Is It Time For A Career Change?
Posted April 30, 2019, by Elesha
Before making a career change that shook up the literary world with his debut masterpiece Carrie, prolific author Stephen King was a night cleaner. Mick Jagger wasn’t always so rock and roll, he had a degree in business and Giorgio Armani started out studying medicine.
These famous examples highlight the fact that we don’t always begin on the career path that we’re truly destined for and there are some clear signs it may be high time for your own career change!
Changing Jobs vs. Changing Careers
There’s a big difference between changing jobs and going all in on a career change.
Moving between jobs and employers in the same industry is usually straightforward while learning a new industry from the ground up takes a leap of faith and a commitment to retraining.
Money is an important consideration too. Look at your current and future financial situation realistically, how a career change will affect your income and plan accordingly.
It can be hard to leave a career - even one we’re unhappy in - to step out into the unknown but the rewards can be life-changing.
Signs You Might Be Ready For A Career Change
Your body is yelling "No More!"
Are you listening to your body? It can tell you a lot about whether the path you're on is right for you or it’s time for a career change. When you can't get any psychological distance from your job, in spite of your best efforts to fit in weekly yoga sessions, your body throws up some obvious red flags -
- You’re tired all the time
- Unable to switch off mentally
- Have issues sleeping
- Emotional outbursts
- Inability to concentrate
We all have days when we're tired, a little moody or stressed when dealing with a tight deadline. However, if it takes every ounce of energy just to turn up at work every day and you leave feeling exhausted, you’re heading for, or have, a serious case of burnout.
Sunday night dread is a weekly thing
That sinking, anxious feeling when 4 pm on Sunday rolls around.
It’s pretty common to get a touch of the Sunday blues but if you're dealing with real dread and high anxiety at the thought of Monday morning, is it time for a career change?
Try filling your Sunday afternoon with an activity you enjoy instead of focusing on the week ahead. Creating a calming ritual for Sunday night, like taking a warm bath or drinking chamomile tea, can help ease you into a more restful sleep too.
You’re only there for the money...and it’s costing you big time
A fat paycheck and an impressive career don’t always feel the same on the inside as it looks from the outside. If you’ve pursued a career solely based on the salary size and prestige you may eventually find yourself feeling pretty unfulfilled and disconnected.
It’s possible that the big ticket career choice may also see you working in an industry at odds with your own beliefs, priorities, and ethics or the demands of the role suck up precious time with your family.
Have you mentally checked out of your career already? If you’re bored at work, maybe you’ve been going through the same old motions for too long and it’s time to explore new possibilities.
Signs your career has lost its appeal -
- You only do the minimum required
- The day drags on and clock watching is your new hobby
- You spend a lot of time on personal stuff during the workday
- You’re always searching for new job opportunities
The first signs of boredom don't necessarily point to a total career overhaul. Chat with your manager and seek out new projects in your current role to reinvigorate and challenge you. If you feel like the situation is beyond saving, a career change could be on the cards.
Your dream career has nothing to do with your actual job
Enjoy your job? HA!
Does work feel something you have to do and the idea of ever truly enjoying it sounds like a pipe dream?
Maybe you chose your career to please your parents instead of forging your own path. Or once upon a time you thought this was your dream career, discovered it wasn’t but stuck with it because it seems like a waste to ‘throw away’ years of study and degrees.
Take a page out of Stephen King's book (well, not literally) and don’t be afraid to make an extreme career change to follow your dream!
Talk it out
Even if you’ve nodded ‘that’s me!’ to the points above, a career change is a big deal that calls for careful consideration. It’s wise to talk it through with someone you trust personally or professionally to get a fresh perspective and advice from a great career counsellor can be invaluable.
If you have a family, they’ll be affected by the career change too so involve your partner in the decision-making process.
A career change can completely shift the direction of your entire life. It shouldn't be done on a whim but executed right and for the right reasons, it could be the best decision you’ve ever made!