giftedness matters !

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ten Signs Your Job Doesn’t Fit You (Including Some You’ve Never Thought Of)

Can’t stand your job? Maybe the problem’s not the job, but the job-fit. Here are ten symptoms to check out.

By definition, a job that fits you is one that energizes you and brings satisfaction because it calls for strengths you enjoy using and allows you to work in conditions where you thrive.

In short, job-fit is about energy. If you gain energy doing your job, it’s a good fit. If you lose energy doing your job, it’s not a good fit.


Don’t laugh! I once worked with a man who told me that every morning when he got to work, he got sick to his stomach in the company parking lot. You might say that his gut was literally telling him he was in the wrong job.

If you woke up this past Monday morning and said, “I hate Mondays!” you were probably just avoiding the truth: what you really hate is your job. If you didn’t, you’d look forward to going back to it.

Sadly, too many people think that work is not supposed to be satisfying. As the saying goes, “Why do you think they call it ‘work’?”

If that’s how you feel about work, let me tell you that somehow you have bought into a lie. Work was never intended to be a curse, but a gift. I know there are a thousand things that can turn work into something awful. But work itself turns out to be hugely rewarding—if (big if!) you’re doing work that has your name on it.

If you hate your job, you’re doing the wrong job for you. It’s that simple.

When you’re heart’s not in your job, you find excuses not to do it. The path of least resistance is to linger over coffee with a coworker, to take an extra half-hour for lunch, to set an appointment such that it gets you out of the office early, etc.

Mistakes happen. But they’re not supposed to happen often, and they certainly don’t keep happening when someone is gifted to the task. We’ve all had the waitress who gets all the orders wrong. We’ve all watched the weatherperson who couldn’t get the right screens punched up. When we were in school, we all sat under the teacher who was so boring even his dog ran away.

You may just call those people incompetent—and they are—but a display of incompetence is one of the surest signs that someone is in the wrong job.

If you’ve got a lot of dissatisfied customers, if your boss is constantly “riding you” because she says you’re not getting the job done, if your coworkers always have to remind you about balls that you’ve dropped, if you’re routinely turning in your assignments late, if you’re having to spend a lot of extra time correcting mistakes—consider that you may be trying to do a job that just doesn’t fit you.

I don’t know why, but one of the most common things people tell me about themselves when they call The Giftedness Center is that they are ADD or ADHD (for attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). I’m not  doctor, so I take their word for it.

But here’s what’s interesting: whenever someone is functioning in the “sweet spot” of their giftedness, they have absolutely no problem focusing on the task. I’ve never seen a case otherwise.

Which tells me that if someone is having a difficult time staying on-task in their job, that’s probably a sign they are in the wrong job.

And boy, have I seen lots of cases of that! There’s the lady who is never at her cubicle, but instead wanders around the office all day looking for people to engage in conversation. There’s the guy who gets up from his desk every ten minutes to go get another cup of coffee. There’s the person who keeps checking her Facebook page. And of course we all know coworkers who waste time by surfing the Internet and doing their shopping on-line (of course, we would never do that!).

Some people think that focus is just a matter of discipline. But it’s not. Focus is a function of fit. If a task fits you well, you stay locked on it, because you’re gaining energy from it. But if you’re doing work that doesn’t fit you, it’s easy to become distracted because you have no skin in the game, motivationally speaking.

When we talk about motivation, we’re talking about human energy directed at a purpose. There’s an aim in view. Achieve that aim, and life makes sense.

When a marksman hits a bulls-eye, he feels motivated to shoot again. When a salesperson makes a sale, she feels motivated to sell again. When a teacher sees the light bulb of understanding come on in a kid’s head, she feels motivated to teach again.

But suppose no matter how many times the marksman aims at the target, he never hits it. Suppose the salesperson never closes a sale. Suppose the teacher never sees any of her students “get it.”

Does anybody really want to do a job that doesn’t accomplish anything?

There is a direct correlation between job-fit and emotional health.

Let me put it another way: there is a direct correlation between job-fit and sanity.

I’m completely serious. People who are in poor job-fits invariably display emotional dis-ease. Among the possibilities I’ve personally seen people experience and/or exhibit are: chronic anger, depression, cynicism, boredom, lassitude (no energy), nervousness, confusion, worry, and denial.

