How do you know when it’s the right time to make a career change?
It’s common to get bored and frustrated with your current occupation, and most people change their career every so often throughout their working lives. Stress is unavoidable in any occupation, and catching yourself day dreaming occasionally just means you’re human.
The tricky part is trying to tell if it’s a normal case of work day boredom, or if you’re ready to embark on a new chapter in your life.
To help you make a well thought out decision, here are a few signs that it’s a good time to start looking for a different career path.
1. You've Outgrown Your Current Position
There are certain jobs that you know right from the time you first accept the offer that they have no chance of becoming a career for you. Those kind of jobs work if you’ve just finished school or changed locations and need to take anything you can, but it’s important to let your life there be short lived. It’s easy to become comfortable with any job if you know what you’re doing, enjoy the people, and can comfortably live off of your income, but if your current position leaves no room for you to develop as a person, it may be time to look elsewhere. When you feel as if you've soaked up all the skills and knowledge you could possibly get and you’ve advanced in the company as far as you’d ever want, start browsing around before you get too comfy.
2. Everything You Say about Your Job is Negative
Everyone complains about their job every now and then, but if everything you say and everything you think about your current position is negative, it’s definitely time to shop around for something else. While it’s true that almost any job will cause a bit of mental anguish, it’s unhealthy to surround yourself with that on a daily basis. Your happiness is extremely important, and if your mental well-being is at stake, save yourself the gray hair and wrinkles and search on for something you’d enjoy a little more.
3. You’re Struggling to Make Ends Meet
If you’re frequently having to consider taking out a risky payday loan, or even worse, making the dreaded call to your folks for financial help, you could be hurting yourself by staying in your current position. It’s common for jobs to start new employees off working part time with promises of it turning into full time in the near future, but months, or even years, down the line, you’re still bringing in part time income. Remember, you don’t owe your job anything if they aren’t providing you an opportunity to cover your needs, and if you’re struggling financially, value your time and efforts and pursue a more stable career path.
4. Workplace Politics are Distracting You
There is nothing worse than work place drama, and if you’re constantly witnessing gossip, catty remarks, or childish behaviour, get out before you become a target. Whether it’s your boss’s doing or other co-workers who want to stir up trouble, a work environment should feel professional and comfortable, not tense and hostile. Not only that, but you need to be able to concentrate on your job, and being distracted by adolescent behaviour doesn't make for a very motivating atmosphere. Effective communication is the key to a successful relationship with anyone you work with, and if having a genuine, honest talk about a workplace concern or issue seems impossible, it’s not a place you’re going to want to have any longevity with.
5. Your Job is Lowering Your Self-Esteem
You spend a large chunk of your time at your job, so it makes sense that how you’re received there will affect how you feel about yourself, and one of the biggest clues that it might be time to move on is if you’re feeling worse about yourself than when you started.
It may not even be your job performance that’s causing a downgrade in your confidence; sometimes the way a boss leads the team or gives feedback might be harsh or unprofessional, and it’s important to recognize that and seek out change.
The bottom line is that you work a job to support your quality of life, and if your job is causing an overall deterioration of your happiness, then you’re just running in circles. Your well-being should be your number one priority, and the world is a big place with many opportunities to allow you to be the happiest version of yourself; you just have to get the motivation to go after it.
By Arlene Chandler
Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who loves helping people prepare for the unexpected turns life can take. She currently writes about income protection insurance.