Four signs it's time for a career change

If you’ve been thinking about making the jump and changing careers, you might have found yourself wondering how to know when it’s the right time to go for it. Here are a few things that will make it clear that it’s time to change careers…

1. You’ve lost your purpose

Making money is all well and good – and obviously important too if you want to pay the bills – but increasingly, studies show that workers are more interested in doing a job that has a purpose.

“Early on in my career, I had the opportunity to take my career in another direction and make more money. But because my job at the time was meaningful and my employer invested in my future, I remained loyal and my passionate pursuit of excellence remained strong,” Cuban-American entrepreneur Glen Llopis says. “The financial incentives are not enough, when the chance to find real personal significance and happiness is missing. This career decision allowed me to multiply my earnings five years later without leaving the company and industry where my purpose and passion was flourishing.”

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2. You’ve got no energy

We all struggle to pull ourselves out of bed on a Monday morning, but if your work is a real drag, it could be a sign that it’s time to make a change.

“If you feel exhausted and bored all of the time, you need to figure out what exactly is doing the damage by breaking your job down into different components,” Alison Elissa Cardy, CEO and founder of Cardy Career Coaching, says. “Which aspect is most draining to you? Is it the subject matter that you’re working on? The long commute? Are your co-workers wearing you out? Getting specific about what’s not working will tell you exactly what it is you need to change.

“Consider whether your dissatisfaction is core to the job itself, like your day-to-day work activities, or environmental, like annoying co-workers, an overly demanding boss, or a lengthy commute. An environmental factor could be remedied with less extreme measures, like moving closer to work, seeking a different team to be a part of, or even switching to a similar position with a different company. If it is the job itself that is draining your energy, that is a clear sign of a need for a change.”

3. You’re jealous of your friends’ jobs

Ever find yourself wishing you were doing what someone else does? Hearing about a friend’s job can lead you to feeling depressed that your job isn’t like that, but instead try using it as motivation to do something different.

“Feelings of jealousy towards the jobs, careers or work cultures of friends or family can be a key directional signal that you want to be doing something else, somewhere else,” Rosie Allabarton of Career Foundry says. “Rather than dismissing jealousy as a bad thing, try to analyse why you might feel that way. Is it the job role you are jealous of or the motivational company culture? Is it the flexibility of their role or the creativity? When thinking about it try to be as honest with yourself as you can: it can be a very practical way of pinpointing exactly where you want to be going with your own career.”

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4. You know what you would do next

This is obviously the goal and once you've worked it out, then you're definitely ready to start making it happen. But if you're not quite there yet, start by taking time to work out what your skills and talents are – and what other careers might be able to utilise them.

“Make an exhaustive list of all the skills and talents you use in every facet of your job today,” career coach Kathy Caprino recommends. “Great examples are: negotiating, developing new clients, relationship management, problem-solving, employee engagement, project management, branding development, etc.

“Now, brainstorm other professional roles and directions that are very different from what you do now, that might need these very same talents and skills. Talk to everyone you know (whom you trust and respect) about their insights into how you can use your talents differently for outcomes you’ll care about more.”

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