Do you ever wonder if your job truly fulfills you or if it feels more like a chore? Do you have to drag yourself to work every day and suffer from office boredom? Or do you feel unappreciated? If you are constantly asking yourself these questions, you should consider whether this job is a good fit for you.
Various factors can influence how you feel about your job and how you perform at work. Circumstances beyond your control may arise, causing you to question your place and future in the company. While this can be unsettling, identifying factors that harm your job performance and prospects can help you make the right decisions about your career.
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In this article, we will look at:
- 9 Signs Your Current Job isn’t Right for You
- How to Land a Job That is the Right Fit for You?
9 Signs Your Current Job isn’t Right for You
A fulfilled job means a happy life. But, if you feel otherwise and any of the following nine scenarios sound familiar, it may be time to reconsider your options.
1. You’re Undervalued and Underpaid
One of the reasons software engineering jobs are much sought after is the lucrative pay packages many large tech companies offer, especially FAANG+ companies. But, it is likely that your talents are not recognized by your employers, which leads to you being excluded from plum projects or being passed up for promotions. It’s also likely that you received a sub-par offer when you were hired for your role and, subsequently, have not got the salary hikes you deserve.
If you have the proper knowledge, experience, skills, and motivation yet find yourself struggling to get the recognition you deserve, it’s a sure sign that your current job may not be the right fit for you despite your talents.
By hanging on to a job at a company where you’re unable to realize your full potential, you’re probably missing out on lucrative career growth opportunities and related financial rewards.
2. Your Job Doesn’t Excite You
Contrary to popular belief, your job should be one that you look forward to every day. Most jobs tend to go through phases of repetitive tasks and routines periodically. However, if this has become a persistent characteristic of your job, you may find yourself becoming increasingly demotivated.
If you aren’t sufficiently challenged at your current job, you won’t be able to adequately hone your skills or apply yourself to your full potential. This can lead to you missing out on valuable opportunities. It can also create a deep sense of personal dissatisfaction. Considering you spend most of your time at work, you should be engaged in a job that makes you feel fulfilled.
While it may sound frivolous to most if your current job doesn’t excite you, it’s probably not the best fit for you. Finding a job that you’re passionate about may take a while but is entirely possible and worth considering.
3. Your Job Makes You Sick - Literally!
Headaches, anxiety, lethargy, rising blood pressure, hair loss, disturbed sleep cycles, and general feelings of malaise. Do you find these symptoms aggravated while at work or during the work week instead of non-working hours or the weekends? These distress signals are your body’s way of reacting to stressful situations.
In some cases, work-related stress is apparent and directly results from workplace conflict. In many cases, stress can go undetected, rearing itself in the form of physical ailments. Your emotional and mental well-being is just as important as your physical health.
Software engineering can be a very competitive field, especially at top tech companies, where you are frequently working alongside leading industry talent. Many tech firms are notorious for their long work hours and high expectations. Constantly keeping up with changing technologies and demonstrating your ability to drive innovation and success can lead to overwork and burnout. This is especially true for senior software engineers, technical leads, engineering managers, and other software professionals in positions of authority and responsibility.
If you are constantly stressed, you should consider whether the work dynamics at your current job are not a good fit for you.
Poor health can lower your productivity leading to poor performance and associated consequences. This can have a direct effect on both your short and long-term career prospects. Alternatively, feeding off work at another job that keeps you energized will help propel you down a successful career path.
4. Your Skills are Underutilized
You may have been hired by a company hoping to utilize your skills in future projects. However, you find that projects you desire to work on remain constantly in the pipeline, and you rarely can use your skills adequately.
While you wait for innovative, interesting projects and opportunities to arise, your role may be restricted to mundane coding, testing, and debugging activities that do little to motivate you.
Lack of meaningful work can lead to job stagnation, leaving you feeling drained and chronically uninterested in your job. Over a while, you become unable to engage with your work.
A lack of on-the-job professional development and experience can make you redundant in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. This can lower your marketability and make changing jobs challenging.
If you feel a sense of frustration being overqualified for your current job with no prospect of change soon, you should consider switching to a company that can offer you your dream job.
5. Toxic Work Culture
Toxic work culture is one that, rather than fostering an atmosphere of positivity and cooperation, impedes your performance on the job. This can be caused by poor communication systems or low work ethics among employees, which leads to unhealthy office politics, inequity, and power struggles.
In a toxic environment, you may be required to work under a manager who is unaccountable for their performance as a leader. This can directly impact your role in the company, affect your appraisals and career advancement opportunities. It can cause you to feel discouraged and unmotivated. You may dread coming into work daily and often think about quitting your job.
If you have to manage your environment more than your actual tasks at hand, you may want to consider if you’re the right fit for your current job.
Toxic cultures can lower your confidence and give rise to multiple adverse situations. In this case, where creating a conducive work environment is out of your control, you should consider switching jobs. An ideal job role promotes your talents and skills and enhances job stability and satisfaction.
