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In a virtual world of working this social interaction has been replaced by longer than planned zoom calls where you complain about prior calls.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.
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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.
17 thoughts on “21 Signs You are Losing Interest in Your Job”
I’d personally whittle most of the article down to: “Many jobs feel hollow and boring, with shallow co-workers and predictable power-structures, therefore it’s reasonable to get tired of the whole scene.” And the next job will likely have similar characteristics.
Also, many jobs produce unnatural resource waste that nature can’t keep tolerating, therefore it’s reasonable to have ethical problems with a line of work you fell into and became increasingly jaded with. Being “gainfully employed” does not make one moral & happy when an economic system is unnatural.
Andy that’s a great piece. It’s like a mirror. Have lost interest in work and desperately looking out for something new… I delay my deliverables till there is no escape. My work quality is poor. I want to consider another career but don’t know where to start.. Should I talk to My Boss?or may be just take a break and restart?
Talk to your boss if you want to stay at your company. But sounds like you have checked out. Before jumping talk to others and have some discussions. Figure out what gets you excited (look back at the last few years) and what does not then. Maybe start a side hustle to get into something more slowly. Buy inaction is not a solution – do something to change the current situation
Talking to your boss will only alert them to the fact that your checked out mentally for the job and from that point on they will not help you. Nobody wants to hear from an unhappy worker. People will help those that are showing productive interest. So just look for another job at this point. The moment you talk to them your done.
Good point and sadly that open conversation you think you are having with your boss, will close the door on your career at your current firm.
This is a very good article. I’ve been with my current company for three years. I completely lost interest mostly due to being burnt out at peak periods. I’m trying to be honest with myself “Is this career for me” since 3 years ago I was in the same position at another company. ( lost interest, burnt out, not motivated to progress)etc. Now I’m at a point where I’m so depressed and unhappy. I haven’t taken a proper vacation in 3 years. It’s has just been tons of work. I don’t know if I need a break or choose another career path. There are certain aspects of my career I love and I’m very good at – been in the field for 15 years.
Should I start my own practice which seem very scary or look for a career change that’s scary as well. These are tough questions but I know I need a change because I’m mentally drained, bored and unhappy at my current company.
Marcia, I am also going through the exact same thing. This is my first job and first company. Its been 3 years in the company. One thing is sure that I fee disinterested in the work I am doing, and thats because I dont like it. But since this is my first job , dont know if switching the compnay will solve the problem
I Love This Article! Too Spot on. I smiled and Laugh silently as i read through each reasons.
Here’s my share of the story. I work in hotel, a part of the finance department for 5 years.
I get tired as years past by..
My unhappiness in work are because:
-I work independently. Others had their very own team. I envy them. But it’s okay, i can still cope.
-The whole accounting teams are not supportive. When i need volunteers for a big project, i get no response until the big boss intervene.
-Even the big boss is a bit over reacted. In fact, he is too worrying that he won’t sign documents that easily. Even just a simple documents….It frustrates me as he is making my work more difficult.
Sometimes I wonder, why am i still here? I’m always so moody everyday going to work. I have no interest in socializing with others within the team, but i am talkative with colleagues from other departments. i try finding other job, but deep inside i am afraid it will be just like here. What if the grass is not greener on the other side? I don’t want to go through that again. I hate it.
I tick all of the 21 signs listed above. I know I’m having problem in this industry, because I loathe my work everyday for the past 5 years and yet I am still here. I can’t leave because I need the money and if I leave the industry, I would have to take a huge paycut and no employer would want to hire me as I have no experience in other industry besides what I’m doing now. I feel like I’m stuck.
Sorry to hear that…and I can say I was in a similar situation. But a major life event forced me to make a choice and yes I had to take a significant pay cut. But I can tell you it was the best decision I ever made. I like what I did and within a couple of years I was back making more than my previous job – because I was good at what I did (since I liked what I did) and I got opportunities I never even realized. SO my advise is, life is too short. Take the plunge and if you are happy, there is a high chance you will be successful.
