At some point in time most of us have been through periods where we lose interest in our jobs or our career. In fact as we emerge from the pandemic this is being felt more keenly as people reassess their work/life priorities and a record number of people look to change their 9 to 5 gig.
Generally a lack of interest in work is only a problem if the attitude persists for more than a few weeks and noticeable changes in behavior occur. But you also must be careful not to over react. Make sure that your lack of interest is not just a temporary concern that will pass as things go back to normal.
With that in mind, here are 21 sure signs that you are losing interest in your job indicating that it maybe time for a change in your attitude or to start looking for a new job.
1. You no longer feel challenged or enthused by the work you are doing. It is either boring or of little interest to you and your only goal is to get it done as soon as possible, as opposed to doing the best job possible
2. You cannot concentrate on a particular activity for more than an hour or without first having a caffeine or chocoloate induced buzz. This includes getting easily distracted by other’s conversations or general office noise
3. You feel that you are always getting the crappy assignments and others in your team are getting the good ones. This could also be a sign that your employer is losing interest in you!
4. You cannot remember the last time you got a promotion, above average raise or a special achievement award, and you have stopped caring that you haven’t got one of these in a while
5. You get too work late (or start late if working virtually) and leave early for no real reason other than you want to minimize your time spent at work. Overtime is a painful word to you
6. You look forward to the social interactions at work more than the actual work it self. In fact this maybe the only reason you still keep your current job. This is reflected when everyone comes to you for the office gossip and management gripes, and you are more than happy to discuss and complain about how bad the current conditions or management are.
In a virtual world of working this social interaction has been replaced by longer than planned zoom calls where you complain about prior calls. You then shift these work gripes to people with whom you live with.
7. You feel that things have to be better elsewhere and that it is only your job/company that is bad. This is called the “Grass is greener on the other side syndrome”, and is rarely true, especially if this is the second or third job/company in a row that is making you feel this way
8. You spend more than 2 to 3 hours a day on a regular basis on non-work related stuff like checking all your social media sites, surfing the web for the latest political news, celebrity gossip, blogging, stock trading ideas, online shopping or on message boards
9. All you care about is your paycheck and not about professional growth, future projects or where the company is headed
10. You can’t be bothered participating in any after work related social or sporting activities. These are some of the best networking opportunities and committed employees make the time to go to these
11. You tune out in a majority of meetings you attend and can’t remember the last meeting where made a constructive contribution
12. You never volunteer for projects or activities that could mean extra work for you, but could also have resulted in recognition of your work by senior management
13. You blame office or organizational politics for everything that is bad in the company, and think that you could do things better but just don’t have the authority
14. You feel like everyone enjoys being at work while you don’t, and start resenting your colleagues and management who are doing well in their job and seemingly getting all the accolades
15. You only do enough work to get by and to avoid detection of your lack of interest. Note: Unless your boss or manager is in the same shoes of you, the lack of enthusiasm or engagement will soon get noticed. Which will shift your disinterest to resentment.
16. You actually look at the spam emails talking about made up jobs that look to be too true, like professional chocolate taster. All they want is your email and phone number, to put you on a master distribution list. This also extends to the excessive amount of time you spend on LinkedIn or other professional networking sites, to see what your “connections” are doing. Networking is good, but not when it becomes your main activity while at work
17. You feel really depressed on Sunday evenings at the prospect of having to work the next day
18. You are only in your job because the economy is bad and so you justify to yourself that there is no point in looking for another job
19. You stop mentoring or helping junior colleagues and feel resentful of the fact they are trying to do your job without the years of experience you have
20. You take several sick or mental days a month when neither you nor anyone in your family is really unwell. You may have even faked having COVID symptoms, to take even more days off than usual
21. You have read this entire list a few times over and can relate to a majority (15+) of the items!
If you met the criteria for point 21, then it is time to start looking for a new job because you are in a rut with your current role and on your way to becoming a disgruntled employee. Either look within the company (if the issue is only with your current role/department) or for a fresh start look at moving to a new company.
Don’t wait for things to get “better”, because in most cases they won’t. If you find the same signs have emerged in the recent jobs you have held, it could be time for a career or even more importantly, an attitude change.
Quiet or Ghost Quitting Your Job?
Since I complied the above list a few years ago, a new theme has emerged whereby people have taken the intersection of trying to find their “purpose/next chapter” and losing interest in their job to the next level.
This theme is known as ghost or quiet quitting – and you can find plenty of examples and stories on social media.
Basically you know you have ghost or quiet quit your job, especially in a post pandemic and more remote working world, when you show little enthusiasm in your job by doing the bare minimum to get your work done without apparent performance issues.
Further, you have no desire to quit your job in the near term and so are just collecting a paycheck while filling your time with other activities than you prioritize more. This also means a lack of interest in climbing the corporate ladder or going that extra yard to impress your boss.
This theme or mental approach to working is especially evident in those under 35 (Gen Z and younger millennials), where according to a recent Gallup poll nearly half of the sample workers in this group showed a distinct lack of job engagement.