More than 1 out of 2 working adults dream of changing careers. Are you one of them? Identifying these clear signs can help you reassess your career before you think about taking the next step towards a change.🗼
Like anyone who feels ready to take the plunge, and despite feeling at the end of your rope, you keep finding excuses that are in the ballpark of:
🔆 “I shouldn’t complain, there are much worse jobs!”,
🔆 “We’re barely out of COVID…it’ll be much easier in two years.”
🔆 “I have a steady salary, paid vacation…I wouldn’t be able to find anything better…”
📌 Indeed, for most of us, the desire to make a change remains enticing. It’s a dream we entertain ourselves with at night when things aren’t going well. However, the feeling of frustration, unfulfilled needs, and the impression of having lost meaning in what we do all can damage our morale a lot more than we could ever imagine.
➡️ You should keep an eye out for signs that tell you that it is time to leave! However, these signs are not the same for everyone: they will depend on what is most important to us individually.
➡️ For some people, identifying these signs will lead them to changing jobs, companies, or industries; others will choose to develop a second line of business.
1/ Your body is sounding the alarm
If you feel a knot in your stomach in the morning when you arrive at work, if you are sleeping poorly, or if you have no appetite, it’s time start exploring the cause of this dysfunction. In the same way, if you notice that you are feeling impatient and are becoming increasingly irritable, or conversely, if you feel ambivalent and are lacking motivation, it’s a good time to take a step back and start to take stock of things to determine if this is just a difficult phase or if a deeper crisis is behind it all.
You know you have reached your limit when your body communicates with you and says it’s time to make a change.
📌 From the moment you start to present psychosomatic reactions, burnout is probably not far away. This means that you are past due for exploring a different path that is more in line with your values.
2/ Your enthusiasm continues to wane
If you do not find professional fulfillment in your job, if you are not happy about waking up in the morning, and if there is growing dissonance between yourself and your career, this will result in a lack of energy every day.
Taking increasingly long breaks, always keeping your eye on the clock, taking forever on a project that should take just minutes, or wasting time on pointless Google searches are all signs that you are feeling bored, which is not at all conducive to feeling happy at work.
“Bore-out” can cause just as much turmoil as “burn-out”!
3/ You are dissatisfied with your work relationships
Even if you love your job, you may have grown uncomfortable with your colleagues or superiors. Your work environment leaves you with a nagging, negative feeling.
If you no longer identify with the values that characterize your professional circle, or if you no longer feel validated by the group, it is best to part ways. Indeed, your need for belonging, which is essential to your sense of fulfillment, is not being met.
You will need to find that which suits you best. You may choose to join a start-up, work for yourself, or even find a job with a large company. Sometimes, all it takes is a small structural change to improve things considerably!
4/ You find that your work lacks meaning
You have a really great career, you earn a good living, and yet you still may feel a sense that something is missing. Deep down, you don’t feel like you are really flourishing. According to Maslow, who illustrates his theory through a pyramidal representation of a hierarchy of needs, we can only realize our full potential if our self-actualization need – the last level of the pyramid – is met. We achieve this self-actualization need as an individual by aligning ourselves with our deep values, as well as the things in our lives that provide meaning.
A client of mine who held a distinguished administrative position at a Parisian school decided to leave a job which brought her material comfort to become a special guest speaker for middle school students, and a facilitator of Nonviolent Communication workshops in high schools. This new career path, which was more in line with her values, helped her discover meaning in her work.
Having completely aligned her work with her values, it became clear to her that she was finally where she needed to be.
5/ You’re constantly thinking about your next day (or days) off
As soon as the year starts, you are already circling public holidays on your calendar, and you may ask yourself periodically: “How many more days do I have to ‘keep it together’ until my next day off?” A client once told me, “I only feel alive on the weekend and when I’m on vacation”. This mentality indicates that something is off. Although most of us eagerly await the weekend and time off, it is a real problem with we structure our professional lives around these days, and this should lead us to reconsidering the relevancy of our work.
6/ Your gut says it’s time to make a change…
If that small voice inside of you is saying it’s time to leave, don’t ignore it. If that small voice inside of you is saying it’s time to leave, don’t ignore it. It knows what is best for you, and even if your current job seems “completely adequate,” don’t forget that you will be much more effective, enthusiastic, and fulfilled if you find a job that you are passionate about. You may have overlooked, repressed, or ignored talents that are just waiting to be developed.
Never give up. You can change your job or your career at any age. You can change your job or your career at any age. Allow yourself to become your best self, because you deserve to have a job that brings you happiness.
Last modified: April 12, 2022