Perhaps the biggest category of all is stress (more on that below).

I’ve often wondered how many people are seeing therapists for their emotional problems, when the real source of their trouble is that they are going to work every day at a job that doesn’t fit them.

Remember, next to a bad marriage, there’s nothing worse—and probably nothing more emotionally toxic—than a bad job-fit.

“My boss is a jerk!” I hear that complaint all the time. Indeed, the number-one reason people quit their jobs is because they can’t stand their supervisor.

I wonder, though, if a lot of the complaints people level at their bosses are really the result of being in jobs that don’t fit them.

Think about it: if you’re in a mis-fit, you’re probably not doing your job all that well. You probably lack the innate abilities required to do it well. So if you don’t do the job well, what’s going to happen? Your performance is going to suffer and your results are going to show it. 

Whose job is it to tell you you’re not getting the job done? Your boss, of course. And what’s the likelihood that your boss is going to be able to deliver that bad news in a way that doesn’t hurt or upset you? Not much.

So when you’re hurt and upset, what are you liable to do? Get mad at your boss, right? Especially if you didn’t see it coming—which is often the case when people are working at tasks for which they are not gifted. They often don’t know enough to know that their efforts are unacceptable.

The same applies with your coworkers. If you’re constantly getting into fights with the people you work with, pay attention to that. It’s a sign that you (or they, or both of you) may be in a job that doesn’t have your name on it.

I say that because when I consult with teams, I find they have a way of “outing” individuals who don’t fit on the team. Not that anyone is necessarily aware they are slowly but surely ostracizing one of their members. But teams by their nature like to be effective. They like to get the job done (unless, of course, the whole team dynamic is dysfunctional). So if somebody is not contributing in some way to that end, team members unconsciously start to “lean on” that person in order to correct their behavior.

Conflicts at work are inevitable, because it’s impossible for humans to live or work together without conflict. But if you’re experiencing chronic conflict with the people at work, consider whether the root of the problem might be a poor job-fit.

I should put this one in flashing red lights, because the body is the last line of defense between a person and complete burnout or breakdown. 

Remember what I said at the beginning, that job-fit is about energy? If you gain energy doing your job, it’s a good fit. If you lose energy doing your job, it’s not a good fit. I’m not just talking about emotional energy. Motivation affects the body as well as the soul. When you’re doing work that fits you, your body benefits. When you’re doing work that doesn’t fit you, your body pays a price.

The biggest price is stress. Stress is very difficult to define, but somehow we all know what it is. Toxic stress manifests itself physically through symptoms like tense muscles, headaches, ulcers weight gain or weight loss, hypertension, sleep problems (too much, too little), and nausea. I suppose we could add secondary symptoms like increased smoking, overeating (which includes incessant snacking), overuse of caffeine-laden drinks, abuse of alcohol and other substances, and addictions of all kinds.

It’s interesting that with all the research going on nowadays around heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other conditions related to stress, no one seems to be paying much attention to the direct correlation between job-fit and stress.

Physical ailments are the final warning that a person is in a poor job-fit. So if you’re experiencing some of the symptoms I’ve just described, you need to make a change in employment—not in a few years or months, but now! Life is short enough. No point in making it even shorter by working at a job that’s killing you.


If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times: “Bill, I don’t care what my husband does for a living. I’m just sick and tired of seeing him come home all stressed out, worn out, beat up, and hating life.”

The people who know you best—and love you most—intuitively know whether or not you are in the right job. Indeed, a couple of decades after the whole debate began about working moms, the research showed that the number-one factor in a child’s well-being was not whether its mother worked, but whether the working mother enjoyed her job. If she did, her kids were fine with her working. If she didn’t, they didn’t like her working.

Are you driving your family crazy when you get home from work (they’ll be glad to let you know if you’re unsure)? If so, maybe the real problem is not your family life, but your work life. Dissatisfaction with work leads to dissatisfaction in every other area of a person’s life.

It’s very common for people to tell me they love their job. But when I press in and ask them about it, I discover what they actually “love” is not the work itself or the content of the job, but the benefits they’re receiving. Number one on that list is usually health insurance.

Look, I can’t fault anyone for doing what they feel they must to have health insurance (or to have their stock options vest, or to earn a pension, etc.). But if that describes you, don’t fool yourself that you “love your job.” In truth, you may hate your job; you just tolerate it because of the benefits.

