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November 3, 2021

Drop The Job: 7 Signs Of A Toxic Career Choice To Avoid

After the chaos of last year’s world, this year has seen a new shakeup in the American economy: job resignations. 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, leaving 10.4 million job openings, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is likely that everyone reading has either switched jobs or seen a close colleague […]

After the chaos of last year’s world, this year has seen a new shakeup in the American economy: job resignations. 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, leaving 10.4 million job openings, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is likely that everyone reading has either switched jobs or seen a close colleague leave this year. With the job market this hot, now is a great time for employees to ascertain whether their job (new or not!) is a perfect fit. 

Here are seven signs that a recent career choice might have been a mistake:

1) No clear boundaries.

Boundaries are key in any relationship, and that is of course true of those that take place at work. There is nothing more frustrating than a boss that does not understand how to set, follow, or maintain boundaries. Clear boundaries might be set in many aspects of work life from job descriptions to hours when emails will not be answered. A job that lacks these boundaries will likely be frustrating and exhausting.

2) Multiple bosses with multiple deadlines.

Most jobs have a primary supervisor and other additional bosses that an employee might occasionally interact with, but a job with multiple bosses with similar authority can be tricky. Oftentimes, these multiple bosses are associated with multiple projects on differing deadlines, and figuring out what to prioritze can be hard. Additionally, competing egos tend to make internal politics exhausting when everyone wants an employee’s full attention all the time.

3) No time off.

One survey cited burnout as the most frequent reason people left their jobs in the past year, with forty percent of job switchers leaving for that reason. It is nothing new that employees tend to be unhappy at work when they do not get enough time away from their job, but the strain of the pandemic has made this more true than ever. A job where there is no time off is toxic. This includes workplaces that brag about having unlimited vacation time, but that then never allow employees to actually use that time.

4) The organization’s morality and yours are misaligned.

One of the things that makes for truly happy and fulfilled employees is when employees feel that their workplace’s goals and mission align with their own. It can be challenging to do great work when it is for an organization that makes decisions that are hard to stand behind. If your workplace is making moves that feel uncomfortable with your own morality, this is a good sign that this new gig is not a great fit.

5) No room for growth.

One of the fastest ways to frustrate employees is to force them to stay stagnant in their careers. Even really accomplished professionals with fancy job titles may find that their workplace leaves little room for professional advancement or personal growth, and that can be frustrating and demoralizing. A job that leaves employees wanting more and never able to achieve it can be a sign that this workplace is not a good choice.

6) High turnover rates.

This year has seen much higher employee turnover than is normal, to be fair. Any workplace with consistently high turnover where new employees end up as relatively senior in a short amount of time can be cause for concern, however. When seeing this phenomenon in a workplace, it can be a good idea to ask around about what is driving the resignations in a more micro way. Establish whether this is an industry trend or the sign of a toxic workplace before finding out the hard way.

7) The family mentality.

Businesses have long loved to say that “we’re all a family here” as a way of making employees seem bonded and close. However, this mentality can be a red flag in terms of supervisors who will frequently break boundaries, expect more commitment than is reasonable, and refuse to give expected time off. Workplaces are workplaces and not families for a reason. Take good care when this mentality comes up and do not allow it to break down important boundaries.

The good news is that if you are worried about having made the wrong career move this year, some experts are predicting a wave of “boomerang employees,” people who leave a job and then return to that job shortly thereafter. If these career red flags apply to a job you have been in for a long time, this employee-driven market may be just the opportunity to start looking for a change.

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.

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