6. There Are No Growth Prospects
The company you joined seemed like a great place at the start; however, over the years, you find the company isn’t performing as expected and isn’t growing at quite the pace you thought it would.
While this is more common among small or mid-sized tech companies and startups, this situation can also arise for a particular department, project, or sub-division of a larger company.
Are you concerned that hiring has slowed down or senior positions are vacated at a faster than usual place? Do you receive little or no communication about future plans? Are there talks of downsizing? Do you experience a lot of downtimes? Or do you simply not see a clear path to progress in the near future?
Not being able to grow and garner the right work experience can also lower your marketability and adversely affect your financial prospects.
It’s also common for software engineers to hit a plateau once they reach a mid-level position. Moving into senior software engineering roles can be very challenging. Organizational structures narrow as you move up the career ladder at most companies. Only a few stand-out employees are promoted to high-level positions, such as tech leads or engineering managers. If you find yourself waiting long to qualify for these positions, you should consider what this means to your overall career plan.
You may be suitably financially rewarded at your current job, but if it doesn’t align with your long-term career goals, it’s probably not the right fit for you, even if you are comfortable in the short term.
7. It Disrupts Your Personal Life
A job that is stressful to the point of disrupting your personal life is not the right fit for you. Improper work-life balance can lead to chronic illnesses and severe burnout, not to mention a fallout of personal relationships with friends and family.
Does your current job require you to work long hours regularly? Do you work weekends? Do you find yourself spending less time with your family or sacrificing personal hobbies and interests that help you rejuvenate? Are you left with no time for professional development outside your office hours? Is work all you can think of or talk about anymore?
If you answered "yes" to these questions, you should reconsider whether your current job is genuinely worth the personal sacrifice and discomfort. If not, then you should consider alternative jobs where you’re seen as more than just a cog in the wheel.
A growing number of companies make a healthy work-life balance the core of their work culture. In such an environment, you can avail yourself of all the benefits of your current job without compromising your personal life.
8. You’re Only in it for the Money
Tech companies are amongst the highest-paying companies in the world. The lure of high salaries and competitive compensation packages is a huge draw for software engineers at various companies.
However, sticking to your current job only because the pay is good can leave you feeling trapped and is a sign that it’s not the best fit for you. The US Bureau of Labour Statistics estimated a 22% rise in software engineering jobs between 2019 - 2030. This indicates a plethora of opportunities opening up in the software industry.
With the right experience and skill set, you can uplevel to receive more lucrative offers coupled with the opportunity to work on meaningful projects. Your compensation as a software engineer follows your skills and experience. Stagnating at your current job without enhancing either of these can eventually limit your earning potential.
Eventually, you may become discontent and frustrated if you see inadequate growth in your current financial situation.
9. You’re Constantly Overwhelmed
Maybe you’re constantly overworked, or the nature of your job requires you to function under high stress at all times. If you’re a senior software engineer, a tech lead, an engineering manager, or in similar positions of influence, you can begin to feel overwhelmed as you spend more time in your role.
As a leader in a tech company, you are expected to provide technical direction to multiple projects, manage teams, and take critical decisions, all the while ensuring you create a positive business impact at a high level. You may be responsible for client management, managing multiple clients simultaneously. This would require you to stay on top of things at all times and be answerable for delays or failures in deliverables.
Often the boundaries of how much work you can take on are pushed to the point where you are expected to function, constantly and consistently, above expectations.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by your role, worrying about failing at your job, or feeling that you’re constantly underperforming, you’re not where you should be. It’s not uncommon for many software engineers to realize they are more suited to the role of an individual contributor after trying their hand at a managerial position.
How to Land a Job That is the Right Fit for You
Once you’ve identified the right job for you based on your skills, experience, goals, and passions, you must employ the right strategies to land the job of your choice.
- Drafting an effective resume that can help you land interviews
- Devising a solid interview prep plan to enable you to prepare for interviews and land the job of your dreams
Most software engineers are daunted by the process of getting a new job which can often be akin to having a second full-time job. However, the key to a smooth and successful transition into a new role at a new company is knowing how to prepare for interviews.
At Interview Kickstart, we have helped many experienced engineers uplevel their careers by providing them the training they need to upskill. By teaching engineers how to crack coding interviews using the proper coding interview preparation techniques, our alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG+ and other leading tech companies.
Our team of instructors and coaches, comprising 150+ tech leads and hiring managers from FAANG and other leading tech companies, offer first-hand training on hard skills such as Data Structures and Algorithms and domain-specific subjects.
We also provide invaluable career skill development programs which focus on resume building, behavioral skills, and improving your interview performance through mock interviews.
Join our free webinar to learn more about how to crack the most challenging tech interviews to land top software engineering jobs at FAANG+ companies.