It's not me, it's you!

It's not me, it's you!

Observer writer

Sunday, August 25, 2019

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Fresh on the heels of that university degree, you enter what you think is your dream job and put your best foot forward to get past the probationary period.

The period ends, and you are confirmed in the post and immediately you start working towards your next professional goal — impressing the boss by showing your immeasurable contribution to the company with the expectation of being recognised, validated and eventually promoted.

Ten years later you are at the same desk, doing the same tasks, with only the basic incremental company pay increases to show for it. Several of your co-workers have moved on, listing complaints that sound eerily similar to concerns you shared in the group chat that distracts you from seeing what should have been obvious for some time now…maybe, just maybe, it's not you.

Many people get stuck in a professional setting and fail to see it for what it really is — a dead end job. It's the place where hopes and dreams go to die a slow, unnatural death.

Dead end jobs offer no room for growth and appreciation is rarely ever shown for tasks completed; and this becomes increasingly less consequential because you started seeing them as burdens rather than achievements some time ago.

If you have ever felt or given serious thought that the below apply to you, then it's quite possible you are stuck in a dead end job.


Do you remember why you wanted to join the company? The thrill you felt at being part of something bigger than you, something that could possibly make a difference, thanks in part to your contribution? If not, then you have likely lost the passion for the job and are no longer inspired to make the best of it because your reason to do so is either gone or never existed.


You were hired to complete particular functions but you are skilled enough to do other things necessary to the company. These skills are often overlooked, despite your many attempts to show that you can do more to add value to your current role.

Few things hurt more than not tapping into your true potential. Boredom and eventual dissatisfaction seep in and eventually you lose interest in the mundaneness of your job.


Working in an environment that seems routine and does not dare you to be better and operate outside your comfort zone can not only be painful, but will make you question the value of what you do.


If you have been doing the same thing (well) for a while and have realistic expectations of being compensated or given additional responsibilities as a result but it does not seem forthcoming, it may be time to consider that your employer may not ever reward your work, or even see a need to.


Employees leave and are replaced, often citing reasons you can relate to. If you witness the rapid departure of team members because of similar complaints that go unaddressed, this could be an indicator that the company is either unwilling to change or does not have the ability to, which in either case is a reason to start planning your exit strategy.


If the idea of getting additional responsibilities and being further tied to the company drives fear into you, it's quite possible you no longer believe in its goals or share its mission.

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, there are people who do work they enjoy and they are not as rare as we think. If you feel dread in a work environment and have the “Monday blues” throughout the week, it could mean you are stuck in a job that no longer offers anything you want or need — and if this is the case, speak up. See what can be done by your superiors to change your situation. Failing that, continue to work hard while you plan your next move — preferably to a place your efforts will matter.

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