Most people are uncomfortable with the idea of change. It doesn’t matter if you are moving to a new area or joining a gym, it is scary to venture out of your comfort zone.
This is true for our careers. It can be difficult to admit that we may need to change if we feel depressed, dissatisfied, or overwhelmed by our current job. Tuning in to your intuition and listening to it is one of best ways to honor your future and to honour your goals. There have been days, weeks or even months when work seems relentless. How do we know if this isn’t a temporary feeling? Here are some signs you might be ready to move into a new field or make a pivot in your existing one.
- You don’t learn anything new
Nobody wants to feel like a hamster racing along a never-ending track. It can feel like we are reliving the same old routine every week when our careers stagnate. Learning new skills is key to our ability to thrive and grow in our jobs, whether it’s on-the job mentoring, formal off-site training or professional development courses. Many of us find ourselves stuck in our daily grind, unable to look for opportunities for career advancement. It’s important to have an honest conversation with your manager if you find yourself in this position.
You can research courses and programs that you feel would be beneficial to your job. Bring some ideas to the meeting. Perhaps you can be mentored by someone more senior to your team? You should be prepared to explain why you think this training is beneficial for both the organization and yourself. There are many course options available that can be done online or in-person.
If you find yourself lacking in skills or experience, it could be an indication that a career shift might be worthwhile.
- You feel bored in your current role
You might be spending too much time looking at the clock in your office. It’s time to evaluate whether you are actually being on ‘your’ place. It’s easy to become bored if we aren’t challenged, stimulated, or engaged in our work. Boredom is a sign that we have outgrown our job. After a while, it can be tempting to remain in your comfort zone and not push the limits of what you’re expected to do. If our manager or organization doesn’t invest in our professional growth, we are more likely to feel frustrated and stagnant.
Take some time to think about what is causing boredom. You can write down the emotions you are feeling and then take steps to change them. Talk to your manager if you are looking for more responsibility. If frustration is caused by the nature of your job, you can start to imagine your ideal day and job. This is an excellent first step in helping you to understand other career options that might be worth your consideration.
- You don’t have a sense of fulfillment
Nobody wants to waste their time doing useless and pointless work. It is crucial to feel fulfilled in your career. This helps you feel like you are contributing to something greater than yourself.
This could be the time to reflect on your work if it feels meaningless, redundant, or just plain boring. Think about what is most important to you, and the causes closest to your heart. Are you an advocate for animal welfare or do you wish to do more research on climate change? Consider what causes or initiatives are most important to you and how they relate to your current job. If you are not in the field that interests you, it doesn’t mean that you have to change your career. It might be a good idea to look into other options if your current job is not aligned with your core values.
- You’re stressed on Sundays thinking about Mondays
It’s important to not ignore Sunday blues that are ruining your ability to relax each weekend. Even though we all enjoy brunching and going to back-toback meetings, it is worth paying attention to the signs that make you feel anxious about heading to work.
Grab a pen and paper to jot down your panicked thoughts. What are you worrying about? What are your thoughts making you feel? Write down all thoughts and feelings, no matter how trivial or small. This will help you avoid anxiety and allow you to see the distortions in your thoughts. After you have written everything down, think about any common themes in your thoughts and feelings toward work. Are your worries rooted in a feeling of unsatisfaction? Do your worries stem from the fear that you aren’t pursuing your passion? You can critically analyse the reasons you are dreading Monday morning, and then take steps to address these concerns.
- You’re always checking new job-offers
This is a common mistake. When we feel the need to expand our horizons, most people start looking for work in the job market. It’s easy to leave your current job and find a new one with LinkedIn’s job listings only a few clicks away. When you are ready to hit “Easy Apply”, take a moment to think about why you are looking for new roles. Are you feeling undervalued and unpaid at your current job? Do you long to explore a new industry? Do you long for a change in scenery?
It is important to take the time to understand what is making you feel restless. This will allow you to determine if a career shift is what you want. Listen to your gut if you feel you are limiting your potential in your current job. We can make informed career decisions when we are open to being vulnerable and truthful.