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3 Signs You are in the Wrong Career

By Jimmie Flores Subscribe to RSS | June 11th 2012 | Views:

It’s Thursday morning, and you are getting for work. The process is routine, and if it weren’t for your daughter’s theatre performance, you wouldn’t even know the day of the week. One of the biggest decisions you will make this morning is what to wear.

You promised yourself that you would get out of this career five years ago, but you are still there. You work for a boss who is more interested when you don’t show up to the office. When you are there as scheduled, he finds reasons why your performance is failing to meet expectations.

You are in the wrong career, but it’s a safety zone. While some close friends are having a tough time finding a job, your automatic draft hits the First National Bank on time, just a few hours after midnight. The rationale for you is that things could be much worse.

Here are three signs you are in the wrong career:

#1: You have zero interest in what you do.

As surprising as this might be, there are many people who don’t like the work they do. I spoke recently to a woman with an HR degree, and she complained that her current job consisted mostly of menial tasks, such as coordinating training sessions, ordering food for the meetings, and running end-of-month reports. She said, “I have an HR degree, and I want to use those skills. What I do right now has nothing to do with my work experience and education.”

Today – two years later, she’s still in the same position. The point here is that she needs to make a decision to become more marketable. It might be necessary to earn a certification, increase her influence network, or anything else that will create opportunities. Her current reactive approach is failing to deliver positive results.

#2: Management considers you an operational-type worker.

Those of you reading this article want to be challenged. You want to get away from the administrative and routine duties, those which even an elementary student could perform, and probably quite well. When your management team perceives you as an operational-type worker, you will receive the mundane tasks, such as coordinating an office move, creating binders for the next meeting, and taking minutes during the weekly webinar with the South Dakota team.

To make a positive move in your career, it’s essential that you become what Douglas McGregor (MIT Sloan School of Management professor) labeled as Theory Y workers. These are individuals who are interested in challenges, and seek meaningful work. If you cannot find these assignments with your current employer, it’s time to look elsewhere.

#3: You get too excited over COLA increases.

The cost-of-living-adjustments (COLA) are tied to the cost-of-living index, and have nothing to do with your performance. The increases are generally small, such as 1% or 2% of your salary. Once the standard deductions are applied, the increase is hardly apparent.

To take control of your career, you must find work that allows you to exponentially increase your compensation. Once you are maximizing your skills, you can expect your salary and bonus structure to change accordingly.

Spending even just a month in the wrong job or career is detrimental to your confidence, long-term success, and even to your health. At some point, each of us has to find the right occupation; one that excites us! This type of work doesn’t require for us to set our alarms in the morning. We’re up-and-running before anyone else, constantly focused on the value we are going to create today. In fact, your wardrobe will be the last thing on your mind.

Jimmie Flores - About Author:
Dr. Jimmie Flores,PhD,PMP,ITIL,SSBB,SPHR,GPHR is a seasoned organizational development and continuous improvement professional with 20 years of experience. In 2006, he founded the Flores Consulting Group, a company based in San Antonio, TX. Please visit are website at

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