start a new job, they generally do so with optimism and motivation, hoping to experience great success and fulfillment, and often many do.
For others though, as time goes by, subtle signs of job dissatisfaction might start to creep in.
It is essential to be proactive and recognize these cues in order to begin taking the necessary steps to move in the direction of more suitable, satisfying, and meaningful work.
Here are 10 subtle signs that you may be experiencing dissatisfaction in your work life and don't even realize it.
When we find ourselves browsing Facebook, taking online quizzes and chit-chatting with co-workers more than usual, it is possible that we are bored with our work. Boredom generally does not improve but tends to get worse as time goes by.
When we put off doing tasks until tomorrow or next week, we are unconsciously avoiding them, hoping they will go away. Unfortunately, they do not go away but instead begin to pile up and become unmanageable.
The phone ringing, extraneous noises, or delicious smells coming from the break room can cause us to lose focus on our work. Sometimes distractions may show up in the form of daydreaming or obsessing about a problem at home. Losing focus easily is a clue that something may be missing and we need a greater sense of fulfillment.
Arriving to work late or leaving work early
The more disgruntled we become, the more we start to ignore the starting and ending times of our work day. Being on time and staying until the job is complete becomes less important to us as we become less satisfied with the work we do.
Taking two hours to get a task done that once took us ten minutes is a sure sign that our job satisfaction is on the decline. When we are doing something we truly enjoy, we are able to quickly get work done.
Tending to personal business during work time
Occasionally, it is unavoidable that personal tasks have to be taken care of while at work since most of our daylight hours are spent at our job, but when tending to our personal business becomes the norm, it is time to take notice. Gratifying work engages us to the extent that we don't mind waiting until we get home to handle our personal matters.
When our contentment is low, we may find ourselves getting mildly irritable or angry with our customers or clients, co-workers, or boss. We may also notice that we complain more often about the people we work with or the projects we are working on.
No longer putting forth our best effort
When we are dissatisfied, we may try to get by doing as little as possible and extending the least amount of effort as possible. Our attitude toward our work becomes more nonchalant.
Taking off work more often
It is a normal response to want to avoid a situation that is ungratifying. When staying at home seems like a better alternative to going to work, it is time to stop and take notice.
Monday morning blues
Spending Saturday and Sunday dreading Monday morning is not a fun way to spend a weekend. When we are doing work that we love and truly believe we are making a contribution, we don't dread Monday mornings because any day we get to use our skills and talents and make a difference is a day to look forward to.
It is easy to tell if you are completely unsatisfied with your job, but it is not always easy to recognize when the first twinges of dissatisfaction set in. If you experience any of these on a regular basis, it may be time to consider work options that are more fulfilling.
If you have had other subtle signs not listed above, please share in the comments section below.
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more