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7 Signs It Is Time for a Career Change

By Virginia Franco

7 Signs It Is Time for a Career ChangeWhile it would be great to wake up thrilled at the prospect of going to work every day – for the majority this is simply not a reality – and that’s OK.

On the flip side, it’s NOT OK to wake up every day and dread going to work.

For many, if the pros of the role outweigh the cons, then the role is likely a decent fit – for now.

But, these cons might be signs that it's time for a new career.

7 Signs It May Be Time to Change Careers

If any of the scenarios listed below become more commonplace, then it is possible a career change is in order, particularly if several of these signs apply to your current career.

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  #1 - You Feel Sick  

No one expects to be fascinated at work every Monday through Friday, and everyone has days where they are “off.”

However, these can be warnings:

  • You get a sense of anxiety or headache on Sunday evenings.
  • You find your aches and pains are increasing.
  • Your energy is depleted to the point where you struggle to get out of bed.
  • You find yourself clock watching at work.

These may be signs that something’s not right, and your work variables need a shake-up.

  #2 - Confidence Is on the Decline, and Doubt and Apathy on the Rise  

Many job seekers find they can go through the motions each day but feel their confidence and motivation waning. A right-fit role should boost your self-esteem and enthusiasm -- not shoot it down.

  • Do you find yourself increasingly lacking confidence in your decision-making?
  • Did you used to be full of ideas and now no longer are?
  • Find your suggestions to colleagues or management get ignored?
  • See little room for progression or next-level growth?

If your affirmative response is growing, then you may be in a role that will impact your emotional well-being – a telltale sign that a change is in order.

  #3 - Increasing Day Dreams  

Are you spending increasing time doing Google searches, combing Facebook or Instagram, book marking companies of interest, or searching job postings?

Your internet habits may be telling you something...

  #4 - The Money Is a Big Reason You Stay  

For many executives, a high-paying role may feel a bit like wearing “golden handcuffs.” The job supports a comfortable lifestyle (often for a family) and makes unhappiness a bitter pill to swallow.

For others, the Beatles' song “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” rings true.

If you feel your heart isn’t in it, it’s important to ask yourself if the work and sacrifices you make are worth the paycheck.

Do you find yourself saying you’ll stay for XXX (insert “stock options to clear,” “annual bonus time,” etc.) or going on spending sprees to treat yourself for staying in a miserable job? If your response in yes, some self-reflection may be in order.

  #5 - You Are Bored  

While your career may never have exactly been fun, at least it was interesting. But, now, your skills are no longer advancing because the need to increase your skills is not there. In fact, you are losing some of your “edge” over competitors.

In the past, new people, interesting ideas, and good challenges appeared almost every day. Now, it’s day after day of same-old-same-old. You almost feel like you could do this job in your sleep, but your boss would probably notice.

  #6 - The Career Isn’t a Fit for Your Life Now  

The hours are no longer good for you because you have kids now or a sick relative needs you to be available for at odd hours. And, this career requires your full attention with the ability to drop everything and jump into work at any time.

Or, this career just isn’t relevant to your life now.

  #7 - New Ownership/Leadership Changed Important Things  

In the past, the career and job worked very well for you, but the company was sold to a new owner. Or, new senior leaders, possibly from outside of the organization, took over.

You are no longer comfortable with the new “corporate culture” and what is expected of you now. Perhaps the rules have changed – maybe the hours are 10 to 6 rather than 8 to 4, or commissions are paid 60 days after being earned rather than 30, or whatever.

Perhaps the ethics or technical requirements have changed in a way that is not comfortable for you. Whatever the reason, this career no longer feels “right” to you, and remembering the new rules makes your work less fulfilling or interesting and more like "just a job."

3 Signs Your Job Is a Good Fit

Maybe none -- or only one -- of the signs above apply to you. Perhaps, it is not yet time for you to make a change.

Consider the signs below as indicators that your job is a good fit for you:

#1 - While not always easy, the skills required to succeed in the role come naturally.

#2 - Upon reflection, you are proud of the work you have accomplished, and it provides you with a sense of purpose.

#3 - The role meshes well with your personality, lifestyle demands, and values.

If this fits you, great! Enjoy!

The Bottom Line:

You may like your boss, co-workers, and customers/clients, but the job satisfaction you once felt in this job are no longer “there.” You need to move on, continuing to increase your skills and to be engaged in your work.

More About Successful Career Change:


About the author...

Career Change Expert Virginia Franco is a 4 times Certified Executive Resume Writer, LinkedIn Writer, Coach and Career Storyteller. Her experience in corporate communications, journalism, and social work offered her a unique understanding of how people read, communicate, and share information. Connect with Virginia via her website VirginiaFrancoResumes.com, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter @VAFrancoResumes.