A sad reality: even in the modern world, many of us choose our careers based on what others think is best for us. While many people follow others’ advice, some are simply stuck at a job because they are unaware of the different career change options out there.
Your career path should not be decided because it seems to be the only viable option for you, or because you simply cannot make up your mind about the future. These reasons explain why many people end up in jobs they have no personal interest in, building their careers in fields that they have never enjoyed.
A job that drains your motivation and inspiration is a decision made wrong. As common and minor as it may sound, a job like this can lead to serious personal issues, and it’s important to realize, it could be ruining the overall quality of your life. Make sure that you can see the signs that it’s time for a career reinvention.
Learn to Identify a Good Fit
The right career is supposed to bring out a natural, positive, and productive side of you and your skills. It is supposed to just fit – your stay at the right job may not come effortlessly, but it will come naturally. Your ideal career path will provide you with a true purpose, positive self-image, and a sense of fulfillment.
If you are always stressing about going to work and cannot wait for the weekend to arrive every week, you should reconsider your choice of career. While it is true that some days at work are harder than the rest, the perfect job will just feel right – even on rainy days.
16 Ways to Tell if You Need a Career Change
A career change may seem like an intimidating thing to do, especially with the risks, hassles, and challenges it poses. However, sometimes, it is the best decision you can make to better your life and ensure future stability and happiness.
While some days, all you might need is a little time to unwind and de-stress to get yourself back on the track, sometimes it becomes crucial for you to begin seriously looking at a career change.
So, when is the right time to undertake a career reinvention?
Here are 16 ways you can identify if it is time for you to change your career.
1. Zero Learning and Zero Value Adding
The learning process should never end – not even when you land a good-paying job. The right job will continue to help you learn and grow to excel in your career. If you feel you are not learning anything new, not even something small, it is a sign that you should consider career reinvention.
Moreover, if it seems like you are not adding value to your workplace, then what is the point of working? This is simply your mind and heart indicating that it is time for you to switch your career and look for better opportunities.
2. Your Input is Under-Valued
When you work hard all day long, only to find that your efforts are not valued as they should be, it can be heartbreaking. A job that undervalues your talent and input is bound to become unfulfilling.
One of the major elements of a successful working relationship is being appreciated for your hard work. You do not need to stay at a job where your contributions are not recognized, respected, or considered important. If this is a theme in your workplace, career change may be the ultimate way to go!
3. ROI Trending Downward
Your Return on Investment (ROI) is a curve that demonstrates your contribution to a job over time. Ideally, if you have chosen the right career path, your ROI should continue to trend up.
A downward movement in the curve is not uncommon after you have stayed at a job for years. It is usually because of a loss of passion, interest, or engagement. If you can see that your ROI is trending downward, it is probably time for you to transition towards a better option.
4. Feeling Worn-out and Negative
Feeling drained, both physically and mentally, is perhaps the most common sign you need a change in your day-to-day routine.
Being stuck at the wrong job can make your inspiration level plummet, and you may find yourself sitting at your workstation with zero motivation to do anything. Not only will you be unable to focus on your work, but you will also find yourself complaining and feeling negative ALL the time.
If you do not make a career change even then, you will only allow the negative feelings to expand and affect your work performance and reputation.
If you have to force yourself daily to get out of bed to go to work, and it is taking a toll on your motivation level, you should consider getting career coaching to find better alternatives.
5. Feeling There is More to Explore
Most people, upon reaching middle age, cannot help but wonder: is this all there is? They may be looking to reach a higher potential, or explore a completely different field than the one they have been working in. This happens because they spent so many years working a job that was not the perfect fit – yet they stayed.
If you cannot stop dreaming of an ideal career or you feel as if there is a pull towards something else, it is the biggest sign to get up and explore the career world. At this stage in a career, effective career coaching may help you explore and evaluate different career options to find your ideal career path.
6. Your Health is Suffering
It is not uncommon for the wrong career to take a toll on your health, both physically and psychologically. Being stuck in the wheel of a draining job can make you feel stressed beyond healthy limits. When you reach this level of stress, you do not feel normal – even during your weekends – let alone happy.
Job stress can significantly affect your overall health and it serves as a big red flag that you should consider transitioning to a better job opportunity that is compatible with you. Recognize when it is time to reinvent your career, before your health suffers too much!
7. It Feels Like ‘Work’
If your current career choice does not bring you the joy and satisfaction you crave, it might be time for you to change your career. If you’ve never experienced a truly positive work environment, you may not believe what you are about to read: work should be fun. Instead of feeling like ‘work,’ your job should energise you and give you joy. Trust us when we say that the right career can prove this for you.
