Sometimes our career needs a big change, and sometimes it just needs a tweak. Other times it’s not the career as such that needs changing, but the job.
There’s a difference being a fashion designer for Gucci and being one for Prada. One company might suit you more than the other. Likewise, sometimes it isn’t the job, but the people you are working with.
You need to determine what it is you want to change. Below are some surefire clues that something needs to change in your work life.
People say that to know where your heart is you need to look where your mind goes when it wanders. Sometimes we daydream about our next date, which isn’t necessarily a sign we should change careers, but if you find that your job never holds your attention, is it really the right job for you?
You Wake Up Unhappy
If you dread going to work in the morning and it’s not because you hate your co-workers, then it’s a clear sign you aren’t doing what you love. Sure enough, there will be rough patches in everything we do, but if you are constantly unhappy, it’s time for a change.
Your Younger Self Would Cry
Maybe work doesn’t make you unhappy per se; maybe it’s alright. But, if you asked your ten-year-old self if this is the career you truly wanted, that magical career that would bring you all your dreams, and your ten-year-old self would start crying, then it’s time to question if you’re really on the right career path.
Your Finances are Insufficient
If you constantly feel strapped for money, and it’s not because you abuse your credit card, then you may need to change your career path. Or, maybe it’s the same path, but you need to educate yourself a bit more to get a job higher up the ladder.
You’re Burnt Out
Yes, you wanted to own a bakery. You dreamt of owning a bakery. However, since you opened a bakery you have started to hate baking, because it’s all you do—on top of the finances, marketing and sales, of course.
Being burnt out is not necessarily a sign you should change your career path, but it’s a sign something in your career needs to change—either the way you tackle the job or the job itself. If you own the afore-mentioned bakery, you might need more staff. You might need to hire a part-time manager and do something else part-time yourself. Read The E-Myth to learn to run a company in a way that doesn’t break you down.
Other times, being burnt out is a sign you are doing something you dislike and it’s running you down. You need a change, and you need it soon.
There is no rhyme and reason to spending eight hours a day doing something you dislike. And, whether you believe it or not, there will be a job out there for you that you do like.
You Know You aren’t Doing Your Best
It’s hard working hard on something you dislike. If you know your heart isn’t in the work, then what kind of work would have your full attention and all your efforts effortlessly poured into it?
Your Talents aren’t Being Used
If your career doesn’t make use of your best skills and talents, then is it really the job for you? Your career should bring out the best in you, not the worst. Start thinking of what kind of career would bring out your skills and talents.
You’re Feeling Generally Listless
If you are no longer a shining bundle of joy, think about why. If it’s your career that’s causing you to be in a constant state of “getting by” then you need to have a serious think about whether it’s right for you or not.
Your Friends Tell You that You’ve Changed—and not for the Better
If you’ve turned into a nasty dictator at work and you bring it home with you, then you either need to change the way you work and learn to deal with what the job triggers in you or you have to change your job.
When You are 100
When you turn 100, will you look back upon your career with pride, or will you feel like it was a waste or even something you want to hide?
Work should make you proud. Whether you contribute to a great company, organization, community or the world at large, you should feel that it’s something you’re proud putting of your name behind.
If you feel your career is not quite right for you after reading this, sit down and write down what’s wrong and how you’d like it to change. Then, write a list of things you can do to bring about this change, step-by-step.