When Do You Know It’s Time For A Career Change?

Posted June 18, 2013, by Jo Messer
Career change statistics suggest that most Australians will change careers seven times in their life. If you’ve been working in the same role for a while and are starting to feel antsy, it can be hard to work out if you’re just over your job or your company, or if it’s time to change direction and embark on a new career altogether.

Confounding factors may be a difficult boss, unpleasant work environment or poor team morale, which may have more to do with your organisation than your career itself.

Generally speaking, the decision to change careers comes down to a desire to do something totally different and new. Here are a few telltale signs that it might very well be time to think about ditching the old and making a fresh start.

  1. You feel bored and unmotivated
  2. Your gut is telling you things are not OK
  3. You get a feeling of dread on Sunday night/Monday morning about going into work
  4. You don’t feel good about yourself
  5. You’re taking lots of time off
  6. You feel exhausted/burnt out
  7. You’re doing the bare minimum at work
  8. You’re working in a dying industry 

The first step is to recognise that you need a change. The next step is to actually do something about it. Let’s face it – many people know that they need to make a change but have no idea what they want to do or how to make it happen. Change is by no means easy – it’s scary and takes hard work and determination.

Juanita, a mother of three young children, had been working for over 15 years in a family manufacturing business. When the business closed, it gave her the impetus to re-evaluate what she wanted to do. 

‘I realised that I didn’t enjoy managing staff and dealing with constant client deadlines. I wanted to do something different. I thought about re-qualifying as a midwife, but when I talked to people working in this area I quickly discovered that being a midwife was more about the mother’s journey and I wanted to look after babies. I completed a Certificate III in Children’s Services online and was fortunate to find a position in the baby room at the local childcare centre’. 

Juanita said it wasn’t necessarily easy leaving behind what she knew and moving into a totally different industry. ‘I took a pay cut, but now I feel good about what I do. My hours are flexible, which works well with balancing family commitments, and I definitely don’t miss the stress of dealing with deadlines and difficult clients’.

Careers, like life, are full of twists and turns, and your career is your own personal journey. You are in the driver’s seat and you’re never locked in – you DO have choices. Juanita’s story shows that you need to take ownership, talk to people and research possible alternatives before jumping in. Then follow your dreams! Because life is too short to stay in a job that you no longer enjoy.

Jo Messer

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