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Deborah Walker
Don’t ignore the 10 signs of job dissatisfaction

Three-step process points the way to positive change.

October 22, 2012
By Deborah Walker

Are you completely satisfied with your current job? You aren’t if you:

  1. Dread Mondays or going to work on any day.
  2. Can’t wait for Friday.
  3. Are often bored at work.
  4. Feel tired or chronically fatigued.
  5. Avoid your boss and dread meetings.
  6. Have no enthusiasm or sense of self-worth.
  7. Feel like you are getting nowhere in your job.
  8. Frequently take work stress home.
  9. Question your choice of industry or occupation.
  10. Can’t think of a way out.

Any of the above 10 sure signs of job dissatisfaction indicate a need for change. The biggest career mistake is to ignore those indicators. A head-in-the-sand mentality can lead to a downward career spiral that ends with disappointment and “what if” regrets.

Here are three great ways to facilitate positive change.

Determine the real problem

Is the problem your boss or employer—or is it that you have chosen the wrong occupation? Before you take any action, make sure you know what needs to change.

Do not make the mistake of throwing away a good career when the problem is really the person you work for. On the flip side, if you are a CPA who does not like doing audit and tax work, then moving from one traditional accounting firm to another is not going to address the fundamental problem.

Update your résumé

Updating your résumé can give you a great confidence boost. You will feel better immediately if you know you are ready whenever opportunity knocks, and it can give you a lift to see all of your accomplishments gathered together in your résumé.  

Be careful, however, that your résumé does not resemble a house with too many additions, each resembling a different style. If you have simply added to the same old résumé job after job, it might be time to “tear down that old shack” and rebuild your résumé from the ground up.

How can you tell if your résumé needs a makeover? There are several red flags to watch for, including the following:

  • The older material on the résumé has more detail than the newer material.
  • Older résumé entries emphasize information not relevant to your current job-search objective.
  • The formatting style is not consistent throughout the resume. Font choice, bullet style, and the layout of employer names and dates should be consistent.

You should never present your career with anything less than professional polish.

Brush up on your interview skills.

If you have been on the job for a couple of years, your interview skills are probably rusty. Do not make the mistake of blowing off the first few interviews as practice. They might be the perfect jobs for you.

You will feel much more confident and comfortable if your interview skills are honed before you step into the first interview. To determine your current level of interview expertise, answer the following questions:

  • Do you know the toughest interview questions—and how to answer them?
  • Can you answer the salary question without compromising the level of starting salary at offer time?
  • Can you recognize the most common interview styles—and respond without showing stress?

If you are not sure of the answers, you need to track them down.  

Job dissatisfaction is an indication of needed change. Take the steps toward change by investing in the appropriate job-search skills and tools, and you will be in a position to change your
job—and your life—for the better.

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Deborah Walker is a Certified Career Management Coach. See more career tips and sample résumés here.