Square peg in a round hole: Are you in the wrong job?

Do you wake up feeling energised, or dreading the work day ahead? Are you in a role where you can be yourself, or do you feel like the “ugly duckling” of the profession? Here’s how to tell if you’re in the right job.

Square peg in a round hole: Are you in the wrong job?
HR can be a highly rewarding profession, but it also comes with a lot of challenges – having tough conversations, dealing with delicate dilemmas and creating positive relationships with line managers and executives, to name a few. 

For those of us who are passionate about the HR profession, it’s important to find a role in the right organisation or sector to feel that we’re making a difference and that our talents are being fully utilised.

Here are five signs that you’re in the right job:

1.You wake up energised and look forward to tackling your to-do list

Waking up and feeling excited about work might seem like a bit of a stretch for some, but if you love your job, the excitement for it will come naturally, according to management expert and author Peter Economy. And once you’re at work, getting through your tasks and coming up with new ones for the next day should be enjoyable. “People who love their jobs accept and embrace the day-to-day routine of what they do, knowing that the little things have to be done first to get to the big things,” Economy wrote in a piece for Inc.com.

2.Your role allows you to play to your strengths

HR executive and author Louis Efron wanted to be a musician, but after years of struggling to learn different instruments, he was forced to admit his limitations and choose a career that utilised his natural skillset. “As head of human resources for a large manufacturing division I witnessed and documented some workers in the exact same job turn out twice as much as their counterparts – and with far fewer errors,” Efron wrote in a Forbes article. “The successful employees were playing to their strengths, doing what came naturally to them. Be honest with yourself and others about what you do well and what you don’t and seek a job that best fits you.”

3.You enjoy being in the office and look forward to new projects

“When you’re in your element doing what you love, you feel at your best,” said Economy. For those who aren’t racing the clock or trying to get ahead of their co-workers, they work hard on their projects because they are looking forward to tackling the next ones.

4.You feel like you fit in

If you relate to the ugly duckling from the fairytale of the same name, chances are that you’re not in the right role. “A beautiful swan makes a horrible duck. A brilliant engineer might also make a lousy – and unhappy – sales associate,” said Efron. People’s personality traits draw them to different roles and if you’ve chosen a role that suits your personality, you’re likely to find a connection with others in the same job.

5.You talk about your job a lot – and not to complain

While people who hate their jobs are likely to talk about them on a regular basis, people who love what they do are also likely to be vocal on the subject. According to Megan Broussard, founder of the career website ProfessionGal, you know you’re in the right job when “you are the only happy one at happy hour because everyone else is drinking to wallow after a bad day. You’re pumped you’re so lucky to do what you do.” And if you’re in the right job, chances are that you encourage others to work for your company.
How did you know that HR was the right profession for you?

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