You spend way to much time at work to be doing something that isn’t bringing innovation, creativity, and joy to your life. Feeling unfulfilled during work hours, and dreading getting out of bed to start your work, can be stressing enough.
Now, add the pressure of a global pandemic in the mix, and you’re looking at anxiety and stress no one wants in their lives.
According to the International Labor Organization, global employment losses in 2020 have reached 114 million jobs relative to 2019. Unstable job markets make it even harder to decide whether you’re really in need of a career swap.
So it’s important to make the right decisions and understand that if your job is not what you want it to be, there are ways you can change that.
What Signs to Look Out For
Having a bad day at work or feeling challenged for a project doesn’t mean they are perfect signs alone for deciding to change jobs. But add these to the mix of signs below, and it may be time.
1) You’re uninspired during your day to day work
If you’re not working to your full potential and feel like your inspiration has dried up, try going back and thinking how long you have felt this way.
There might be several reasons why you feel uninspired. Maybe your values don’t align with the work you do anymore, or you can’t see the meaning behind what you do daily.
Either way, try to understand that it’s okay to want to change what’s not currently working for you.
2) You’ve hit a growth roadblock
Dear high-achievers, it’s hard when you find yourself in a place that can’t offer anything new for you to learn. Your professional development depends on the opportunities that you take on to stay competitive and grow with your colleagues.
If your current position is not demanding from you to learn something new and gain skills you haven’t used before, then it’s time to consider a new path.
3) You feel drained
Feeling like your job is draining both your physical and emotional energy is not normal. Don’t get it wrong; feeling tired after a good day’s work is not the same as waking up every day with no fuel to keep going.
If each day during work, the only thing you look forward to is the clock-out time and feeling like 5 pm couldn’t come any sooner, then that’s a sign you might want to reconsider your choices.
Feeling like you’ve burnt out isn’t uncommon at all. Maybe you need a break, or perhaps a career change is due. Whatever you end up deciding, make sure it was for the right reasons.
4) The salary can’t make up for your dissatisfaction
The stability and security of your paycheck might have been a factor when you first started your job, but now, even that security can’t keep you from dreading work every day.
You do need to sustain yourself at the end of the day, but money can’t make you feel less miserable when all you want to do is quit and not look back.
If you feel like you’re financially at a place where you can start venturing into other worlds and explore the possibilities, then make a decision and see what happens. You might even find the next exciting project you’ve been waiting for all this time.
5) Your job is affecting your personal life
If your job adds chronic stresses and headaches to your life to the point where you’re feeling exhausted and stressed out, then listen to your body. Yur career might not be right for you if, instead of challenging you, it’s instead consistently beating you down.
What You Need to Know
After you figure out what signs to look for, now is the time to understand a few things about changing careers.
1) You’re scared, and it’s holding you back
Inertia is your biggest enemy. Maybe you’ve decided that you’re going to take the next step toward changing your career and your life, but just as you can be your biggest inspiration, you are also your worst obstacle.
Being scared of taking a cut in salary, losing the status you’ve worked so hard to attain, the talk of family and friends, risking the security of the job, and so on. These can all be dealbreakers for you.
Remember that you can’t always plan your life to the dot. Everything you’ve ever wanted lies on the other side of fear.
2) Not everything about your current role is bad
The job you have right now may not be the best fit for you, but it’s not all bad. Identify what you like about the position you have at your current job. What interests you? Creativity? Analyzing data? Strategical thinking? Numbers?
If you can identify what drives you right now, it will help you with your next career path search.
3) You can communicate with like-minded people
People who think the same way you do can introduce you to new opportunities, broaden your network, and help brainstorm ideas with you.
It can be scary when you’re going through a huge change like that alone. So talk to colleagues. Find people who have similar mindsets to you, and try to take inspiration from what they teach to you.
4) Don’t be afraid to move
If you have different options and paths in front of you, you can’t just stay in once, analyzing forever to find the best. It won’t work. Best thing: take the one that appeals to you the most. If you change your mind, you can backtrack and correct your course.
From helping cleaning up landfills to a career in investment banking, what’s important is finding what gets you excited each morning before work and gets you the satisfaction that you’ve made a difference to something or someone.
Act on it and see how it feels. By doing this, you’re discovering new worlds and crossing off those that are not for you.
5) People bring opportunities
Searching through job boards and sending out resume after resume only gets you so far. CVs aren’t written to completely represent your values and skills, but the right conversations with the right people can showcase your passions and talents.
You don’t need to be an extrovert speaker to gain the network you want. One on one conversations works too. Start talking to people in the field you want to dive into and see what tips or advice they have for you.
6) Be eager to learn
So if you’re a new potential addition to a field you’ve never worked before and have no experience in, it’s unlikely that you’ll get hired without putting in the work.
Pro Bono projects and volunteering are great ways to get industries talking about you and get the ball rolling.
Online classes and tutorials are your best friends. Try to learn as much as you can so that you eventually become someone of value to a team of hiring executives in time.