I always sigh when I meet someone in that boat. I sigh for them, because it feels to me like they are wearing a set of golden handcuffs. They’re chained to a job they can’t stand only because someone has set up a financial arrangement that they find too attractive to walk away from. To me, that’s sad, especially when life is so short.

I also sigh for their employer. I mean, how would you like to have someone on your team who is privately saying to their family and friends, “The only reason I stay at my job is for the health insurance”?

So those are ten signs of job mis-fit. If you’ve read this far, let me say thank you by throwing in a bonus category:

Ironically, this may be the most common scenario of all. Countless people go to work everyday and satisfy the expectations of their employer. They do decent work, and in some cases very good work. But their heart isn’t in it. It’s “just a job.”

It is quite possible to be able to do a job well but still find no personal satisfaction or fulfillment from doing it. I’ve worked with lawyers, doctors, accountants, athletes, musicians, ministers, salespeople, homemakers, and folks in countless other occupations who were doing very good work—but they couldn’t stand their jobs.

That’s because only you know whether you are gaining or losing energy from your work. Yes, one sign that a job may fit you is that others affirm your efforts. But just because those others are satisfied with what you’re doing doesn’t mean you’re necessarily satisfied with it or by it. 

Your giftedness can’t be fooled. When you do the thing that you are uniquely designed to do, you know it in your heart. You feel that “Yes!” That surge of satisfaction and fulfillment. There’s an undeniable flash of joy that washes over your being.

If it’s been a while since you’ve experienced that satisfaction, I suggest you seriously consider whether you’re in the right job for you, because you’re probably not.

Question: Have you ever experienced one or more of the symptoms of job mis-fit listed above? If so, how did you go about placing yourself in a work situation that fit you better?

NEXT POST ON Please, DON’T Follow Your Passion!


  1. Wow! I had every single one of these before I left my previous job. Thank you for publishing this list. So many of us just don't know.

  2. What about EVERY poor person who just can't afford to up and quit a job according to the above 10 "so-called" signs???????

    1. Then you are waiting tables. I think sometimes you have to work in order to pay the bills...That's me. My job is supplement our income...and it's just that.

    2. That's true, but at what point do you decide that it's time to do what you like and start building the foundation to do so? Doing something just to pay the bills should be a temporary thing if it negatively affects your life. I hope that you found where you fit.

  3. Now here you'll find some decent argumentative thesis statement examples

  4. As I read the blog I felt a tug on the heartstrings.

  5. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. cg govt job

  6. I read that Post and got it fine and informative.
    resume template adobe

  7. This is my first time visit to your blog and I am very interested in the articles that you serve. Provide enough knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful and don't forget, keep sharing useful info: Visit Office Rental Singapore

  8. Thanks a lot for sharing us about this update. Hope you will not get tired on making posts as informative as this.

  9. You completed certain reliable points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog. Buscar empleo

  10. These statistics often show the number of job seeker views and applications submitted to each job posting. Contractors can use statistics to evaluate their results and modify the job posting accordingly.Cover letter

  11. When someone is able to change how they view their career, along with the jobs they have held, workplace diversity Singapore they are able to transform their attitude and self-belief, becoming a much stronger job candidate regardless of the number of available opportunities.

  12. is a second generation, family owned bedding solution company for B2C as well as B2B customers. We are the inventive brand that accredits you to buy Online Our Blankets, Quilts & Bed Sheets in Pakistan.

  13. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it! bank job vacancies in sri lanka

  14. An fascinating discussion is value comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this matter, it won’t be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers Europa-Road targonca szállítás Debrecen

  15. I've been looking for info on this topic for a while. I'm happy this one is so great. Keep up the excellent work Bd Job news

  16. Thank you for some other informative blog. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information. VoiceofNigeria

  17. This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article. family healthcare

  18. This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck. short good morning messages
    This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck. short good morning messages

  19. You can likewise give individuals something of significant worth, similar to a free exercise plan that you've reviewed. It's something free, which will in general make them more willing to stop briefly and consider what you're pitching to them to the extent pursuing fitness preparing. spa day benifits

