By: Danielle Koban
For me, big decisions involve pros and cons lists, lots of coffee, and a few sleepless nights. It’s difficult to know if you’re making the right choice or the best decision until you take that leap of faith. Often times, decisions are coupled with change and change is never easy, especially when it comes to your livelihood. If you’ve been contemplating making a change in careers, but can’t decide if it’s the right time, these signs will help point you in the right direction. If one of these signs resonates with you, it could be time to get serious about changing your career.
Your current career is “right,” even though everything feels so wrong.
In most fields, there is that one “right” job. The sought-after job that everyone aspires to achieve. But sometimes once you’ve landed that job, it doesn’t live up to all the hype. The work isn’t fulfilling, the hours are awful, or the environment is harsh and unsupportive. Whatever the reason may be, the shoe doesn’t seem to fit. If you find yourself in this situation, it could be time to reevaluate your career aspirations and look for new opportunities. It’s okay if the so-called “right” career, isn’t right for you.
You’re worn out, exhausted, and have lost all your energy.
When you’re in an unfulfilling career, it not only harms your mentally, but it can wreck havoc on you physically. It makes it harder to get out of bed in the morning. You need multiple cups of coffee to make it through the day. You’re so tired all the time. Spending forty plus hours in a place where you’re not doing work you love, will leave you drained. It’s important to take care of ourselves, including making a career change, so we can feel amazing every day.
You’re salary no longer makes up for your feeling of unfulfillment.
There are careers with less than ideal hours, exorbitant workloads, and unfriendly people, but it’s tolerable because you are more than compensated for everything you have to deal with. Sometimes these jobs are unfulfilling and don’t challenge us, but we are content settling for them time being because the money is excellent and it’s what we need at the current moment to live our lives. If there comes a point in your career, where the the salary doesn’t make up for your dissatisfaction and unhappiness, it’s time to move on. You can only put up with so much before the money isn’t worth it anymore.
You scour the internet looking at job postings.
Do you find yourself scrolling through LinkedIn, Monster, or Indeed looking for other opportunities? Maybe you tell yourself you just want to see what’s out there and what the job market looks like. Maybe you’re not even considering leaving your current position. Regardless, the fact that you are looking shows that you have a curious mind. It’s good to be curious and to always want to be learning. But if you’ve been scouring job postings for month, there’s probably a reason. Take this opportunity to evaluate what you like and what you’re lacking in your current position and make some changes. This could be the time to take the leap into a new career.
You feel your talent would be best used elsewhere.
Sometimes the career is right, the people are great, and the work is on target, but you want more. If you’ve reached your maximum potential in your current role, it can leave you feeling unfilled because you’re no longer challenged. Conquering difficult projects at work helps us to grow and develop our skills, but there’s comes a time when we’ve outgrown our current career. If you’re maxed out in your current role, it’s time to start looking elsewhere to ensure your professional growth isn’t stunted. Don’t get complacent and don’t be okay with being comfortable.
You daydream about other careers.
It’s 3PM and you find yourself thinking about what it would be like to work in Human Resources, to walk a mile in a journalist’s shoes, or what Beyonce does everyday. Daydreams are fun, unless you’re daydreaming to escape your current unhappiness at work. It’s important as we get older to stay curious, and it’s equally important to know when it’s time act on that curiosity. You’re daydreaming because you can’t focus on your work for one reason or another. Take the time to self-reflect about what those reasons might be. Do you know someone who works in those fields your daydreaming about? Have a conversation with them to learn more about their day to day. Meet with your boss to see if you can implement the aspects you’re lacking into your current role. Feed your wandering mind what it needs to give you fulfillment.
You’ve lost your passion.
Some people are born with a burning passion. They know from day one what fuels their fire. They follow this passion through college and into their career, and they really feel like they’re making an impact. If this used to describe you, but now your passion has been pushed to the backburner and you just don’t feel like you’re serving your purpose, it’s time to reconsider what you’re doing in your current career. It can be heartbreaking when you wake up one day and realize you don’t care about what you’re doing anymore. When your current responsibilities don’t align with your life purpose, you’ll be left feeling jaded and lost. Use your passion and your purpose as a compass when you feel like you’ve lost your way. It’ll always guide you down the right path.
Your vision for the future is different than your reality.
We all have a vision of what we’d like our future to look like. Our future partner and kids, our home with a white picket fence, our careers; they’re all things to aspire to. If what you’re doing right now and every day isn’t in some way helping you to achieve your vision, ask yourself what you’re doing. We all should be taking steps, no matter how big, every day to get us to our ideal future. If your current role started out as a stepping stone to help you get to your vision, but now serves as a barrier along the journey, it’s time reroute and realign. Happiness is an inside job. Remember that you’re in control of your future, so make sure you’re doing what you need to to get you there.
You’re not happy.
At the end of the day, can you truly say that you’re happy? If you can, great! But if you have to think about it and your gut is telling you you’re not, listen to it. Everything may seem “right” on paper and appear perfect to an outsider, but if you don’t enjoy going to work everyday and don’t love the work you do, it’s time to start considering other options. We all deserve to live our best lives everyday. We deserve to find happiness and satisfaction in our work. If you’re not happy, the time to do something about it is now. Sometimes, it really is that simple.
Have you already decided it’s time for a change? Great! Check out these 8 tips to help you throughout your career change.
Danielle Koban is a Resource Management professional by trade and a freelance writer and blogger by choice. An Upstate New York native, she attended the University at Albany, where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Accounting. It was during her career transitions where she unearthed her passion for writing and sharing her experiences with others. In addition to SDS, her work has been featured in Elite Daily, Mavenly + Co., Elana Lyn, and Her Agenda. She now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with her fiance and german shepherd, Moose. When she’s not working or writing, you can find her running the streets of Charlotte (literally) and enjoying a glass of wine in the Carolina sunshine. To learn more about Danielle follow her on Instagram at @daniellekoban and visit her website www.danielledoolen.com.