7 telltale signs you need a career change

signs you need a career change
image: George Gvasalia

Feeling like your work is sucking the life out of you can be a fast track to feelings of disillusionment, dissatisfaction, even depression. Imagining punching your job/boss/colleagues in the face is one of the sure signs you need a career change.

Considering we spend about a third of our lives at work, staying indefinitely whilst unfulfilled is likely to cause enormous feelings of meh. 

But we humans are creatures of habit so although we may need a new job, the thought of change may suck ever harder so we might ignore the warning signs and persevere in a work situation that is detrimental to our wellbeing.

Here are seven indicators that it’s time for you to think about a career change in order to keep your sanity and job satisfaction intact.

Loss of passion

If you once loved your job and bounded into the office on Monday morning all chipper, looking forward to the challenges of the week, but that has given way to ambivalence, or even dread, then you need to rethink your work life.

“Most people hate going to work on Monday after a great weekend- that’s normal,” tells career counsellor from Career Doctor, Dr John Taccori. “It’s what you feel every other day of the week that needs to be taken into account.”

If you were in a love relationship and the va-va-va-voom had left the building, it would only be a matter of time before you packed your bags and left too; such as it should be with work.

To be content and fulfilled we need to feel like what we do has purpose, and if you don’t feel passion exactly, at least feeling purpose is necessary.

You don’t feel valued

Showing up day after day and smashing it out of the park but never getting any recognition or kudos can debilitate your career mojo.

It’s not about your boss giving you high fives all the time, but about feeling like you are a valued team member and what you contribute makes a difference that is appreciated. Feeling undervalued is one of the signs you need a career change.

RELATED: How to find work you love and enjoy your job

Your mad skills are wasted

If you can juggle three eggs, a flaming torch and a chainsaw whilst walking a tightrope, but your job only allows you to sell popcorn it’s likely that you will get bored in your job role. Bored can then lead to indifference, which is likely to show in your performance.

It is also possible that due to necessity you became great at doing a job that you don’t necessarily enjoy. While you may not be bored, you are constantly doing tasks that you don’t like or even dread.

“Doing the same job for 50 years, unless you love it, is going to prove to be challenging,” says Dr. Taccori. “Changing careers is healthy and keeps you engaged in the workforce longer. However, a career change should be made with a well-informed mind.”

Show me the money

While there is often debate about whether work/life balance actually exists or is it just a mythical glittering unicorn, one thing in the equation that is definitely unsustainable is working too much for too little reward.

Not only does remuneration, aka showing us the money, allow us to feel like our efforts are valued, but feeling like your employer is taking advantage of you is never going to inspire a fabulous work effort. Being undervalued may be a sign you need a career change.

You are emotionally spent

You wake up knackered and you dread getting out of bed and going to work. You feel depleted and sluggish all day. Maybe you even have a chronic illness.

It’s highly probable that if you despise your work for a prolonged period, it will hate you back. That mutual dislike can manifest as physical ailments and exhaustion.

RELATED: How to reignite your creative spark

They put Baby in the corner

Some people are perfectly content with remaining in the same position and simply doing their job, but others want to know that over time they have room to grow in order to progress professionally.

Is there a ceiling or an obstacle that prevents you from reaching your career goals in your current job? Do they try to keep Baby in the corner?

You dream of getting the sack

Do you daydream about being made redundant, or getting laid off?

“If you are taking a lot of sick days and you are constantly ticking off the days until your next holiday, then that’s a sign you have had enough. You should not have to wish your life away constantly dreaming about the future,” confirms Dr Taccori.

This is definitely a sign that it’s time to make the change.

Change can be a scary beasty, and finding a new career can be tough. Many people work until they are 70 years-old, so what is scarier and tougher is the idea that you’ll feel this way about your work life until you finally retire.