Are you in the right job?

If you are in a career that you enjoy and it is giving you the fulfilment and progression that you require my advice is to appreciate it and nurture it. It is a wonderful gift.

However having interviewed thousands of people during my 27 years plus of working in recruitment my experience is that a significant number, probably over 50% of people, are not in the job/career that is right for them. He/she is not happy with their job!

How can this be the case in an advanced economy where people are well educated and there are relatively high levels of employment?

It is generally down to bad decisions.

  • We choose the wrong job. Decisions made based on the education route we choose, financial needs/money, location preferences, social status can be very destructive to career success and long term happiness.
  • It can range from hating you job and absolutely dreading going to work to just to a feeling that you are not progressing, a bit boxed in or threading water. Whatever the reasons are, they will eat away at you if you don’t address them.
  • The real problem is not making a wrong career choice in the first place. It is not making the hard decision to change job or at least to address the issues. You can make a wrong career choice but the problems arise if you don’t deal with it and you lack the courage and the self-belief to make the hard call and change.
  • What you do in your working life has a big impact on you short term and long term happiness and development.
  • I don’t think there is a neutral mode. You are either in a role that is suits your talents and you are progressing or you are going backwards.


Take responsibility for the things that you can control.

If you are not happy in your current role, first of all identify the issues that are of your own creation and take responsibility for them. Roy Keane said he was 100% in the right in the Saipan incident during the world cup in 2002. It is very seldom all one way.

What is not right on you current role?

Is it the people you are working with or the culture? Or is it the work itself? Maybe you are just not good at it or you are not getting any fulfilment out of what you are doing and you are not progressing. Identify these and learn from them going forward.

What are your talents and passions?

It is even more important to identify what you are good at and what motivates you the jump out of bed in the morning.

What are you passionate about?

I know when interviewing people I get very good insights into the person when they are speaking about things there are passionate about. The energy and positivity comes through and they light up.

  • Don’t make excuses for not taking actions when career changing decisions are required.
  • Don’t get in your own way to a happier career. 8 times out of 10 we ourselves are the problem.
  • Follow your instincts and ensure you are working in a role that is drawing on your top talents.
  • Be willing to go back to retrain or re-educate for a career you are passionate about.

It can be very difficult to leave the security of a job but I have seen the joy and relief that comes when people do make the break or even where the decision was taken away from them.

The teaching profession is a good example. I have dealt with people who are wonderful teachers and love what they do and they make a very positive impact on the student’s life. I have also dealt with teachers who are trapped in the wrong career. They are well educated smart people but the job security and holidays are very difficult to give up. Nothing, even 3 months holidays in the summer in my view will compensate for a job that you do not enjoy and particularly where talents are being wasted.

Assume a long healthy life.

Everyone has their own perspective in terms of attitude to risk and how long you think you will live but my suggestion is to assume a long and healthy life and make your career decisions on that basis.

Be true to yourself and be brave and decisive.

I would be very interested in your feedback.

BDO Recruitment specialises in sourcing candidates for permanent and temporary positions across the disciplines of Accounting and Finance, Executive Appointments, and Support Staff.

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Career Advice, Job Hunting