11 Signs That it’s Time for a Career Change
British workers aren’t happy. In fact, we’re amongst the unhappiest workers in the world.
According to some research, up to 55.6% of UK employees are unhappy with their role.
Are you one of them?
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you might well be.
The Number 1 feeling we get from people getting in touch here at Forward is uncertainty. Uncertainty as to whether time is being wasted in following one’s current path. Uncertainty due to not knowing the best way to achieve one’s dreams. Uncertainly about even knowing how get answers to these questions.
It’s in this state of uncertainty where we start drifting in life. Our goals become unclear and we just start waiting for something to shake us out of it. It’s not a state any of us want to be in and it can be tricky to get out of.
We’ve found that the best way to do this is to pin down one uncertainty and get to the bottom of it. Make the uncertain, certain.
So when it comes to knowing for sure whether or not its time to change your career we’re here for you. Below we’ve put together 11 of the most common reasons that Forward clients have told us that they knew it was time to make a change.
Have a look through and see if these common reasons feel too familiar. We hope you’ll be able to find some certainty.
Reason 1 – You’re not challenged anymore
Nobody enjoys feeling out of their depth. However, feeling too comfortable in your role is dangerous too.
We spend so much time working to get better at our job and get into that zone of competency and comfort that it may sound crazy to try and get out of it.
However, it’s important that do. When we’re too comfortable in our roles, we don’t grow. There is no drive to learn new skills, no new pressures to create diamonds. We stagnate.
And let’s face it, it’s those times in which you’re facing up against a challenge which perhaps makes you feel nervous and uncomfortable that you bring out your best. Challenge and growth is a key indicator of happiness. Not only this, but future employers want evidence of your go-get it attitude.
Often the best antidotes for stress, anxiety, and depression is just…being busy. Better yet, being busy growing.
They say comfort is the enemy of achievement, and whilst we’re not sure this is true all of the time (I’d rather wear padded hiking boots than stilettos to climb Everest) it certainly rings true for career stagnation.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it best – “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
If you’re not gaining strength, courage, and confidence regularly at your work, it’s time for a career change.
Reason 2 – You’re struggling to find what impact you make
We all want to make a difference. Whether that difference is on a personal, industry, or global level makes no difference; having evidence that what you do matters is a sure-fire way feel satisfied in life.
It doesn’t even rely on your role in life – everyone can enjoy this feeling; from the waiter who remembers a regular customer’s birthday to the CEO who donated a % of the company’s income for charitable endeavours. It’s not limited to your role.
Many of these opportunities to make an impact are subtle, but they’re there, and incorporating them into your work life boosts happiness (not to mention that ‘going the extra mile’ spirit often catches the eye of the higher ups).
If you’re really unable to find any way your role makes a positive impact on the world then it’s definitely time for a change.
Reason 3 – colleagues of the same tenure have been promoted or left
Seeing your friends and colleagues leave for a better role is never an easy feeling – especially when your own next step on the road to success isn’t clear.
It’s natural that colleagues will come and go, and it’s important to be happy for their progression.
The red flag here is when you’re seeing the colleagues who joined around the same time or after you reaching higher positions or leaving for better jobs.
If you’re entirely satisfied in your role then this is no problem. However, if this causes you grief, it might be a little voice inside telling you that it’s time you looked for the next step as well.
Ask yourself, could you have gone for that promotion, or job opportunity that your colleague just left for?
Reason 4 – You see no room for growth
In everything you do, there should be scope to become better.
The most successful individuals in the world are always striving for the next opportunity, the next mountain to climb, the next deal to secure.
This isn’t important only because it keeps things fresh and exciting, but those mini achievements you get throughout the learning process boost mental health and provide a feeling of fulfilment in your life.
They give you something to be proud of. They give you a shot of enthusiasm. And what’s more, growth leads to further growth, success leads to further success, because the energy you get from winning gives more energy to the next task which makes it easier to win, and so on. Like a ball rolling down the hill, the more you grow and achieve, the more you’re going to grow and achieve.
It’s worth asking yourself – are you still growing? Have you found out how you can get put up for that promotion? Are there things that your superiors do that you can learn to do yourself? If yes, are you willing to?
It may well be that there are indeed areas for growth…but the idea of climbing that same ladder is horrible to you. Then its definitely time to examine a career pivot.
Reason 5 – It Feels like *sigh* work
No, we’re not kidding.
And yes, we know that sometimes work does feel like work. There are always going to be certain jobs that you don’t want to do.
But there are two types of work. There’s the slumped shouldered and dead eyes husk of a human who looks to the end of his lunch break like a walk to the electric chair. And then theres the bright eyed individual who claps their hands and announces with a smile “back to work!”
We fully believe that we all should be doing something where, most of the time, we want to be going in and doing the work.
Remember, you deserve to be spending your one, precious life on work that you enjoy. No more Sunday blues, No more unhappy mornings.
It. Is. Possible.
Don’t believe us? Check out our testimonials page.
Marc Anthony – “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”
Reason 6 – You’re chronically ill, or tired
Our bodies are incredibly intuitive, and we often ignore them when they’re sending us important information about how we’re living our lives.
They speak to us in a language that we ignore and medicate with drugs or surgery. We just need to look at the placebo effect (which is often proven to be up to 50% as effective as physical treatments) to know that the state of our brains can have more impact on our physical wellness than actual medicine.
Our minds need to be in a good place for our bodies to be well. It’s that simple.
