How To Know If It’s Time To Change Careers

April 5, 2018

Do you feel like you’ve learned as much as you’re going to while in your field? Have you hit all of your goals and started feeling like you crave more? Do you simply feel bored or uninspired? None of these things necessarily mean that you need to change careers, but if you’re experiencing any of them--do some deep reflection.

Making a career change can be scary, especially if you have no idea what you want to do next. If you’re feeling like it might be time to pivot to a new career entirely, it can be difficult to figure out where exactly to go next. Whether you decide to seek help from a career coach, recruiters, colleagues, friends or family, there are some surefire signs to help you know it’s time.

Just how do you know if it’s time to change careers? Well… here are some situations for you to mull over that might help you decide your next move.

You don’t feel purpose or passion.
If you’re not excited about your career anymore and it’s simply a job, then maybe it’s lost its purpose. If it feels like you’re waking up in the morning for something you don’t believe in or don’t want to invest in, it might be time to move on. Not feeling passion or purpose for something we spend at least 50% of our lives doing is not good for our mental health or our happiness. If you’re not happy or feeling content about where you are, it will only hurt your ability to perform well and even advance in your career. Do you feel like your work is meaningful, or that you’re truly investing in yourself and the work you want to be doing? Is your career in alignment with your unique values? Ask yourself these questions.
If the answer is no, there’s a chance that your career doesn’t hold personal significance to you. Staying could hold you back from finding inspiration and purpose in a different career.

Your potential and talent is going nowhere, and you feel underutilized.
Are you constantly pushing yourself and honing your skills, talents, and abilities to go above and beyond at your job but feel like your talents and skills are underutilized? Maybe you’re spending your time on things you don’t care about or don’t want to do, and you feel you don’t have time to work on what fuels your potential. If your talent isn’t being valued or put to good use, it’s hard to feel motivated. It’s also hard to stay loyal.
If you don’t feel like your value is growing or developing even more potential, your career might not be the best fit for you. You deserve to use the skills you’ve worked hard to develop, and you deserve to feel that you’re doing work where your talent is valued.

You don’t feel rewarded for your work.
Just like we need to feel that our employers value our talents with recognition and the kinds of work we’re given and put in charge of, it’s important to feel rewarded in other ways. Employers can invest in your career in many ways--with salary, bonuses, professional development opportunities, benefits, mentorship, and promotions.
What is your hierarchy of professional needs? And are your needs being met by your career and employer? Perhaps you want different kinds of benefits or salary opportunities. Or maybe you just want to work in a more flexible industry or field because you value your time the most. A great way to figure out your needs and values is to make a checklist and evaluate it frequently. If you’re currently feeling like your career path doesn’t honor your needs as a professional and a human being, it might not be the career for you.

You’re feeling jealous of friends or family and the work they’re doing.
Jealousy can signal to us that there’s something wrong. In this case, if you feel bored, insecure, or stressed about your own work but suddenly jealous when you hear about the work other people you know are doing, it’s a sign. What are your passions? Take a moment to envision the kinds of work and industries you feel most drawn towards. Think about what it is that you’re jealous of when you hear about others’ work.
Is it the freedom they have with schedule or how they’re managed? The pay? The kind of work they get to do? Assess what it is that you feel jealous of and what that might mean you’re craving.

If any of these feelings and thoughts are familiar, it’s definitely possible that it’s time for you to change careers. At the very least, it might help you to consult with a career coach or start looking around on the internet. Do some of your own research and see what sets your heart on fire! And remember that although these thoughts and transitions can be scary, this can be an opportunity to discover another, better path.

All the best