Are you caught in a wrong career??

Ohh!!That moment when you realize that you are caught in the wrong career. This is one thing that most of us have gone through. It is really uncommon for a person to land right there in a job/career which she /he loves or is apt to be there. You may go through myriads of feelings like, “I wanna be there” or “I don’t know where I want to be, but definitely not here”. There may be times when you are forced to take up some job which is in front of you rather than waiting for the dream job or the “right job”. It might be due to financial reasons, personal constraints, lack of opportunities or may be because you don’t know the right job for you.

When I took my first job as a software engineer (my reason for taking that was financial), I always knew deep in my mind that this is not what I love doing. But I thought, who knows, may be I would start loving it in the course of time. But sadly, that was not the case. Frustration was building up in life and each day was an emotional catastrophe for me at work. There are many articles and blog posts that tell us the numerous signs that we are in a wrong job. These signs generally include low performance, no promotion, social isolation at work, that you being the ugly duckling of your team etc. Do you have any of these issues? If so, you are obviously in the wrong job and don’t have to read further, you must buckle up and devote your time on reading those posts on how to land in your dream job!!

To be frank I did not belong to any of these categories, as may be the case with several of you. I was always a high performer at work, got timely promotions and had a good circle of friends in office, so why would I think that I’m caught in a wrong career. But I was. My symptoms or signs of that were more subtle and internal. The signs above are more in the category of hygiene factors as per Herzberg’s  two factor theory of motivation and most of the times, what are more troublesome are the motivational factors.  So here are a few intrinsic signs that you are caught upon the wrong job, other than just a simple lack of interest.

6 Intrinsic signs that you are caught in a wrong career.

  1. Lack of confidence at work: You always feel that you lack something and that your colleagues are better than you. In spite of working hard and being a top performer, you would have that inferiority complex. Are you one of those who hardly raise your hands during any team meetings or brain storming sessions? This lack of confidence may gradually penetrate into your personal life also. So watch out.
  2. Lack of interest in professional growth: You are caught in a field which really does not tickle your nerves. You would not put in any effort to learn more about the field, do any certification or try to increase your network of the people in the same profession. In fact, you would feel like an alien in their presence. Discussions about new happenings in your field during a team lunch or a casual get together would make you so uncomfortable and you would hold yourself back.
  3. Lack of creativity: As you are not that interested in the field and don’t do much to know more about it, you would find it difficult to come up with something original. You would always wonder how your colleagues are doing it. You will not take any initiative and would always be at the reactive side.
  4. Feeling of self-doubts: Whenever you get a promotion or a good rating, you would think that this happened out of fluke and you truly don’t deserve it. There are other people who are smarter than you and one day will come when your true self will be revealed to others.This is called the Imposter Syndrome. Because of this fear, you would always tend to offer the opportunities that come in your way to others. This would in turn lead to that feeling where you are not able to justify your position.
  5. Work would be routine & mechanical: Most of the time you would work hard and get the results. But the reason for doing so may be that you don’t like people questioning you and that your reputation will be at stake otherwise. You would be doing the work just for doing it and would not derive any personal satisfaction out of it.
  6. Constant Stress: Stress is there in all jobs, I agree. But this one is different. Whenever a new task is given to you, you get so tensed thinking that you have managed somehow till now and this one may be the destructor. But if you love what you are doing, you would find new tasks as challenges rather than as stress factors.

So if you have any of these, start thinking. May be the reason for which you took up the job is still valid. But it’s time to explore the options for you, yes for you and not for the situation you are in. You should definitely not live your life like a fish out of water and don’t let a fish be judged on its ability to climb a tree.

And yeah, please don’t forget to share your experiences if you ever had been in a wrong career.


The Ardent HR

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  • Good thoughts Krishna


    Thank you Neha! So glad that you stopped by.

  • Rightly said… Unfortunately the Indian Education System leaves little time for youngsters to actually discover their interests and passions in life. When it’s time to think, they are pushed towards the numerous entrance exams and the rat race continues till its too late. The years that are most crucial towards career building are made dreadful and exhausting. I wish that changes a bit here…


    Totally agree with you,Niti.Children are forced to fit into existing molds which is very sad.

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