We all have bad days at work – days that leave us wishing we had stayed in bed. However, if your bad days are becoming more numerous than your good days, then it may be time to seriously consider moving on, either to a new job or a complete career change.
So how exactly do you know if you should take the risk of leaving the known for the unknown? Or if you should change your career path from something safe to something more rewarding? Well, there are some telltale signs that it’s time to leave that old job behind and find a fulfilling career that will have you excited to get to work each day. Let’s explore a few!
No job is stimulating all the time, but you took your current job for a reason. Whether you no longer have the spark of creativity for your projects, you feel like you’re just going through the motions to meet your goals, or you’re biding your time until Friday comes, that feeling of complacency that you can’t seem to shake is a definite sign that you’ve hit a wall in your job. It’s time to start considering a career change.
- You are Complaining about Work – A Lot
If you consistently find yourself walking through the door at home and unloading about all the negative things going on at work instead of sharing with enthusiasm about the new project you’re working on, then you could be starting on a downward spiral of job burnout. Assess whether this is a temporary feeling of frustration or whether it is systemic. If it’s become a pattern of negativity, rethinking your career path may be in order.
Whether there weren’t many rungs on the ladder to climb or you’ve reached the top of where you can go in your organization, you may feel that you are stifled in your upward mobility. If you have more to contribute and you want to continue to grow but the opportunities are limited where you are, then you may want to transition to a job that fully utilizes your talents and provides for your career advancement. This may require that you continue your education to make yourself more marketable, but the sooner you find online degrees in line with your career dreams, the sooner you’ll find a fulfilling career.
- Your Work Environment Feels Toxic
Whether it’s an overbearing boss, a backstabbing office culture, or unreasonable overtime expectations, a toxic work environment can take its toll on your attitude and your health. If the noxious atmosphere in your organization is pouring over into your personal life, affecting your relationships, causing you to be irritable, consuming your thoughts, or triggering extreme stress, you’ll want to assess whether the job is worth it. Life is too short to be exposed to that type of environment for very long.
- You Don’t Feel Valued or Impactful
Remember when you were actually appreciated for the contributions you made? When others noticed and you got a pat on the back? Or when you were excited to be making valuable contributions to the goals of your company? Sure, it’s not realistic to expect accolades for every little thing you do, but when you begin to feel like just another cog in the big wheel of the corporate machine, it’s probably time to consider a career change that will make you feel like you’re truly making a difference.
- You are Privately Searching for Jobs
When you find yourself dreaming about another job or you start searching job boards to see what’s out there, your mind is clearly out the door even if you haven’t drafted your letter of resignation yet. In your gut you know it’s time to move on, you just need the courage to do it.
Any or all of these signs are internal signals that you shouldn’t ignore. For your own well-being, you need to pay attention to that still, small voice – that nagging feeling – that it really is possible to find a fulfilling career, and that the one you have isn’t it anymore. It can be traumatic to think about starting over, but with some preparation, you can make the transition into a winning career move.
The Path Forward
If you’ve decided it’s time to get out of your current job and change careers, quitting on the spot can careen you into a financial and emotional ditch. Instead, you’ll want to take a step back and do a bit of planning before you jump ship.
- Consider A Self-Assessment
Now is a good time to evaluate what is important to you when it comes to your career. Looking at the four areas of OU's self-assessment tips for career development will help you find a fulfilling career and avoid ending up in another unsatisfying job. By identifying your core values, your interests, your overall personality, and your aptitude for different types of jobs, you can make an informed career move. The assessment will help you pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, as well as skills gaps that require you to continue your education. Ottawa University's accelerated, online degrees are a great option so you can continue to work while getting the training you need to change jobs.
- Look Back Before Looking Ahead
It will also be wise to look at your current and past jobs to evaluate the components that you liked and those you disliked - the skills you enjoyed using and those that were necessary evils; the environments that challenged and inspired you and those that dampened your spirits; the types of projects that made you thrive and those that were boring. Once you’ve identified the areas of your job that you want to look for in a new career and those you want to avoid, you’ll have a better picture of what types of jobs you want to pursue.
- Evaluate Your Career Outlook
Once you’ve determined the career lane you’re interested in, you’ll want to look at the job market to see what the outlook for that career is long-term. For example, careers in nursing, counseling, business administration, and teaching are projected to still be in demand years down the road. On the other hand, if your first choice for a new career doesn’t look promising, is there a similar job that will be a safer bet but still fit with your goals, aptitude, and interests? Does it meet your salary requirements? Doing your homework before making a career change can help safeguard your future.
Now is the time to act! Continuing your education will help you gain the skills, knowledge, and qualifications to transition into your new career. Whether you need to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree to successfully make your move, we understand it can be daunting to switch careers as an adult. That’s why Ottawa University’s accelerated online degrees are specifically tailored for adult learners. Our 8-week classes allow you to move through your online degree program at a fast pace, double up on classes when you are able, or slow it down to take a term off when necessary. We have a generous credit transfer policy that can significantly reduce your time to degree completion, and our courses are taught by leaders in the field to ensure you are getting real-world training. OU’s enrollment, financial, and academic advisors help you every step of the way to keep you on track, and our online platform is designed for optimum engagement with professors, classmates, and peers.
We’re excited to equip you for your career change. Reach out to an enrollment advisor to check out the most affordable and fastest growing university in the Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix metro areas.