  20. Social dancing is a great action that advantages individuals, all things considered. acrobatics

  21. I felt very happy while reading this site. This was really very informative site for me. I really liked it. This was really a cordial post. Thanks a lot!. Fit Bay

  22. Nice post brother, I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before. There is certainly a lot to know about this issue.I love all of the points you’ve made. I am sure this post has touched all the internet viewers.
    gia ve may bay vietjet tu han quoc ve viet nam

    vé máy bay từ úc về việt nam

    vé máy bay từ san francisco về việt nam

    Chuyến bay từ Đài Loan về Hồ Chí Minh hôm nay

    giá vé máy bay từ mỹ về việt nam tháng 12

    vé máy bay từ vancouver về việt nam

  23. Loved the way you wrote it, thanks for sharing such great information. If you want to get info about Kenya evisa application, you can read out the Kenya evisa portal, you can fill out the Kenya online visa application in minutes, and then you will pay the kenya evisa cost to enter kenya legally.

  24. Thanks for sharing excellent information. Keep sharing such useful information.. You can read about info related to FRRO through India evisa website. And apply for an efrro India.

  25. Thank you.. Get the Azerbaijan electronic visa through online e visa application to travel to Azerbaijan. Just follow 3 steps, fill application, upload document and make online payment for Azerbaijan e visa.

  26. As well as reducing these stress levels, regular massages can assist overall physical and mental well-being. 출장

  27. West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) is the West Bengal state Government Administered Autonomous Examining Authority has Adopted the Curriculum and Text Book for National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an autonomous organisation, WBBSE 10th Class Textbook Students Download WB Board 10th Class new Textbooks 2022 for NCERT it is Very useful, WBBSE 10th Class Students get your Study Material Useful by NCERT, The NCERT also interacts and works in Collaboration with the international Organisations, visiting Foreign Delegations and Offers Various Training Facilities to Educational Personnel From Developing countries. The major constituent units of NCERT which are located in Different Regions of the Country are, Visit NCERT Official Website get Study Material All Subject Wise Pdf Format.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. HP Board 9th Textbook 2023, HPBOSE 9th Textbook 2023 HP Board 9th Textbook 2023 9th class from the HP Board and this time looking for the HPBOSE 9th Textbook 2023 they will able soon to Download it on the board official site. HP 9th Textbook 2023 The HPBOSE has conducted 9th class examination from 04th March, to 18th March, on various examination center in over HP state. It HPBOSE 9th Textbook 2023 will announce by Himachal Pradesh Board in last week of May, .

  30. glad to see this post

  31. HRMS: Human Resources Management System. University of Rochester Human Resources. ... HRMS · MyPath· connections academy Our Commitment to Diversity · Veteran Job Seekers. Strategic Initiatives. 2020-2021 Annual . Rochester, New York HRIS, HRMS And HCMS database and connect with the best HRIS, HRMS And HCMS Professionals and other HR.Human Resources Management System. University of Rochester Human Resources. ... HRMS · MyPath·Our Commitment to Diversity · Veteran Job Seekers. Strategic Initiatives. 2020-2021 Annual . Rochester, New York HRIS.

  32. Your blog post masterfully captures the nuances of human thought and emotion. It's akin to embarking on a journey through the labyrinth of our minds, where each word serves as a guidepost illuminating the path of introspection. Your ability to articulate the complexities of our inner worlds is truly exceptional, drawing readers into a realm of profound reflection and understanding.

  33. Your post offers a fresh perspective that's truly captivating! It delves into unexplored realms with finesse, unveiling hidden gems often missed. Your insights are profound, presented with a grace that keeps readers engaged from start to finish.

  34. Barbeque is a style of indirect cooking that uses live fire and smoke to heat food. Most countries and regions have their own barbecue grill seasoningIn North America, pitmasters BBQ foods by roasting or smoking them over wood or charcoal at low temperatures for several hours, transforming whole roasts and tough cuts into tender, succulent pieces of meat.

  35. Your message about the importance of recognizing small victories really hit home for me. It's easy to get caught up in the big picture and forget the little achievements that contribute to our progress. Your thoughts on mindfulness and being present are timely reminders to appreciate each moment. Since adopting some of your tips, I've noticed a significant decrease in my stress levels. Your advice is both practical and easy to follow, making it incredibly valuable. Please continue to share your wisdom—I'm excited for your next post.


Your thoughts?