20 signs you are dead weight
You no longer have a place in your company. You still have a job, but not a place there anymore. As soon as you recognize the signs you can do something about it: try to change, get help, quit, take time off, or anything that can prevent your reputation and personal brand to be negatively affected by this situation; because, despite appearances, being dead weight is not really a character flaw but a personal condition that can be avoided and, if necessary, overcome. Ask yourself if any of these descriptions apply to you.
1. You are bored. Yes, work bores you. There is little or nothing new and you wish you were somewhere else most of the time.
2. You are not required to do anything different. Maybe other people are. Maybe nobody is. However, management seems to be oblivious of your existence and hence, nothing new crosses your path when it comes to new projects or tasks.
3. Nobody emails you (because they don’t need an answer from you). Take a look at the contents of your inbox: are these emails directed at you? Are you expected to reply so the tasks and projects they are related to can keep on moving or is that someone else’s responsibility? Are you the only addressee? Are the emails you receive informative or do they have a specific call to action for you? If you can stop answering emails altogether, you probably are not that necessary.
4. Your boss hasn’t spoken to you about your performance in a while. Likewise, the less people need to hear from you, the less they’ll try to reach you. If your interactions with your boss become less and less frequent and conversations about your performance become a once-a-year event, you might want to re-evaluate your role in the company.
5. You haven’t received a raise in a while and you won’t receive one any time soon. Budget constraints are real but so are the risks of losing valuable players in the company. If that’s not the case for you, don’t focus on how unappreciated you are, ask yourself if you really are worth retaining in the first place. Hint: if your answer is at all related to how long you have been with the company, how busy, tired, stressed you are, you got it wrong. Being busy is not the same as being productive.
6. Your tasks and responsibilities don’t change. You are doing the same thing you did yesterday, last month, last year. The longer things stay the same, the easier it is to forget the exist.
7. You are rarely included in new projects. Similar to #2, if you are not required to join any new project or if your input is not needed to assess a situation, reach a decision, or define a course of action, you are probably perceived as someone with little to add, or, even worse, as someone who would fight any new ventures or changes.
8. Change annoys you. If every time someone suggests a different way of doing things or asks if there is anything you could be doing differently, you immediatly think they have no idea what it’s like to be you and wish they just shut up and leave you alone, you might be stuck in a completely different conversation, one that takes place in your head and in which every word is intended to bother you. Stop. We all have filters and certain phrases or words can trigger automatic conclusions in our heads that can be completely different from what the other person is trying to say. Just listen.
9. You avoid any performance meetings. Are they a waste of time? Only if nothing comes out of them. Not wanting to meet with your superiors or your subordinates to discuss your or their performance is a sign of detachment and unwillingness to be part of the solution.
10. You feel feedback is useless, whether you give it or receive it. you know the drill. You’ve seen it numerous times. You say what doesn’t work and take the time to give feedback and nothing ever changes or is done afterwards. And when you receive it, they do not see what you really are bringing to the table. Getting feedback from peers, subordinates and superiors, however, is as valuable as you want it to be. At the very least, it’s information about the company, it’s culture, and how you are perceived. Not caring about it shows a lack of commitment or interest in advancing. If that’s the case, it might be best to start looking for a new job. On the other hand, if you never give feedback or if you do it just so you can get it over with, you are keeping your colleagues from improving as well as ensuring the situation as a whole never changes. If you disagree with it, you are missing the oportunity to fix it.
11. You no longer trust your boss or your colleagues. This one is a tough one to overcome. If for any reason you don’t trust your boss or your colleagues, or if you feel they don’t trust you, it’s time to do something. You can talk about it and try to work it out, but trust is only rebuilt with time and consistency, and the willingness and patience to let it grow back. If you are waiting to be proven right or if you can’t let go of a grudge, you won’t trust again. If you can’t trust, you can’t stay.
12. You can’t wait to go home. Not because you have a special evening planned but because you can’t stand staying another minute at work.
13. You describe your performance in absolutes. Everyone is stupid, everything is unfair, nodoby respects you, everybody criticizes you, nothing you do is enough, all the employees are unhappy. If your arguments are expressed in those terms, you are most likely being defensive, insecure, and not at all listening to what may be wrong in your own actions. Not listening prevents you from acting with intelligence.
14. You do enough already. If you feel like they ask too much of you, or that they are never satisfied despite the many things you do, it might be time to talk about it. The cause might be that you are delivering many things they don’t find valuable. Try to understand their priorities and align your tasks to what they expect and be clear about how much you can take. If they disregard your efforts to deliver and fail to give the resources to meet their objectives, they disregard your well-being too and it’s time to move on.
15. It’s not your fault you can’t deliver better results. There may be many reasons behind poor results but your boss needs to see you can distinguish that while it may not be your fault, it is still your responsibility. When you say it’s not your fault, you are avoiding accountability as well as any connection with the cause, results, and consequences of the situation. When you are aware of your respinsibilities you can make sure you do everything in your power to obtain the best results, including communicating with your team and supervisors as well as escalating problems you cannot fix yourself. That’s the only way to prove you really could not do more about something.
16. People don’t understand how you’re supposed to do your job. Nobody can tell you how you should do your job, right? If that’s the case, make sure you tell them how you think things need to be done. This is a conversation you need to be a part of. Speak up and then take in what they have to say about it. Playing the ‘nobody gets me’ card gets old fast.
17. You spend a lot of time on social media. Or browing the Internet just to get through the day. Maybe there’s nothing else to do? If that’s the case, you are clearly not needed.
18. You arrive late, leave early or take too long a lunch every other day. These are behaviors people notice and resent easily, unless these are accepted or encouraged by your company culture, and objectives are being met.
19. You need personal or sick days often. if you are constantly getting sick it’s important to find the cause. Get a physical and make sure there’s no serious underlying condition. Be aware that this may also be a sign that you are simply not happy and your body is reflecting that. Look into it and get help.
20. You can’t state the purpose of the position you hold. Listing your daily tasks is not the same as stating the purpose of your job. Make sure you know why your position exists so you can deliver valuable results instead of making sure you show how busy you are.
Whatever it is you are going through, if you are unhappy with your job, it is your responsibility to take action. You may not always be able to change things around but you can always try.