While it would be great to wake up thrilled at the prospect of going to work every day, for the majority of us, that’s simply not the reality. And realistically, that’s OK.
On the flip side, it’s not OK to wake up every day and dread going to work.
For many, if the pros of the role outweigh the cons, then the role is likely a decent fit—for now.
But, take the time to fully analyze whether those cons might be signs that it’s time for a new career.
7 Signs It’s Time to Change Careers
If any of the scenarios listed below become your daily reality, then it’s possible a career change is in order. When multiple symptoms are manifesting, you need to take note sooner than later.
1. You Feel Physically Sick
No one expects to be fascinated at work every Monday through Friday, and everyone has days where they are “off.”
However, these can be warnings:
- You get a sense of anxiety or headache on Sunday evenings.
- You find your aches and pains are increasing.
- Your energy is depleted to the point where you struggle to get out of bed.
- You find yourself clock watching at work.
These may be physical manifestations that something’s not right, and your work variables need a shake-up.
2. Confidence is Declining While Apathy is Growing
Many job seekers find they can go through the motions each day but feel their confidence and motivation waning. A role that fits you well should boost your self-esteem and enthusiasm—not shoot it down.
- Do you find yourself increasingly lacking confidence in your decision-making?
- Are you struggling to find fresh new ideas that were once abundant?
- Do your suggestions to colleagues or management generally get ignored?
- Is there a lack of opportunity for progression or next-level growth?
If you’re saying yes more than no, that’s a telltale sign that a change is needed.
3. It’s Increasingly Hard to Focus
Are you spending increasing time doing Google searches, combing Facebook or Instagram, bookmarking companies of interest, or searching job postings?
When you’re struggling to focus for your entire day, every day, your Internet habits may be telling you something. It’s natural to get distracted now and then, but if you’re completely disengaged, it’s probably time to consider your options.
4. You’re Only Staying for the Pay
For many professionals, a high-paying role may feel a bit like wearing “golden handcuffs.” The job supports a comfortable lifestyle and makes unhappiness a bitter pill to swallow.
For others, the Beatles’ song “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” rings true.
If you feel your heart isn’t in it, it’s important to ask yourself if the work and sacrifices you make are worth the paycheck.
Do you find yourself saying you’ll stay for [specific amount] or going on spending sprees to treat yourself for staying in a miserable job? If that’s the case, some self-reflection may be in order.
5. Boredom Follows You Daily
While your career may never have exactly been fun, at least it was interesting. But, now, your skills are no longer advancing because the drive to increase your skills is not there. In fact, you are losing some of your “edge” over competitors.
In the past, new people, interesting ideas, and good challenges appeared almost every day. Now, it’s day after day with a feeling of same old, same-old. You almost feel like you could do this job in your sleep, but your boss would probably notice.
6. Your Personal Priorities Have Shifted
The hours are no longer good for you because you have kids now, or a sick relative needs you to be available at odd hours. But this career requires your full attention with the ability to drop everything and jump into work at any time.
Perhaps this career just isn’t relevant to your life any longer. When your work-life balance is continually suffering, it’s time for a change.
7. Corporate Changes Have Shifted the Culture
In the past, the career and job worked very well for you, but the company was sold to a new owner. Or, new senior leaders, possibly from outside the organization, took over.
You are no longer comfortable with the new corporate culture and what is expected of you now. Perhaps the rules have changed—maybe the hours are 10 to 6 rather than 8 to 4, or commissions are paid 60 days after being earned rather than 30 days, or whatever.
It could be that the ethics or technical requirements have changed in a way that is not comfortable for you. Whatever the reason, this career no longer feels “right” to you, and the new rules make your work less fulfilling or interesting and more like “just a job.”
3 Signs Your Job Is a Good Fit
Maybe none—or only one—of the signs above apply to you. Perhaps it is not yet time for you to make a change.
Consider the signs below as indicators that your job is a good fit for you:
- While not always easy, the skills required to succeed in the role come naturally.
- Upon reflection, you are proud of the work you have accomplished, and it provides you with a sense of purpose.
- The role meshes well with your personality, lifestyle demands, and values.
If this fits you, great! Enjoy!
The Bottom Line
You may like your boss, co-workers, and clients, but the job satisfaction you once felt in this job are no longer there. You need to move on, continuing to increase your skills and to be engaged in your work.
About the author…
Career Change Expert Virginia Franco is a 4 times Certified Executive Resume Writer, LinkedIn Writer, Coach and Career Storyteller. Her experience in corporate communications, journalism, and social work offered her a unique understanding of how people read, communicate, and share information. Connect with Virginia via her website VirginiaFrancoResumes.com, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter at @VAFrancoResumes.
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