Is it just a bad day or is it a bad job?
Practice Management & Strategic Issues

Is it just a bad day or is it a bad job?

March 12, 2021

by Tony Vidler  CFP logo   CLU logo  ChFC logo

How can you tell if you are just having a bad day on the job, or whether it is time to move on from the job completely?


There’s no escaping the fact that even in great jobs that we love, there are days where things just don’t go the way you want.  You know the sort….you leap out of bed and somehow miss the floor….and it goes downhill from there.


Many financial advisers have wrestled with this issue over the last couple of years as they have grappled with all the changes in their world and had to reinvent themselves, and then with significant industry reform and increasingly ridiculous rules and expectations it starts to look like being a financial adviser is a bad job to many. Exhibit A: the devastation of the advisory ranks in Australia in the last 12-18 months. There, it has definitely become a bad job for many.


Often however we fail to recognise the difference between a series of bad days and a bad job. Good jobs can have bad days happening for a while.  I can attest to that fact from my submariner days…fabulous life experience and so many things I’d never swap or undo, but gee there were some periods where it was not the greatest job in the world either.


We recognise a bad day easily enough, but when there are quite a few bad days being strung together in a reasonably condensed period of time how can we tell when that is adding up to “its a bad job”?


Here is a list of 12 questions I came across that HR folk use to help work out whether someone is in a bad job….or just having a bad day.  They are well worth sharing:

1.  Do you know what is expected from you at work?

2.  Do you have the right materials and equipment you need to do your work?

3.  Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best – play to your strengths – every day?

4.  Have you received recognition or praise for doing good work in the last week?

5. Is there someone who matters at your work who actually cares about you as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who actively encourages your own development?

7. Do your opinions and thoughts count at work?

8. Does the purpose, or mission, of the business make you feel that your job is important?

9.  Are you fellow employees committed to doing quality work?

10. Do you have a n actual friend at work?

11. Has someone who matters talked to you about your own progress at work in the last 6 months?

12. Have you had opportunities to learn and grow professionally at work in the last year?

If you can answer these with more than 7 YES’s….then it is probably just a bad day (or two or three…).

If you answer it with more than 7 NO’s… is time to think about changing jobs or careers.

(Original source of the questions is unknown)
You might also be interested in this related article:
Grow Great People If You Want To Grow A Great Business
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