When to Consider a Career Change
Those of us in the working world have probably heard some version of this statement when venting about job frustrations: “Well, it’s called work after all. It’s not supposed to be fun.” Good point. But your work life also shouldn’t be miserable and it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re not satisfied with how you’re making a living, then maybe it’s time to consider a new career opportunity. If you’re not sure, consider these three questions:
Are you mad at your job?
Of course, everyone has bad days at work. But if you’re dissatisfied with your career, you’ll likely have negative feelings about work even when you’re not there. You may worry about the upcoming week throughout your weekend and dread Monday. Or if someone asks you about your job, you don’t have anything positive to say.
If you’re having a hard time enjoying life outside of work and your job feels like an enemy, a career change might make sense.
Are you feeling stagnant?
Even if you’re not dreading work, a change in careers may be in order if you’re not learning anything new or there’s no opportunity for growth. If you regularly are bored and don’t have goals to work toward, it may mean that the job isn’t for you. No one enjoys every task at work, but if you’re disinterested the majority of the time, that says something.
If you feel like you’re in a rut and can’t complete tasks with any enthusiasm, a new career may bring some much-needed interest to your work life.
Do you feel energized or exhausted?
Let’s say you don’t have animosity toward your job and aren’t bored. But, you find yourself exhausted without any other explanation. If your job isn’t somewhat energizing, it’s another sign that it may not be suitable for you. We spend a lot of time at work. Even if you believe you can grin and bear a job you dislike, career dissatisfaction can cause health problems like fatigue.
If you feel like you’re walking in your sleep most of the time and can’t muster the energy to do the things you enjoy—even outside of work—a career change may help your cause.
Benefits of Finding a New Career
Maybe your answers to the three previous questions suggest you should consider a new career opportunity. It’s common for people to delay acting on a job change, even when needed. Why? Fear of change sets in and leads to second-guessing. Will the grass be greener somewhere else? Will I like the people at another employer? What if I’m not good at a new job? Will I get stuck doing the same thing, but it’s worse? The list goes on.
Put these questions aside for a moment, and ask yourself: What is the risk of NOT changing jobs? Chances are the downside of staying at a job you don’t like will be far greater than any perceived drawbacks associated with finding a new job.
Making a career change can have many benefits, even if it’s a little scary. A new career focus can energize you and bring some interest to your life. It can also help you feel more purposeful and productive—at work and home. And, last but not least, a new job may give you a little more optimism about life and your future.