If your career is perfect for you, you will find yourself enjoying the challenges it brings and you will be satisfied to the extent that it would not feel like ‘work.’ So, get the services of a professional career coach and find your perfect fit.
8. No Scope for Advancement
If you have been working at a job for a couple of years or more and have witnessed that there are no chances of advancement, you should consider switching to a better job sooner rather than later.
First, you would want to evaluate your accomplishments and see if there are any contract obligations restricting your promotion. Advocate for yourself, and take the chance at asking for that promotion. If the advancement you are worthy of is not forthcoming, it’s time to find a change. Check the job openings available in the marketplace to have a clear idea of the opportunities that you might want to avail, and begin your path to career change.
9. You Are Always Working
If your current job does not grant you enough free time to catch up with your family and friends, or simply enjoy some ‘me’ time, it cannot be the ideal choice.
If you find yourself working long hours and overtime almost every day, alienating your personal and social lives in the process, it is time to make a career change. Just because a job is providing financial stability, does not mean your life is perfect.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you went for a fun weekend trip with your loved ones without stressing about your work?
Life is too short to spend it stuck in an office for 80 hours a week. It is time to get career coaching and make a career change while you still have the time to do so.
10. A Toxic Work Environment or Co-workers
Neither your work environment nor your colleagues should suffocate you – always remember that! Some careers are naturally more stressful than others, and some people thrive in those situations. Some jobs are unnecessarily stressful, where everyone is on edge and you have to deal with difficult people all the time. Moreover, some companies are notorious for overloading and underpaying their employees; compounding any stress inherent in the industry.
A toxic work environment, or being surrounded by negative people at work, can cause your mental health to deteriorate over time – and no career is worth risking your mental health.
11. Feeling Emotionally Numb
People who consistently do not like their jobs, often feel numb emotionally – to everything around them. It is needless to say that this can turn into a dangerous habit or quality. Different people may behave differently, but this feeling of numbness is generally accompanied by lower motivation and lower quality work.
If your career makes you feel angry, frustrated, or simply upset instead of providing you with an inner satisfaction – or if you sense yourself becoming numb to these negative emotions – it is time to consider your future options.
12. Feeling Jealous of Your Friends’ Jobs
Watching your friends climbing the ladder of career success and feeling jealous of their achievements is a clear sign that you are unhappy of your own career path.
Being stuck in a frustrating, unrewarding job can make you feel insecure and unaccomplished. And if you feel jealous of others’ success, it only means you are yearning for something better. If you can relate to this feeling, you should consider getting in touch with a career coach to explore better alternatives and choose the perfect career path.
13. Boredom and Impatience
Making it through the day at work should not make you feel bored to tears. If you have trouble finding the patience to stand your co-workers and cannot wait for the day to be over, it might be an indicator that something is wrong.
Whether you are frustrated by repetitive, tedious work every day or it is just the work environment that tests your patience and makes you want to call out sick every morning, you should consider making a career change.
14. Compensation Issues
Many people end up making a career change because they were not getting paid enough, even if they were working in a field of their choice.
Changing your career based on financial reasons is a difficult decision, but may be a smart move to make. Considering the fact that you have to provide for your self and your family, compensation is an important factor in your career choice. If you think your job is not compensating you enough for the work that you do, you should get in touch with a career coach to explore better opportunities.
15. You Are Changing for the Worst
One of the most serious indications that you need to change your career is when you feel like your job is changing you for the worst. People around you may even notice the change – you may hear your family members or friends saying that you have changed, in a bad way. You should be thankful for such people for offering you a valuable insight that you otherwise would not have noticed.
If your work is to be blamed for bringing the change in you, then you must consider switching your career, and soon. No job, no matter how high paying, is worth inviting negativity and frustration into your life.
16. Your Job Description Does Not Fit You At All
Quite interestingly, you can become quite good at a job that you do not like, when you do it daily. You may seem like the perfect fit for the job, but you should conduct an inside evaluation to check if the responsibilities, tasks, and skills are the perfect fit for you.
If you are performing well at your current job but internally, there is a struggle that you have to go through every day, it is not worth it. You need to find a career that is YOU.
If you can relate to any of the aforementioned signs, it is time for you to opt for career coaching and reinvent your career for a happy life ahead. Sarah-J is an expert career coach who can help you discover your true potential and take on the road to career success effortlessly.