When Is It Time to Make a Change?

Career paths are not set in stone, and they do not fall into a person’s lap fully formed and ready to be followed through to their conclusion. Rather, careers are a process of trial and error. I imagine them like a closet full of clothing when getting ready for a dinner party. You have a general idea of what to wear; after all, this is a dinner party so you won’t be wearing your sweatpants and college t-shirt. But should you wear the black dress or the blue? Do you prefer the green striped tie, or the bright red one? Sometimes, the only way to decide is to try it on and determine if it fits and whether or not you like it.

However, just as you can probably figure out when a pair of pants are too tight, there are also some things in your professional life that might suggest it’s time to make a career change. Not everyone recognizes these right off the bat, so here are a few indicators for you to remember when you’re thinking of making a career change.

  1. You’re constantly exhausted and bored. If the thought of getting out bed to go to work each day completely drains your willpower, and you find yourself with little to no energy when you get home at night, then it might be time to consider making a career change. But before you do, take time to determine why you’re unhappy in your current position. Are you overwhelmed by a micromanaging boss or secretive, unhelpful coworkers? Is the work itself the problem? Is the job too far away, or the hours too difficult to swing for your schedule. Knowing why you are feeling the way you are is one of the first steps to figuring out where you want to go next. Need help evaluating this? Career Solutions Group offers career coaching to help you evaluate your professional life and determine a logical next step.
  2. Your salary/benefits aren’t enough. Even if you don’t mind your job, and perhaps even like it, sometimes the stress of not making enough money or not having enough leave time can be enough to make the work depressing and difficult. With raises becoming less likely in the workplace, sometimes a change is necessary to ensure a comfortable standard of living. If this is the case, then making a career change can potentially lead to better benefits overall.
  3. Your health is being negatively impacted. This is a big one of which not everyone is aware. Having a job that is stressful can have enormous negative impacts on your health, which can in turn impact work performance, which might lead to more stress leading to more health problems, etc. If your work is impacting your health in a bad way, it’s definitely time to make a change.
  4. You aren’t unhappy, but you aren’t ever happy either. Apathy can be just as bad as unhappiness when it comes to the workplace. If your position has become an exercise in going through the motions, then it might be time to critically examine your career path. Why do you feel apathetic towards work? Is it the industry itself, or just the company you work for? Better yet, spend some time evaluating what things in work do make you happy, and identify which values you most want to exercise in your position. Need help identifying these? Career Solutions Group offers career counseling focused on helping you uncover your values and interests.
  5. You know/feel that you want to make a change. Sometimes, it’s just time to make a change. I’ve known more than one person who, while not actively unhappy in their job, wanted to do something different that held more meaning for them. If you have given a lot of thought to your career and have realized it isn’t exactly what you want to be doing, even if you’re content, then it is perfectly reasonable to consider making a career change.

Knowing when to make a career change is something that requires self-reflection and certain amount of awareness about where the wind is blowing. But knowing how to make a career change is something that we can help with. If you are interested in making a career transition and would like professional support, email us at info@careersolutionsgroup.net. We offer free initial consultations with our professional career counselors, and have helped hundreds of job changers make successful, fulfilling career transitions.

By: Julia Pillard, Career Solutions Group