Think you’re in a career rut?

Well, if you’re reading this and nodding, it’s a clear sign that you are definitely leaning towards “Yes”!

Do you ever feel or say to yourself…

  • What time is it?
  • Is it lunch yet?
  • How about some coffee?
  • What can I do to fill the time?
  • I need a break!
  • Let’s chat with someone…

Well, only you can tell but here are some pretty good indicators that you are in a career rut:

You think to yourself: “This job is really boring”

I felt this a number of times myself, but you have to think about whether or not it’s temporary and it’ll pass or if it’s there permanently.

For example, I hate cleaning Excel sheets of data and organizing data, but I know it’ll be over soon because it’s just a one-time thing and I can get on to more interesting things like mapping business processes.

But if I had to clean Excel sheets and organize the information for 8 hours a day, I’d find a way out of that as soon as possible.

If you can’t figure out why you’re bored, it won’t help because every job, EVERY SINGLE JOB has boring, irritating, nasty parts. You have to be happy with the whole career.

So think about it, what bores you?

Make a list of pros and cons if that will help and see if you can list out what doesn’t fit your personality. Maybe you can change some of the items on that Cons List.

Do you ever say: “I don’t want to go to work today”

I’ve said that on a number of occasions, but it was mainly because of the nasty commuting of 3 hours a day, and then the prospect of the commute back home.

But once I got into the office, I was fine.

Energetic, tons of stuff to do, happy to be there (most of the time), and loving the challenges.

Consider that it may also just be a lull in the workload. When I have a ton of work, I am more energetic because I want to get everything done right away. When I don’t have much work, I feel bored and the productivity of my day really plummets and I feel bad.

However if you feel like the commute is driving you closer to a corporate prison, then you may have a problem. Are there deadlines you’re missing? Work piling up? Looking at your workload and feeling overwhelmed and stressed?

Don’t forget to take a break but don’t overdo it

I did some mad overtime when I worked as a freelancer, but at the end, I almost burned out.

I was snapping, I was irritated and I just wanted to quit and sleep all day.

This was the sign that I was nearing a breakdown. I should’ve tried to take time off work (which I did once in a while, but the money was just so alluring), and a vacation to do NOTHING (which was my month of December 2008 with BF).

But if you are starting to overdo the time off, then it’s a sign that you’re in a rut.

Think about it: is all of your sick leave taken up? Do you arrive last and leave early? Do you take a super long lunch?

Are you just avoiding work in general?

Co-workers can be another great indication of your happiness

Co-workers can be wonderful or awful. Hopefully, wonderful because you can commiserate together, but if you start avoiding outings with co-workers, or missing work functions or lunches, it may be a sign that you really don’t want to be there in general.

How’s your life outside of work?

Sleep is very important, but sometimes I can’t get to sleep even though I’m super tired.

More often than not, it was because I was just so wound up from work and stress from trying to get everything done that I couldn’t sleep and kept thinking about what I had to get done.

If you can’t relax after work each day and feel a sense of relief and “AHhhhhh!” your job may be affecting more areas of your life than you think.

Another indicator would be that you can’t even enjoy what you love to do any longer, like sports, or blogging. You just feel lethargic and listless.

So what do you think?

If you’ve nodded veryfast to any of the above indicators, you really need to re-assess the situation (if you can, I know it’s tough times out there), and try to figure out what you hate about your job and career, and try to make the best of it if you can’t or don’t want to leave.

The best thing would be to try and change the Cons into Pros by asking your manager for different/more responsibilities, or seeing if you can work from home or move closer to work if the commute sucks.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.