New Idea: 5 ways to tell you're not in the right job - Michelle Gibbings

In the April issue of New Idea, I share five warning signs to look out for that may indicate you’re not in the right job. You can read my five tell-tale signs here.

Hate your job? Here’s what to do.

It’s never too late to change your career. Here’s how!

A career change doesn’t usually happen by accident. It’s the result of deliberate planning and action. Change leadership and career expert Michelle Gibbings ( knows all there is to know about changing careers. Her latest book, Career Leap: How To Reinvent And Liberate Your Career is a step-by-step guide to reinventing yourself in the workforce. Michelle explains all you need to know to make that change in your life…

What is your value?

If you decide you are ready to change, then you need to get clear on the value you offer, according to Michelle. “Everyone brings certain skills and ways of operating to they work they do. It’s essential to be able to clearly articulate that value and how you can help an organisation, business or client achieve their objectives,” she says. “It is this value you will be selling when you are looking for a new job.”

Know your strengths

According to Michelle, it is much easier to choose and make your career leap when you play to your current strengths.

‘It is these strengths, these skills and competencies, that will help you stand out as you transition across roles or industries, or whatever your leap involves,’ Michelle says.

‘You will use these strengths as a launching pad for your career leap, highlighting them in your LinkedIn profile and when talking to prospective employers or clients… they are the critical building blocks for success in your new career.’

Start with some soul searching

Before you throw it all in, Michelle recommends you dig into why it is that you hate your job.

‘Ask yourself: “What isn’t working? Is it the role, the people, my boss or other factors? Are there aspects of my job I am enjoying? If so, is there a way to tweak what I am doing to do more of that (and less of what I don’t like)?”’ she says.

‘Then ask: “Is being in this role a potential stepping stone to something else I’d rather do?” If
so think: “Is it worth sticking it out for a bit longer?” Answering these questions will help you work out if you should leave, and how quickly.’

Michelle says we need to consider what we are prepared to do about the situation, and how much energy we are prepared to spend in making a change.

‘Changing roles takes time and effort,’ she says.

Build a strong network

Reports say that between 60 and 80 per cent of jobs available are unadvertised or sourced through a contact. So your network is critical. “You want to build a strong stakeholder network where you are known for something, are respected, and have a strong network of people willing to speak for you,” says Michelle.

Five ways to tell you’re not in the right job

According to Michelle Gibbings there are five warning signs to look out for

  1. Performance is dropping: the work environment no longer brings out the best in you. Your motivation is dropping, so you are doing only what you have to do.
  2. There’s a value’s disconnect: Your values and those of the organisation are out of alignment, such that you feel like you have to change who you are when you are at work.
  3. ‘Cynic’ is your middle name: You are spending large parts of the day complaining about what’s happening at work.
  4. Afflicted by burn out: You feel burnt out and the physical signs of stress are coming out in how you behave at home with your friends and family.
  5. You’ve stopped learning: If you’ve stopped learning at work and there is no more room to grow or expand your horizons, it may be time to step outside.