I knew I need to find new job, since almost all those things you stated above are my situations right now, actually before this I’ ve been unemployed for 3 years, and after that my cousin invited me to work in her company (I’m the only one employee though), however the job is different field in what I studied in university which is science and the job is property management, actually I never imagined I venture to business field but, I really desperate to get a job though, so I joined her and moved to city (which I believed things got better). and now I working here for almost 2 years, at first, I think I did well and I did think this is suitable for me, however things get worse in 2nd year. I’m the only one employee from the start, and now my boss (which is a women) getting real busy with her personal matter (the family matter coz she just giving a birth) so its really hard to discuss things and I think the teamwork is lost (not like in 1st year), and my motivation to work is lost.
and now I’m in dilemma too, I still loved science field (I do part time tutoring for science subject at night), should I make a comeback to this field?, now business field just like suck my life force but I dont know I can make it because I left science field for almost 5 years.
I knew people impression of gen Y that they said we are too spoiled. However I cant ser myself developing if stay here any longer.
Thanks for sharing your story. You are in a tough spot but honestly you need to look longer term (rather than short term). You still sound relatively young and do have your future ahead so don’t stifle your passion. You will be working for 40 yrs in your life so do something more rewarding and in line with your interests (science). You may have to take one step backward to take 3 steps forward. Also your boss seems to be moving on with her life and not focusing on her sole employee…which is not a good sign.
Very nice Article Andy.
My story is similar. It as been 11 years for me doing same line of work and 8 years for me in the same company. I have lost the interest, over 15 items in the list above applies to me. I have a small business on side and wife is working, plus substantial saving that I could live off of for years. So finance is not the issue but I am thinking that If I continue doing the same things for next 5 year then, We can become a financially independent family and no longer have to do Job in future. Current age is 33 years ( Male )and we planning to have our first baby next year. I know sticking with the current job is financially wise decision, also it supports our future plans for a baby, but it is becoming difficult to stay focused. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
Victor – Thanks for the comment. Glad to see you have your finances together, but honestly if you don’t like what you do find something you do or that will challenge you. 5 years is a long time and you can become very bitter if you spend 8 hrs doing something you hate. Look around you may be surprised with the opportunities out there and you sound like an organized and smart guy. Don’t waste your 30’s doing something you dislike. I was in a similar boat until I changed my job and only now wish I had done it sooner.
This Is a great article! There are few points that I agree with and need to work on. Recently, I’ve been losing interest in work and was wondering why it is happening! Perhaps that’s what happens when there’s nothing to challenge! Will have to think over and try a different approach, so that I can inject some fresh thoughts and ways of doing the routine!
I work as an automotive mechanic doing slight and minimal work. When I got into this business 4 years ago, I thought it was the right call for me. My interests were high and my energy was great. Recently, maybe 3-4 months ago, I noticed that my work performance declined, my passion for working on cars dipped, and I always was depressed and unhappy at work. Unfortunately, this last week has been the most difficult as I began working for a new shop doing the same thing. As a man with many many bills, I cannot afford to quit or go back to school. I also have 2 children that depends on my income for food, clothes, school, and etc. Did I mention that my position only pays just enough to get by with food and bills, not enough to save and have a little time off. But, I think back and say to myself…I only have myself to blame. I think back to things I wanted to do or become as a kid and I kick myself for not pursuing it. I know the grass is greener on the other side, but how can I get there?
GT – Thanks for sharing your personal feelings and story. Here are my thoughts on how to “get there”
1. Education for reskilling is key. Look at doing an online course may be the best option for you given your busy life
2. Volunteer at other places to get a feel of other things which may make you more passionate
3. can you move to related insustries where your skills will be valued, but the work would be different?
4. Mentor someone younger, this can be fulfilling
5. Network, network with other people to see what drives them. Ask for feedback and don’t be scared of critisicm – others can sometimes see your strengths/weakness’ better than you,
6. I started this blog as a hobby and at night since I had a day job. It now provides a nice, albiet not life changing, income on the side. And I just learned as I went.
Hopefully this list gets you started.