As you go through your life, you’ll be growing and the career you chose as a younger version of yourself may not be the best fit for you now. It’s important to be self-reflective and check in with yourself from time to time, especially if you notice yourself being bored or unhappy. No one deserves to spend their days doing something that is unfulfilling.
Here are some signs you need a change:
1. Energy depletion or boredom.
Any job may have moments of boredom. But if you constantly feel apathetic and feel an energy drain at the end of each day, something’s wrong. Do you dread Monday morning starting on Sunday afternoon? Does getting up each day require dragging yourself up and out the door through sheer willpower? Do you hate talking about your work?
Explore what it is that’s causing the energy depletion. Is it the actual job itself, the commute, your co-workers or the management style? Is there something you could tweak, like switching to a different position within the same company, or moving closer? Can you arrange to work from home a few days a week?
Then explore what things add to your energy in your life, whether at work or at home. What do you love doing? What things make you lose track of time? What are your interests? What would you like to learn or spend more time with? Do you long for more connection with nature? Do you want to add more creativity to your work and life?
If it’s the job itself that is at the center of your energy drain, it’s a clear signal its time to make a change in your career.
2. Loss of Passion and Purpose.
Feeling your work has meaning and is personally fulfilling is essential. If you are no longer excited about your work, you won’t be happy and your happiness is a key factor in your ability to perform at your best and advance in your career. Many people make the mistake of going for a job opportunity that offers a bigger paycheck. Sure, we all need money to survive. But going for a job only for the payout can backfire. Financial rewards are not enough when the work isn’t fulfilling and you aren’t happy in it. In the long run, people who are happy and have careers that ignite a feeling of passion and purpose actually can make more money than those in unfulfilling careers. Don’t feel like you have to stay stuck in a job you hate just for the paycheck.
3. Your talent isn’t valued.
If your employer doesn’t value your talent, it’s hard to stay enthusiastic and motivated about your work. If you aren’t being valued, your advancement won’t be supported and your work environment may not be the best fit for you.
4. Your values and the company’s values are not in alignment.
You need to be clear on your top values and stay true to them. Are the company’s values in alignment with yours? If not, that creates a huge stressor. You may want to do the same job, but with a different company whose values and management style are a match for you.
5. Your body will communicate to you.
Do you experience chronic illness, migraines, or other stress related illnesses? Do you have trouble concentrating? In my own experience, I had a job I had once loved switch management and become very stressful. I was sick much of the time and finally landed in the hospital with a stress related illness. Pay attention to the messages your body is sending to you-before you end up in the hospital!
6. You feel chronically stressed and complain about work all the time.
Just about everyone complains about a bad day here and there. But do you feel negative and hopeless just thinking about work? Do you constantly complain to your friends about your job? Have you turned into a bitter person you don’t recognize? I know I did! That was my wake up call. If you see yourself turning into Negative Nelly (or Ned) that’s a clear sign you need to find a career that makes you feel happy, purposeful and alive.
You do have a purpose and what you most love to do will be a key factor in discovering what that is. Start now to reflect on your passions, talents and skills. Don’t censor your exploration. You may be surprised by how your passions can translate into a career. Getting help with this process is a great way to focus it, make sure it happens and feel supported though it.