Have you ever been in a situation where your body is telling you that something is not right? The same happens with your job and even your career. When read and analyzed properly, there are signs that what we are doing is no longer what we need to do or where we need to be. When this happens, perhaps it is time to switch careers.
Is it frustrating? Daunting? Yes, it can be. For some, it can feel like taking a step back in their professional life, but it does not have to be. Think of it this way, every stage of your career opens the way to a more fulfilling life. Each step gives you a new opportunity to understand who you are, your goals, your main interests, the people you want to surround yourself with, your values, and your areas of opportunity (everyone has them).
You are not alone. According to a recent study published by Fast Company, 52% of U.S. workers consider switching careers for 2021, and almost 45% have actual plans to make the leap.
The fact that you are reading this article is one of the first signs that you are not comfortable with your job. But, you should pay close attention to hints, such as the ones we will describe.
1- You Lost the Motivation to Go to Work
All of us have had days where we just hit the snooze button over and over again, but if you have reached a point in your life where this is happening daily, perhaps it is time to snooze your daily routine and spend some time thinking about why this is happening. There are as many reasons as people, to name a few, that might help you: maybe the project you are working on is not challenging enough, perhaps you are not comfortable with your team, maybe your boss and you are not communicating well.
2- You Don’t Like Your Daily Work
Not enjoying the daily bulk of activities and finding them daunting are clear signs you need to switch careers. This can happen for several reasons: not being appreciated, facing a complete disconnection between what you thought you were going to do and what you are actually doing, feeling like you are not making an impact, doing tasks that are not challenging enough, etc. Take some time to analyze this situation, what you do not like, and what it takes to fix it.
3- You Are Only There for the Money
When you find yourself going to work just for the pay, my friend… you have a problem. Just sitting there watching the seconds go by, waiting for the clock to hit 5:00 pm to close your laptop and get out of there, counting the days for the weekend to arrive… All of these are clear signs that you need something else. Your body and mind are aching for more. Be careful; if this situation goes on and on for a long time, you can reach a point where not even your salary will be enough to make you get out of bed and ready to work.
4- You Spend Hours Researching for Other Jobs
Suddenly you find yourself “killing” those long hours of work by researching other jobs, what it takes to do them, thinking about how and why you chose your current career, and what would have happened if you had studied something different. You spend hours reading job offers in LinkedIn and Glassdoor and researching successful people and their professional background: how did they get to where they are now?
5- Your Job Is Affecting Your Personal Life
Permanent stress affects our lives in ways we do not even imagine: we become bitter, unhappy, we have physical symptoms, we lose sleep, we are exhausted. The worst part of this is that all these symptoms do not stay at work; they go home with us, the trouble our relationships with family, partners, and even our friends. Is it worth it? Do you want to live in a constant battle with your spouse or kids just because you are frustrated at work?
6- You Lost the Passion That Got You There
Think of the reasons that made you choose that career, that job, that organization. Why and how did you get there? Why are you unhappy/frustrated right now? Were you expecting to do something different? Have you been doing the same year after year?
Once you have identified the signs that indicate it is time to switch careers, you need to start planning your next moves. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do you want to go?
- What does it take to get there?
- What skills do you need to work on to be successful there?
- Who can guide you through this process?
- Where and how can you learn the must-have hard skills for this?
- How long will it take me to get there?
Once you have answered them, start creating your plan to switch careers. Do not let the fear and uncertainty keep you from reaching your goals. It is never too late to start; you need the right mindset, disposition, and firm conviction that you will get to a place where you will be valued and rewarded with hard work and dedication.