If you’re constantly feeling tired, or perhaps regularly coming down with colds and illnesses, it might be time to take stock of your environment. Research shows that who do what they love suffer less from ill health.
Are you always feeling tired, or run down? Your brain may be telling you that it’s time for a change.
Reason 7 – Money is the only reason you’re still in your career
Money is great, and if one of your main answer to questions asking why you do the job that you do is directly related to the money then no problem.
The Red flag rises when the money becomes the only reason you can say that you’re still in your job.
You can go a lot of great things with a good salary. But in the end, nothing will be able to buy back the satisfaction and happiness lost during days working in a job you don’t like. No amount of holidays, weekend trips, cool gadgets, or fancy cars will outweigh that job dissatisfaction.
Most importantly – it’s not an either / or situation. You can have both a job you love, and a job that makes you the money you want. After all, when you love something, you’re generally good at it, and when you’re good at it, you can get the money that you want.
If you’re not convinced that it’s possible to have both, give us a call. Our coaches can help you get to the stage where you’re loving what you’re doing and earning the money to achieve you financial goals.
Just please, don’t be sacrificing your happiness ‘for the money’ when you could be getting both.
Reason 8 – Your personal life is suffering
We’ve all heard about the importance of a work-life balance (probably to the point of exhaustion!) and we know it can be tricky to find the right split.
Work is a big part of life. But it should never turn into a monster that dominates your every waking hour (including evenings, weekends, and holidays).
In order to have the best life you need both the work side and the personal side to be performing at their best.
Now obviously, you decide the balance. And our mission is to get you working in a career where you’ll be wanting to be to stay up late to do more of what you love. Having the balance, a little ‘work heavy’ is no bad thing in and of itself.
However, the red flag flies up here when the ‘work’ side of the balance devalues the ‘personal’ side – all of the important elements for a healthy mental and physical life, and a successful career;
The exercise, socialising, hobbies. Quality sleep. Nutritional eating. Taking care of your mental wellness. Learning. Volunteering. Travelling. They all need their time too.
When you’re in a job where you’re too tired to go for that run after you come home for work, opting instead to devour that Netflix series due to sunken energy levels, we feel for you.
It makes us feel like doing anything to get our energies back…everything rather than those things which lead to long term energy and happiness.
If your job isn’t allowing you a healthy balance, you need to be finding one that does
Reason 9 – You don’t feel true to yourself
We all have our different selves. Selves with family, with friends, with colleagues. It’s natural.
Its important that those selves are still a reflection of some part of your true self.
Sure, you’re not going to act the same way with Great Aunt Agatha as you are with your friends at this weekend’s trip to the pub. However, they’re both equally you.
Your work self should be no different. Different behaviour, different manner of speaking, yes, but still very much you.
However, when your work self is no longer feeling like an honest reflection of you, it’s time to take stock.
Perhaps the way you’re speaking to your colleagues isn’t a true reflection of who you really are? Perhaps the decisions you’re making are at odds with the values you hold true?
Having a strong sense of who you are is vital to a successful life, and all of your different ‘selves’ should still be wired to that ‘core you’. If you work self is not wired to that, then it’s time to change.
Reason 10 – Your career is difficult to talk about
Family gatherings can be difficult occasions. Yes, we all love our families, but sometimes those inevitable questions about life can be a little stressful.
You know the ones – “How’s your relationship going?”. “Are you still driving that same car?” And the classic “tell me about work?”.
Now there is no reason these should be dreaded questions – and we get how the recent week of work may not be anyone’s favourite conversation when gathering around the dinner table, but it certainly shouldn’t be a subject you shy away from.
When you’ve found the right career, you’ll be bursting to tell your friends and family about the fun, exciting things you’re getting up to, your colleagues, the impact your making.
If you find yourself dodging these questions – or worse – preparing in advance a response that’s slightly more fictional than you’d like, take a second to ask yourself why.
Reason 11 – You’re Unhappy
Truly a revelation, right?
It is natural for our moods to ebb and flow, and so you shouldn’t worry that you’re not always in a state of bliss.
However, it’s when the percentage of time in which you’re more unhappy and dissatisfied tips the scales over from being mostly happy and satisfied, here you’ve got a problem.
Being happy at work isn’t something that you can reach out and grab with both hands. It is the by-product of the other elements; feeling like you’re making an impact, growing, being challenged, joining your colleagues climbing up the success ladder, building new connections, etc.
General unhappiness is the main sign that some or all elements of your job are out of balance with your values and your true self. Have a think about what it is that keeps you from happiness in your current role. Can you fix it?
If not, you owe it to yourself to be happy. Take the first step by getting in touch with us.
The Bottom Line
Are some of these points sounding familiar? I’m guessing that if you’ve got this far then they probably are.
You don’t have to have ticked off all 11 (in fact, we hope you haven’t!). The bottom line is, if you’re asking yourself if it’s time to make a change, then it probably is.
The good news is that taking a career pivot is a thrilling prospect! It’s an opportunity to start living your very best life. We honestly believe that it’s best for the world when nobody does work that they are unhappy doing. You should be happy in your role and, whilst we know it’s tricky knowing how to get there, it is our mission to make sure you do!
We’ve put together a step by step guide into how to tackle your career pivot like a pro.
When considering a career pivot, it can be invaluable to have someone to talk to. Why not book in a free consultation and make 100% sure you’re making the choices that are best for you, and what you want in life.