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10 Signs That It’s Time For A New Career Path

The thought of charting a different course can be thrilling and frightening at the same time. Here are ten signs it's time to find a new career path.

 

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming at work, wishing that today could be the day you muster up the courage to quit your job? First consider whether your dissatisfaction pertains to the company, the role, or perhaps your life stage. Is it possible to find happiness in the same job within a different organization? If you decide that your present situation will continue to suck the life out of you, then it’s time to explore a new career path. 

Here are ten telltale signs indicating that you might be ready for a career change.

Declining health

Is your job endangering your well-being, both mentally and physically? In the United States, it’s been reported that 120,000 deaths annually can be attributed to adverse workplace conditions as highlighted in Jeffrey Pfeffer’s book, Dying for a Paycheck. Prolonged, excessive working hours that leave no room for proper nutrition or exercise could be detrimental. When your health is at stake, it is an unmistakable sign that it’s time to find a new career path.

Lack of challenge

Does your workday feel like a monotonous routine, where your tasks require minimal effort? Are you consistently assigned projects that fail to stimulate your intellect? Reflecting on the past year, can you remember at least three engaging assignments you undertook at your job? If the answer is no, and your career has stagnated, it may be time to explore a new path.

Strained relationships

Are you caught in a relentless cycle of overwork, spending nearly 80 hours per week on the job? Do your family, loved ones, and even pets express concerns about the lack of quality time you share? If your career drains you and negatively impacts those around you, it’s a sure sign that you should investigate alternative career avenues.

Inauthenticity at work

According to Mike Robbins, author of Bring Your Whole Self to Work, authenticity in the workplace encompasses presenting oneself genuinely, leading with humility, and recognizing the collective vulnerability and imperfection of individuals striving to do their best. It also entails embracing courage to take risks, voice concerns, seek assistance, establish genuine connections, and allow authentic visibility. If your work environment compels you to fit in or engage in corporate politics rather than foster authenticity, it’s time to consider a new career path.

Misalignment with personal values

Take a close look at your core values. Do they include concepts like freedom, creativity, or flexibility? Does your current career enable you to manifest these values? Over the long term, professional fulfillment is closely tied to a career that resonates with your personal values. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to explore alternative options.

Happenstance career

Did you consciously select your present career, or did you find yourself on this path by chance? Research by LinkedIn on what they term “career sleepwalking” reveals that 22% of Americans feel they fell into their jobs rather than deliberately choosing them. Perhaps you had no idea what you wanted and accepted the first job you could get. Or maybe you graduated with a pile of student loans and desperately needed a paycheck. If your career appears to be the result of a series of arbitrary decisions rather than purposeful choices, it might be worth contemplating a new path.

Discrepancy with expectations

Did you initially choose a career with the intention of making a meaningful impact, only to find yourself disillusioned? If your professional reality falls short of your initial expectations, and you can’t envision following the same career path, it’s time to explore alternatives.

Yearning for entrepreneurship

Have you repeatedly expressed the desire to work for yourself to friends and family, spent time contemplating it, and even started researching business concepts? If your aspiration to be your own boss persists year after year, it is time to pave the way for a new career that aligns with your ambitions.

Desire to leave a legacy

Does your current career seem devoid of purpose? Have you considered engaging in more meaningful work? Many individuals aspire to leave a lasting impact through their careers. If you struggle to identify your professional legacy, it may be a sign that you need to explore a new career path.

The inconceivability of the status quo

Do you feel as though your career is an endless treadmill leading nowhere? Have you reached the point where the idea of continuing on your current career path is unimaginable? Perhaps you are prepared to venture onto a new road, even if the specifics of that path remain uncertain. Or maybe you have a clear vision and simply need to map out the route to your destination. In either case, if remaining where you are is no longer an option, it’s time for a change.

Contemplating a career shift can be simultaneously thrilling and daunting. Remember, significant progress often occurs beyond your comfort zone. As the renowned author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once stated, “Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”

Are you a woman who needs help changing careers? Download my FREE 22-page e-book: How Professional Women Can Master Career Change!

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