5 Signs You’re Wasting Your Talent at Your ‘Nine-to-Five’ Job

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You finally landed your dream job. You’re excited, passionate, and ready to change the world. Out of all the applicants, you were chosen for the position, and you’re excited that this company recognizes what you can bring to the table…or so you thought. Recently, you seem to be feeling weary of your work or, perhaps worse, you’re starting to feel an aversion toward it.

If you find yourself wondering whether or not you’re making a difference, if you’re feeling restless at work and you’re not sure why, or if you feel like your abilities are underutilized, read on for five signs that you’re wasting your talent at your nine-to-five job.

1You’re Not Recognized for Your Hard Work and Passion

You take on a project and throw everything you’ve got into it. You get the project done in record time and it’s good. Real good. You feel proud of what you’ve done, but your boss doesn’t seem to notice…

Recognition is an important part of finding job satisfaction. In fact, The Boston Consulting Group conducted an expansive study involving 200,000 workers from around the world. In it, they found that appreciation — not a hefty salary, mind you — is the number one factor in job satisfaction.

If your employer doesn’t care that you pour your heart and soul into your work, you’re less likely to do it again. A good company (and a good boss) will recognize your skills and contributions and keep you engaged.

2You’re Bored and Distractible

According to a Udemy workplace study on boredom, 43 percent of the American workforce feels apathetic at work, making boredom a veritable epidemic. If you find yourself doing the bare minimum, mindlessly scrolling through social media, and just generally unenthused, you might be suffering from workplace boredom.

Of course, life outside of the office can affect a person’s enthusiasm. But the daily grind shouldn’t be such a, well, grind. While there is something comforting about knowing the ins and outs of your job well enough that you could practically do it in your sleep, the daily drudgery of doing the same thing over and over will be enough to drive you mad in the long run.

3Your Ideas Aren’t Taken Seriously

You brainstorm ideas during staff meetings, and you even make a point of talking to your boss directly, but you feel like you’re not being heard and nothing ever comes of it — sound familiar?

If so, recent data suggests that you’re not alone…

In 2016, a report by The Society for Human Research Management showed that while 90 percent of employees find it “important” or “very important” that their ideas are respected by management, only 37 percent of respondents felt that they were being taken seriously.

A company that denies progress to its employees and doesn’t invest in its people is not going to make it very far in a working world composed largely of millennials. If your company can’t move forward, odds are you can’t either.

4You Haven’t Learned Anything New

It’s not wrong to expect to learn and grow in your career. In fact, blind of industry, it should be the standard — to gain experience and knowledge so you can further your professional pursuits. Stagnation is a precursor to boredom, and we already know what that means…

Look around you — are your peers and supervisors sharing ideas and offering solutions or advice? Is your knowledge base equal to that of your peers? Is your company offering any kind of continuing education? The answers to these questions may clue you in to whether or not learning will be a meaningful part of your future at work.

Simon Sinek, a well-known organizational consultant, explained this perfectly in a TED Talk, saying, “A leader’s job is not to do the work for others; it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.”

A great company will want to see you thrive.

5You Dread Going to Work in the Morning

If ever there was a sign that says you’re in the wrong place, this is it.

We’re not just talking about having a hard time getting out of bed; we’re talking about actual dread. It’s not that each and every workday needs to go off without a hitch, but with the average person spending upwards of 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime, you shouldn’t hate being there. If you feel a change is necessary, you owe it to yourself to explore other options.

It’s Your CareerYou Have the Right to Make the Most of It

Seth Godin once wisely said, “Instead of wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

Yes, you should forever be grateful for a job and a steady income, but life was meant to be lived — it just so happens that work will likely occupy a sizable part of you actually “living” it. With this in mind, take pride in your work, and do something you feel good about.

Your job should be more than just a paycheck.

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