How to Spot That You're in the Wrong Career

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One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself in your work life is to stop trying to love your job. This isn't to say that you should hate your work or even feel ambivalent about it. But the more you stake your identity on your career, the more difficult it can be to exist outside of it.


Alison Green, the advice columnist and HR professional behind ​Ask a Manager​, urges finding just such a balance in her latest reader letter at ​The Cut.​ The writer states that while they don't hate their present job like their last one in their industry, they also don't feel any ambition to plan a career at that company.

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"Finding work you're passionate about — and which pays you a living wage — is like winning the lottery in a lot of ways," Green replies. "It's great when it happens, but you're not a failure if it doesn't. But if you actively dislike the way you're spending 40-plus hours a week, that's a sign that something is wrong."


A lot of factors come into play when it comes to matching well with your job. Researchers have shown that it doesn't actually matter that much how well your career role matches with your interests; what's far more important is that you're treated well and you're compensated fairly. Green emphasizes that it's actually never too late to change your career direction to something that's a better fit for you. All it takes is figuring out a new story to tell about yourself.