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How can you tell if you’re working in a dead end job? Wikipedia defines a dead end job as:
“a job in which there is little or no chance of progressing and succeeding into a higher paid position. Such work is usually unskilled and the phrase usually applies to those working as shelf stackers, cleaners, or other menial jobs where the pay is low, and the hours are long.”
What do you think? I think that they touched on part of it, but I also think there’s more to it than that. Let’s talk about the different ways to tell whether or not you are in a dead end job.
Signs you may be in a dead end job
No passion for the work
Having trouble feeling any passion for your work? Have you wondered whether or not such a passion even exists? If you answer yes to either of these questions, you may be working in a dead end job. If you need help figuring it out I highly recommend Gary Vaynerchuck’s book Crush It!
If you are unhappy, dissatisfied, or restless in your current position, it may be time to re-evaluate what you do and where you do it. Personally, I’m at a crossroads in life where I may continue in full-time IT work, or I might move into full-time writing. How will I decide? By experiencing both and seeing which path best suits my gifts and goals.
If you are not passionate about your work… You might be in a dead end job.
No passion for the company
Is your company doing something you can really get behind? In a perfect world, I suppose we would all delay employment until we could find that one blessed company that would help us save the world. Unfortunately, debt, bills, and other monetary obligations often drive us to take a job whether or not we’re passionate about it.
While our ability to choose our employer may have to wait until we are either in high demand or completely debt free, we should still make every effort to work for a company that has similar passions to our own.
If you are not passionate about your company… You might be in a dead end job.
Goals are not aligned
Do your career goals align with the goals of your company? Do you know what your goals are? Are you aware of the goals you company has set? It is very important to ask your employer to communicate and clarify the goals of the company. When you do this, you paint a clear picture of whether or not it is in your best interest to continue in your current position with that company.
If your goals do not align with the company goals… You might be in a dead end job.
No room for advancement
In my current job, I am an IT Manager. The only position I could ascend to would be president of my company. Since I don’t see that happening anytime soon, I have little to no room for advancement. Do you?
When you’re in a position with no room for promotion, you’re boxing yourself into a career corner. Unless you are content with living and working within that specific box, you should probably consider expanding your horizons rather boxing yourself into job dissatisfaction.
If you have no room for title promotion… You might be in a dead end job.
Little to no boost in responsibility
Are you ever asked to take on higher levels of responsibility? It’s not uncommon to be offered more responsibility without being offered a new title or promotion. If you’ve worked at the same company, in the same position, with the same responsibilities year after year after year… I encourage you to reevaluate your employment.
Are you working hard enough? If so then why have you not been asked to take on more work or more responsibility? When an employer trusts your work, they tend to move you into higher and higher levels of responsibility, as long as those levels exist within the company.
If you have little to no chance for boosts in responsibility… You might be in a dead end job.
Little to no salary increases.
I suppose a lack of salary increases is the attribute most commonly associated with dead end jobs. If you have worked the same job for several years without a significant raise or bonus, you may want to reconsider the position.
You should take into consideration whether or not your lack of progress has been because due to poor economic conditions, but don’t make this the only variable. A solid gauge is company profitability. If your company has been profitable for in recent years but you haven’t benefited, there may be a problem.
If you have little to no chance at salary increases… You might be in a dead end job.
Make sure you work hard
If you see your current position as a dead end job please be certain the problem does not lie in your own poor job performance. The last thing I want to do is motivate lazy people to rag on their employer because of their own laziness.
That said… If you do bust your tail for your employer but still fall into several or many of the categories listed above, it may be time to reconsider your position, your company, and maybe even your career.