3 Signs You’re Ready for a Career Change
It’s not uncommon to talk about our work in social situations. In fact, ‘what do you do?’ is one of the most common conversation starters you’ll encounter in your adult life. It comes up at parties, on holidays and at family gatherings. And with nearly one-third of our lives spent working, it’s no wonder that our jobs define so much of who we are.
But the question we should be concerned with isn’t ‘what do you do?’, but rather ‘what do you want to do?’ When you’re not happy with your job, it can affect every aspect of your life. And believe us, the signs will be there. The trick is to listen to your gut and not get stuck in a job that’s doing you more harm than good.
Think you might be ready for a career change? Here are three hard-to-ignore signs that it’s time to move on.
1. You’ve got a bad case of the Sunday Night Blues
After a long, lazy weekend, the thought of getting up for work early Monday morning isn’t always the most appealing. But when every Sunday night ends with an impending sense of dread about the work week to come, something deep inside is telling you things aren’t right.
A few sleepless nights aren’t uncommon, especially when you’re dealing with particularly busy periods at work. But if it becomes a pattern, that may be a sign that your job is more toxic than you may think. Whether you’re overworked or just finding yourself totally unmotivated, these sort of sleep patterns mean you’re ready to make a drastic change.
Stop dreaming about the things you want to do and make them a reality. Want to study a language abroad? Then do it. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to work abroad. There are plenty of roles for people with your passions. It’s all about taking that first step and acknowledging you’re ready for something new.
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2. Stress from the job is impacting your health
Everyone has bad days at work. But did you know that a sense of unfulfillment and a lack of interest in your job can actually be bad for your health? Scientists have been studying the many ways stress weakens the immune system since the 1980s, and what they discovered is that long-term or chronic stress can ravage the immune system.
According to Zach Cordell, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Cordell Nutrition Consulting, “If your work inhibits your ability to sleep, immune systems can dampen, and recovery times can lengthen.” That means a higher risk of getting (and staying) sick.
The most obvious side effect of an unhappy job is anxiety, often leading to full-blown depression. Combine that with a weakened immune system, a bad diet and a lack of sleep, and your job is doing far more harm than it is good.
3. You don’t feel like the work you’re doing is making a difference
Knowing that we’re contributing something, no matter how small, is an important driver in our careers. Otherwise, what’s motivating you to do a good job? It’s the thing that keeps the passion alive.
If you think your voice isn’t being heard or you’re finding it harder to agree with the social ethos of your organization, think about the impact you want to make. Why not explore the different companies and jobs that work towards that goal?
Did you know that 75% of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company? And 76% think about a company’s social and environmental commitments before accepting a job with them. In other words, knowing that you’re making a difference is vital in the current job market, so it’s not uncommon to be put off by a job where the impact you’re having isn’t clear.
Some career paths provide a viable channel that allows you to fight for a cause you’re passionate about. Do a bit of research and find a company that really speaks to you. It’s out there, believe us. And just think about how driven you’ll be when you’re working for a cause that’s close to your heart. Or if working doesn't inspire you anymore, take a career break and work on yourself. Travel to that destination you've always wanted to visit, or learn a language that you have always wanted to study but could never fit into your life.
What are you waiting for?
We know it’s not always as simple as storming into your boss’ office and quitting. A career change requires research and an understanding that it’s not just about finding a new job, it’s about finding something right for you. The first step is realizing it’s time to make a change. Then the rest is up to you. And who knows, you might even be surprised by what’s out there.