Dead-End Job - Are you working one? Signs You Could Be

On 31 Mar., 2022

If you think you might be working a dead-end job, then you’re certainly not alone! But before we begin, let’s clear one thing up Working a dead-end job is not the same as working a job you hate.

Dead-End Job - Are you working one?  Signs You Could Be

Plenty of people work jobs they hate. I’ve done it. I’m sure you’ve done it. I hope you’re not currently doing it. But that’s not the same as a dead-end job. Surprisingly enough, some people seem perfectly content to be in what is essentially a position with no prospects for advancement.

If that’s you, then you have no reason to read further. Take a look at one of the other articles here. You’re happy with that area of your life and that’s cool. On the other hand, if you’re in a dead-end job and you don’t like it, let’s look at a couple of things you can do:

1. Obviously, you can quit. But you know that.

There’s a reason that you haven’t done so already. There could be a thousand different reasons to choose from, but your circumstances and personality are unique.

You need to examine these factors closely—like, really carefully and honestly—to find out why you continue to front up to a role with no future. None of the following points will be worth a brass nickel until you do that. Really.

2. Again, as obvious as this one sounds, too, you could ask for a raise.

Schedule a meeting with your boss and request a performance review. Outline that you haven’t received a pay rise and ask for your salary to be reviewed and the goals and performance criteria for your role to be discussed.

This last bit may sound a little scary because it might mean that you have to work a bit harder for a time. The real value, though, is in demonstrating to your employer that you want to contribute more. This is a far cry from “I deserve a pay rise for no apparent reason”.

Also, at this meeting, you should present a portfolio of the projects you’ve worked on over the period in your current position and the outcomes that were achieved. To practice consistently need to try to present yourself in informal meetings using The bazoocam international chats for freelancers, where you can easily show yourself and your skills, as well as help others like you. It may be the case that your employer simply wasn’t aware of the full extent of your contributions. This is especially true of huge companies with thousands of staff.

3. Make it known that you are looking for advancement.

This needn’t be direct to your immediate boss, who may feel threatened by this—even though you may not be eyeing his or her position anyway. It could just be informally at cocktails on Friday. Or the staff fundraiser, etc.

You see, your supervisors may mistakenly believe that you are perfectly happy in your current role. They’re not mindreaders. If you have done all you can do in that role and now you want to spread your wings a bit, let them know. There is no need to be arrogant or demanding about it. But neither is there any need to hide your light under a bushel!

Talk with your employer and let it be known that you are (even occasionally) available to cover shifts if someone is sick or has some other commitment or emergency. I’m not suggesting that you set yourself up to be taken advantage of, but you’ve got to demonstrate that you have some initiative. Actions speak much louder than words.

Are you in a dead-end job?

What if you’re not sure whether you are actually in a dead-end job? What then? Simple. Ask yourself these two questions:

1. Have I been working for the same salary for several years?

If you have, that may indicate that there’s little room for advancement. Presuming you work hard and haven’t been passed over for promotion time after time after time (which would indicate that perhaps you need to examine how much either you contribute to your employer and/or how your contributions are viewed and valued)… there is probably nowhere much to go beyond your current role—which, unless you’re the CEO, ain’t all that attractive as a long-term prospect.

2. Have I achieved what I set out to achieve in this role?

Did you have goals and objectives when you first took the role? A vision for how you could make a valid contribution to the organization? And yet, somehow these goals have still not been realized after several years?

Alternatively, it may be that you achieved those goals some time ago and there’s been nothing to take their place; that you’ve simply been “coasting along” since then with no real fire under you.

So what are the options? Well, let’s do a quick recap. Either:

  •  You’re in a dead-end job and more or less happy to be there.

While this may well be the case, it raises a serious flag, in my mind. I think you really should take a critical examination of whether you are happy in that role and whether you’re likely to be long-term because although it might be a nice, cozy ride right now if you’d like to be promoted at some point down the track, you may be in for a rude shock.

Likely, your years of doing your job on autopilot (no matter how good you were at it) demonstrated (damn! That word again) your lack of initiative and drive.

Suddenly looking for a promotion after 10 years is unlikely to be taken with much seriousness by your employer because rightly or wrongly, they’re probably going to be thinking that leopards don’t usually change their spots.

  • You can ask directly for a promotion or a raise. Or “put the word out” informally that you’re looking to step up to something more challenging.
  • You can quit. Even if it’s for a job that essentially looks the same, but has more options within the new organization for advancement.
  •  Or, finally, you can give it a second chance. If you look critically at your role and your contributions, you may, indeed, find that there are things you can do. Things that can be expanded. Programs or systems that can be overhauled. Procedures that can be streamlined. And so on.

This could very well kill two birds with one stone, namely: Injecting a new sense of vitality into you and how you feel about your job (and your role in the organization), and demonstrating (yep, there we go again!) to your superiors that you do want to contribute and that you’ve got enough initiative to take the bull by the horns and make it happen!

Dead-End Job - Are you working one?  Signs You Could Be
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