LIFE

14 Telltale Signs It’s Time For A Career Change

by Desirée O

First and foremost, a job is a source of a paycheck. But ideally, it should also offer you other gains, like stimulating challenges, a sense of accomplishment, and opportunities for advancement. If you have found yourself stuck in a profession that is lacking in more ways than one, you might be considering a career change.

And you’re certainly not alone. According to LinkedIn, millennials are 50% more likely to relocate and 16% more likely to switch industries for a new job than non-millennials.

As Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

But deciding to leave behind a steady job to take a chance on a new profession can be difficult — and scary. Here are 14 ways to know that it might be time to switch careers.

1. You’re Often Bored or Not Stimulated at Work

1. You’re Often Bored or Not Stimulated at Work
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According to OfficeVibe, 70% of US workers are not engaged with their work, and while 90% of leaders think an engagement strategy would help their employees, fewer than 25% actually have one in place. If you’re in a job or industry that’s leaving you unchallenged and bored, then it might be time to move on.

2. You Just Don’t Care Anymore

2. You Just Don’t Care Anymore
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Ideally, we walk into each workday with a passion for our calling and the zeal to tackle what’s ahead. But if you notice yourself sinking into a sense of apathy, and you simply don’t care about what you’re doing anymore, then it’s time to take a good, hard look at the situation. While there are ways to remotivate yourself, if the spark just isn’t there anymore, it could be time to look for another career.

3. You’re Not Moving Up

3. You’re Not Moving Up
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Some people are happy to permanently stay in their current position, and that’s just fine! But if you have aspirations of moving up in your industry and you’re not being promoted, you might be in the wrong business. (That said, promotions are earned, so if you’re expecting to be promoted after a few months on the job, that’s a different issue.) Whether you’re not suited for higher-level positions or there’s no room to move up, you might want to explore an industry where there’s more opportunity for advancement.

4. You’re Not Making Enough Money

4. You’re Not Making Enough Money
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A whopping 89% of employers think that employees leave their jobs for more money, when in fact only 12% actually do. However, not making enough money to support the lifestyle you have and/or want is a perfectly reasonable reason to aim for a new career.

5. Your Job Is Negatively Affecting Your Physical and/or Mental Health

5. Your Job Is Negatively Affecting Your Physical and/or Mental Health
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Being unhappy at your job can go far beyond boredom and apathy (although those are troubling enough feelings). Many careers inherently come with physical and mental demands, but if it’s gotten to the point where those demands are negatively affecting your well-being in some way, then you might want to consider if this is the right place for you to be.

6. Your Industry Is Struggling

6. Your Industry Is Struggling
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Despite your own success and perhaps the success of the company you work for, industry hits can be hard to take. According to LinkedIn, millennials have been abandoning retail, government, education, nonprofit, and media industries in recent years. And where are they headed? To search for work in the tech, health care, and finance areas. If your industry is sluggish, then perhaps you should look at these hot fields as well.

7. Your Industry Isn’t in Your Desired Location

7. Your Industry Isn’t in Your Desired Location
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Certain industries have location-specific hubs — like the entertainment industry is predominantly centered in Los Angeles, and the media industry is big in New York — and that might not fit with your dream of living on a ranch in Montana. Sometimes it’s possible to relocate within your own industry, but if that’s not a likely possibility, a career switch might be the best option if geography is important to you.

8. You’ve Been Eyeing Additional Education

8. You’ve Been Eyeing Additional Education
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Opting for a new career could require new skills and additional expertise. So if you find the idea of going back to school exciting, as opposed to daunting, then you might be ready to make the leap into a new profession. You should also keep in mind that there are plenty of options when it comes to additional education, such as full-time and part-time programs to suit your schedule, as well as distance courses that you can take online from pretty much anywhere in the world.

9. You’re Willing to Start From the Bottom Again

9. You’re Willing to Start From the Bottom Again
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While you might have moved up the ladder in your current profession, switching careers could mean that you’ll have to start from the bottom again. It’s not necessarily easy to apply for entry-level jobs when you’ve been a working professional for years, and it can be awkward when your superiors are younger than you, but if you really want to explore a new industry, then you need to be willing to pay your dues all over again.

10. You Have a Passion or Talent That You Think You Can Monetize

10. You Have a Passion or Talent That You Think You Can Monetize
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They say if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. While that may or may not be true, if you’re not feeling fulfilled in your current job, then you might want to take a look at your hobbies to find a new direction. If you have a passion or talent for something that would make a great new career — cooking, gaming, podcasting, or “influencing,” perhaps? — then it could be worth your while to explore how viable it would be as a full-time gig. However, you should also be aware of the drawbacks of turning a beloved pastime into a money-making endeavor.

11. You Have a Side Hustle That’s Already Thriving

11. You Have a Side Hustle That’s Already Thriving
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Starting a new career doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. If you already have a thriving side hustle, it might be the perfect opportunity to focus on it and launch a full-time business that will allow you to leave behind one industry for another that you’ve already dipped your toes into.

12. You See a Niche That Needs to Be Filled

12. You See a Niche That Needs to Be Filled
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If you’ve spotted a niche that needs to be filled, then this could be your big chance to make your mark. Whether you’re creating a new space within your current profession or are considering a jump into an entirely new vocation, creating a space for yourself is often a better option than trying to eke out a spot in an already saturated industry.

13. Your Life Is Stable Enough for a Major Change

13. Your Life Is Stable Enough for a Major Change
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Leaving a job to take a chance on an entirely new career can be risky, and it can temporarily turn your life into a career-based roller coaster filled with exciting highs — and scary lows. That’s why you might want to make sure your life is stable enough to handle a major change. While there may never be a perfect time to take the leap, if you’re about to have a baby or buy a house, you might want to wait for a more opportune moment to switch careers. But if it appears to be smooth sailing ahead, then this could be the safest time to dive into your big endeavor.

14. You’re Financially Stable Enough to Take a Temporary Hit

14. You’re Financially Stable Enough to Take a Temporary Hit
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Switching careers can often mean that your finances take a temporary hit. You might end up without a paycheck while you’re transitioning from one job to another, you might need to hand over big bucks for additional education, or you might have to take an entry-level job that pays much less than what you currently make. Before you quit your job to explore a new career, be sure that you have enough money tucked away in your savings account, or you have a partner to help pay the bills, so that you don’t end up in a tight spot. But if you have a financial safety net, then this could be the perfect time to roll the dice.