If you are not happy with your current career and thinking about making a change, you are not alone! Around 47 percent of the UK workers want a career change to achieve improved job satisfaction, better work-life balance, and a higher salary – but financial insecurity (29 percent), uncertainty about where to switch (20 percent) and fear of failure (15 percent) are some major obstacles holding them back, says a recent report by the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF).
Your profession should be a natural extension of yourself. It should align with your values, lifestyle, personal qualities, and skills. It’s not only about how much money you make but how you spend your life making it. Finding the right career may take you a long time – years of trial and error. But, every error or wrong career choice you make actually helps you know more about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, and what works best for you. If you dislike your current job, but not sure whether it is time for a change, watch out for the following three telltale signs.
1. You are chronically exhausted
Chronic fatigue, exhaustion, and illness could be the first sign that your career in not in sync with your personality. If you struggle to get out of bed every morning, feel worn out at work throughout the day, and take work stress to bed every night, you need to think seriously about a career change. The implications of a toxic work environment can run far and wide, and may affect your health, causing nausea, migraine, and heart diseases. Workplace stress can even spill over into your personal life, affecting your marriage and relationships. If you notice signs of energy depletion and chronic fatigue, first try to identify the root cause of your problem. Is it your boss, your colleagues, the long commute, or the nature of your job? If it boils down to the work itself, perhaps it is time to change your career.
2. You are no longer passionate about your job
Remember the passion and excitement you had when you first started your job. Do you still feel similarly thrilled about your work? Or do you often find yourself daydreaming about a new career? If you are no longer excited about what you do, your career has lost its vision. It is not getting you anywhere.
There could be a number of reasons for your low morale or apathy at work. One major reason could be a lack of inspiration from your employer. Or you may have a strong feeling that your talent potential is not being fully tapped. The work you are doing is no longer challenging enough to keep you motivated. You are not learning anything new. No one cares about your innovation and creativity. Your professional growth has stopped; and you are spending time doing mundane, repetitive tasks that do not add value to anyone. If you are bored with your current job, have the courage to leave it. Break out of your comfort zone and look for a new, challenging career that would help get the passion and excitement back in your life.
3. You are not getting enough rewards
If your responsibilities at work have increased, but your salary has not – it is time to evaluate your career. Don’t let anyone take your hard work for granted. Make sure you are getting enough rewards from your employer for your contributions. There are a number of ways your employer can reward you. For instance, your employer can start an incentive plan for top performers. Also, there could be salary hike, professional development training, sponsorship, and other benefits. Ideally, your company should have a strategic reward system in place to recognise and reward its top employees for both performance and behaviour. For instance, there should be rewards for both for making more sales (performance) and spending longer hours at the office (behaviour). If you are not getting sufficient rewards from your employer, maybe it is time to change your career.
Once you make up your mind for a career change, the next step would be to define your goals. Consider what to expect from your next job in terms of salary, rewards, organizational culture and work environment. Setting clear expectations would help you find the right fit quickly.