The Classic Signs that it’s Time for a Career Change

The Career Project is reader-supported. We may earn a commission on products purchased through links on this page. Learn more here.

There are no two ways about it: having a career can be very hard work at times. However, if it always feels like a constant battle, then maybe it is time for a career change.

With the pressure of modern day life, it is actually really hard to tell what level of stress is normal and what isn’t. However, a huge 14% of all U.S. workers reported being ‘very dissatisfied’ or ‘somewhat dissatisfied’ with their jobs, according to results from the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness Index. With this number worryingly high, it is more important than ever to understand the key signs that it is time to consider a career change.

1. A lack of motivation can mean it time for a career change

Granted, we can all struggle with motivation on certain days. Sometimes we are very tired, we’ve had a tough time at home or we’re simply just not feeling up for it. On these days, we might feel temporarily deflated, bored and lacking in motivation.

However, if every day starts to feel like a constant battle and you’re constantly waking up feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied and unhappy, then that is a MASSIVE sign that you might be needing a new challenge. You need to find something new to excite you. And the best way to find something new? Change your career.

Take some time to have a long, hard think about what will really excite and motivate you at work. Check out our recent post that discusses whether to follow your passion at work and how to follow it successfully.

2. You absolutely dread going to work

Again, it is normal to occasionally dread work. Big work meetings, tight deadlines or boring tasks are a given in nearly any job and dreading these is perfectly normal. However, if you are literally waking up every single day with the dread of going to work then it’s time for a change.

If Monday’s are making you anxious, then consider what you’re dreading. Is it your actual job, or is it where you work/the environment you work in?

If you hate the the tasks you have to carry out, the pressure you’re under or the nature of the work, then this suggests that you have outgrown your job and that need a career change. Whereas, if you’re dreading working with certain people, the commute or the boiling hot temperature in the office, this suggests you are dreading something other than the job.

If the latter is the case, then it is worth discussing things with your boss to see if you can come up with a solution. Maybe, you’ll get to move team, you’ll get an air conditioning unit installed or you’ll be given flexible hours.

3. Lack of career progression

Have you been stuck in the same job role for as long as you can remember? Are others around you getting promoted, and you’re missing out? Or, are you at the top of the ladder and can’t move into an anymore senior positions?

In order to grow, improve and develop, we need to challenge ourselves. Career stagnation is not a way of challenging ourselves. If you feel stuck in your career, you might need a career change so that you can progress, develop and grow in another field.

4. Even money can’t motivate you anymore

When we start out in our careers, we all have big dreams about what will make us happy: recognition, doing meaningful work, working flexible hours, the list is endless. Studies have shown that being intrinsically motivated, which is when we are motivated without any obvious external reward, is what encourages us to perform better and be less likely to leave an organization – this is what we should aim for.

However, none of us can deny that the world revolves around money. Each and every single one of us needs it to survive. There is actually only a small correlation between money and happiness. But even so, when the money stops motivating us, and we’re not intrinsically motivated, it’s a huge sign that we need a career change. When considering this career change, think hard about what intrinsically motivates you. What are you willing to do without an obvious reward?

5. If your job is affecting your personal life then it’s time for a career change

Work is undoubtably a big part of our life. There are very few of us who are fortunate enough to leave our jobs at the office and spend the evening at home without worrying about work.

For most of us, we will think about work whilst at home – maybe you had a stressful day, a very slow day or even a fantastic day. However, if this gets to the point where work is dictating our downtime, this is a big indicator you might need a career change. Perhaps, you need a less stressful career, one with less hours or one you enjoy more.

Wrapping up

So, there you have it: five signs you’re ready for a career change.

As always, let me know what you think. Have you had a career change recently? Do you feel like you’ve outgrown your career? Is money still a motivator for you?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents

Share this post: