How to tell it is time for a career change (there are 5 signs)

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Do you seem to have a perpetual cold? Do you avoid thinking about where you’ll be in five years – because you know it will be at the same desk? Do you avoid parties because of the dreaded “so… what do you do?” question? If so, it’s time to take a look at your career choices. There’s a multitude of signs that it may be time to get a new job, and not all of them are as obvious as having a browser window permanently open to a job search site. If you’re experiencing any of these tell-tale signs of job fatigue, it’s time to start thinking about exploring new options.

1. You’re only in it for the money.

Now let’s be real, we all work for the money to some degree. The ability to pay bills and keep a roof over our heads is a big motivator. But if that’s the only reason you’re clocking in each day, there’s a good chance that you could be doing better. Ideally, a good career fit will make you excited to be in the office, with the money a nice cherry on top of your job satisfaction sundae.

2. You get a case of “The Mondays” – on Saturday night.

Once you’ve made it past Wednesday’s lunch, a feeling of elation sets in. You’re over the hump! The weekend is on its way! But the dread starts to set in around midday on Saturday. Tomorrow’s going to be Sunday, and after that, your freedom ends once again. You start to feel depressed, even panicky. You can’t even enjoy hanging out with your friends and family on the weekend, because you’re too worried about Monday morning’s meeting and all the emails you’ll have to answer. And when Sunday night rolls around? Forget about sleeping.

3. You frequently feel tired, run-down, or sick.

If your job is causing a cycle of panic and dread like the one mentioned above, it’s likely that it will start to take a real toll on your health. Do you feel tired a good percentage of the time? Does it seem like your immune system has gone on vacation, and forgotten to invite you along? A lack of energy, headaches, and muscle tension are all signs that your career ennui is weighing you down.

4. You don’t see any room for growth or advancement.

Has your boss passed you over for a promotion? Does your job offer any type of career advancement or training incentives? If you don’t see any signs of growth in your career when you think about the future, it’s time to break out of the rut.

5. You’ve lost interest in passions you once had.

If you started out in your career field because you found it interesting but now can hardly even pretend to stay awake in meetings, it’s time to think about what has changed. This is crucial, because it can help you differentiate whether you need a full career change, or simply a new job in the same field. If you still find the industry interesting, but just hate your current boss and coworkers, this is easy (enough) to fix. However, if you no longer hold any interest in the field itself, it’s time for a bigger shakeup.

Changing careers is no small feat, and many of us stay in jobs we’re not crazy about because it’s easier than facing the prospect of starting over from scratch. But what’s scarier: making a change, or spending the rest of your life doing something that drains you of energy? When a job you hate takes a toll on your physical, emotional, and mental health, it’s time to take a leap and start exploring new options.


This is a guest post from Rachel MacDonald. Rachel is a freelance writer with over 7 years of experience covering career and lifestyle topics for numerous online publications.

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