After an hour or so of rush hour traffic –of the pedestrian and vehicular kinds, you finally reached the office 20 minutes earlier as usual. Thus begin your usual start of the work day routine of switching on your computer, getting your cup of 3-in-1 coffee from the office’s pantry before heading back to your desk to check your emails and greeting your colleagues as they trickle in.

You’re the first to reach and the last to leave and it has got nothing to do with making yourself look good to your superior. You simply appreciate your work and get great satisfaction from your job. However, somehow, it doesn’t feel the same anymore. There seems to be a sense of ‘déjà vu’ with the projects that you’re tasked with and you’ve been hinting to your superiors that perhaps you could work with and help another colleague on his project. Yet, despite your superior’s constant praises on your jobs being well done, he hasn’t picked up on the hint to designate you to another type of project.

What’s more, the projects you usually get are winding down and there isn’t much you can do anymore. You’ve completed what needs to be completed and perhaps even a little more. You’ve been reading unrelated news posts and articles online to while your time away. It’s nice for the downtime, but it seems like there seems to be more of it.

When this happens, you should typically be glad of the recognition your superior has given you and for the pockets of rest that you get to enjoy in between the usual hectic days. However, if these rest days are becoming more frequent then better heed the warning signs – you may be underutilised by your company.

Being under-utilised at work is not an ideal situation to be in. This is among the factors leading to discontentment in the workplace. In the US, for example, a 2014 study by an economics think tank revealed that only 47.7 percent of American workers are satisfied with their jobs.

Once you feel that you are getting more rest time than usual, it is best to start looking into the real score in your workplace. Here are the 3 tell-tale signs that you are being under-utilised:

Projects all around and you aren’t in any of them.

There seems to be a proliferation of activity in your department and everyone is running around with new undertakings. You see your pal in the next cubicle juggling between his phone’s receiver and a Post-it note while the lady across you is almost buried in stacks of documents on her desk. You, on the other hand, are actively going through your work for the third time to see if you’ve missed anything.

No meeting invites.

Meetings or conferences are a constant in the workplace. However, if you are no longer invited to attend meetings, then either your inputs may not be considered relevant to the issues to be resolved in said meetings, or something is going in on in the background that you are not aware of.

Lesser discussions with the boss.

There used to be a time when your superior would call on you to use your skill sets for specific tasks. You were the go-to person, the one with all the answers. Suddenly, your boss goes cold on you, and your imagination starts running wild.

The moment you’ve experienced the above scenarios, start doing a self-evaluation. It may be time to acquire a new set of skills to become more relevant in the workplace, or worst case scenario, you are being eased out. And if it’s the latter, perhaps it’s time to start looking in the Recruitment section of the papers again.

In the second series of this article, we will discuss actual steps that you can take to be well-prepared for come what may.

I have over 10 years’ experience in the Logistics and Transportation industry working both as an in-house HR professional as well as an external recruiter. Connect with me for your next Logistics & Supply Chain hiring role.

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