Signs That You Need a Career Change

There’s no guarantee that the career path you choose initially will be the same throughout your life.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, the average person will have 12 jobs throughout their lifetime and for many people, this means changing careers entirely.

With that in mind, if you’re considering a career transition, you’re not alone. But what are signs that you need a career change? And how should you go about finding your dream job?

Below we explore the most common signs that you need a career change.

What are the signs you need a career change? 

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re unsure about the career path you’re on. If you find yourself agreeing with any of the steps or descriptions below, it’s time to start finding a new job:

1. You don’t feel like you’re making a difference

A lack of job satisfaction is one of the main reasons people leave a job.

In fact, it’s one of the most important contributors to a quality work life balance. You may have seen or felt it before. Every day feels like you’re on autopilot, resulting in the same routine and getting no recognition in return. You’ve stopped actively looking for opportunities to grow and Sunday nights are ruined because you’re dreading going back to work. 

If this seems familiar, it’s a clear cut sign that you should start searching for a new job as soon as possible. You’ll want a role that offers new challenges, allows you to make satisfactory contributions and ultimately, plays to your strengths. It’s also not a bad thing to want recognition –  many people thrive on this validation in the workplace.

2. Your work is physically affecting your health and relationships

Depending on the industry you work in, your work may make you tired but it should never affect your physical health in a debilitating way.

If you find yourself not sleeping, experiencing headaches or suffering from chronic exhaustion, you may want to find a job that has a more relaxed working environment.

While work is important, your professional life shouldn’t seep into, or impact, your personal life. For professionals in common stressful industries – such as law or finance – this stress can morph into physical ailments and impact your relationships with loved ones. If you find that work is making you unhappy, take the time to figure out how you can start building a happy, fulfilling career.

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3. You’re only staying for the money

A great salary can cover up a lot of problems but in the long-term, you may want to think about whether you’re just staying in the role for the money. Having money to live is vital but if you’re sacrificing happiness and wasting valuable time in a role you don’t like, it’s not worth it.

You may tell yourself that you’re only staying in the role until you get your next bonus or you may feel envious of people you know that really enjoy their role. Whatever your reasoning, it’s important to remember that thousands of career changers have moved roles for the same reason – some even taking a pay cut – and now feel like they’ve found their calling – which is infinitely better than money.

4. You’re no longer growing or developing

Career development isn’t just important for achieving high-level jobs and more money, it’s also a major catalyst for job satisfaction. When you feel like you’ve outgrown a role or you’re no longer developing new skills, it might be time to start looking for new potential employers.

Many people try to mitigate this feeling by taking short courses or learning another skill part-time but ultimately, this is a short-term fix as you’ll still feel unfulfilled at your role. Your day job should always present opportunities for growth and great employers ensure that employees have opportunities available.

5. You would leave if it was possible

Some people feel like they want to leave their job but they don’t have the financial security to make it viable. Ask yourself a question: If you could leave your job right now with no repercussions, would you? If the answer is a resounding yes, then it might be time to find a new role.

Start thinking about different niches you could work in or careers that align with your passions. Have you always had a business idea you could execute or skills that you can transfer to an all new career? Maybe this is the push you need. If you start looking for a new role, take the time to liaise with third parties such as a career coach or recruiter – they can often help you take the next step into a new niche.

How to start finding a new career

Now that you understand the signs of a career change, you need to make the leap. Ultimately, finding a new career niche involves a lot of dedication, resilience and the ability to assess your own needs and wants.

Firstly, you need to know what job you want and the qualifications or skills you need to make it happen. Secondly, you need to make sure that you’re changing into a career and a business that aligns with your values and culture.

In many cases, professionals that have worked in one career for a long time may already be in a great place to ‘upgrade’ in a different career path, they just need to make the switch. If you want to know more about finding a new role, we’ve also written about ‘how to keep your career moving after redundancy’ and ‘what happens when you leave a job’.

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