A career change can be inspired by any number of reasons. Your circumstances may have changed, your priorities realigned, or you might just come to the realization that your current role isn’t giving you the sense of purpose that it should.
Whichever industry you are in, at whichever level, the right career change for you can offer a new lease on life, and a promising future. If you recognize any of these tell-tale signs, then it may be time to consider moving forward.
1. The work doesn’t inspire you anymore
Work is more than a way of paying the bills. It gives us a sense of purpose, be that through changing lives, solving problems, or being the best we can be. If you’re finding that your heart sinks when you step into the workplace, or that the hours seem to drag by, then it sounds like you’ve plateaued.
People, roles and businesses change over time, so it may be that you are no longer the right fit. It’s important to take a step back and realize the situation so you can change it for the better, rather than let yourself become stuck in a rut.
2. There’s no work-life balance
Stress is a normal factor in most jobs, but when it gradually creeps over the threshold to impact your sleep and your day-to-day health, it becomes a red flag. There are busy periods in any industry, but they also need to be balanced with adequate rest. You are only human after all, and if you try to perform outside of your means all the time, you will risk burning out.
Additionally, at whatever stage of life you’re at, work is not the only thing in life that’s important. Whether you are studying part-time, are in a relationship, or have a family, there are other aspects of life that can’t be sacrificed for a job.
Hobbies shouldn’t be put on the back burner either, as these are the things that make you who you are. And if who you are isn’t a prompt for a career change, we don’t know what is.
3. You’re undervalued
We’re not just talking about the paychecks, although that can be a symptom of the larger problem. A company culture which doesn’t support the growth of its employees will eventually leave you stagnating in the same old job. After all, ongoing training leads to job satisfaction.
Perhaps you have been pigeonholed into doing only one task, or aren’t experiencing opportunities to learn new skills. Over the years, you should expect to move up with the company, through a promotion, new responsibilities and of course, a bigger salary.
4. The culture isn’t right
We talk a lot about the role itself, but the company you work for is equally important in ensuring a healthy and happy working life. Not every workplace is going to have the fridge stocked on Fridays or offer Tuesday morning yoga sessions. Those things are the icing on the cake, but not what underlies a company culture.
What’s important is that the people around you, and above you, can listen to your concerns, value your input, and work together cohesively. You will likely end up seeing your work family more than your real family, so not getting along can be a real barrier to progress and a serious motive to consider a career change.
5. You begin to notice better opportunities
If you find yourself green with envy over the careers of your friends and family or constantly scrolling through new job postings, then it sounds like you want out. It’s normal to experience the grass being greener on the other side, but if you are realizing that there are opportunities out there better suited to your unique talents and experience, then it’s quite possibly the case.
It’s never too late for a career change, whether you’re still studying at university or hold a senior position. As humans, we naturally crave new challenges, and there are endless opportunities to learn, through adult learning and online courses. You may begin by taking on study as a hobby, before realizing where your true passions lie.
If you want to upskill and make yourself a better candidate for your next position, why not learn project management online, so that you can go for those exciting managerial positions. Remember, a career change is a new opportunity. Though it may be a scary prospect, arming yourself with the skills, contacts, and knowledge to move onwards and upwards is the best plan of attack.
About the author: Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult learning. She has developed and authored many workplace leadership programs, both in Australia and overseas.