5 Signs You Need to Make a Career Change

Austin Coding Academy
February 21, 2019
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On Sunday nights, what do you generally feel about the week ahead of you? Are you energized, enthusiastic, and ready to hit the ground running on Monday morning? Or do you feel mopey, exhausted, and full of dread? If you fall into the second camp, it may be time to make a change.

The average American spends at least 40 hours a week at work for several decades. A career represents too much of your lifespan for it to be something that makes you miserable. In some cases, the Sunday night blues aren’t a symptom of the career itself, but external factors like the commute or an unappealing workspace. Those issues can generally be remedied with some small tweaks— some new podcasts to make the commute more enjoyable, working from home a few days a week, taking a walk around a nearby park during lunch, etc.

In many cases, however, the issue isn’t the office, or the team you work with, or anything that can be easily fixed; sometimes, the problem is the career itself. While the thought of making such a huge overhaul may be daunting, here are some signs it’s time to take a leap and move into a new career path.

You feel drained

At any job, in any field, there will be days where even the most experienced and talented people will leave feeling exhausted or defeated. In fact, occasional periods of failure or experimentation are crucial to professional development. But if you’re finding yourself perpetually drained, and getting out of bed for work in the morning feels like a struggle, it might be time to make a change.

You’re bored

If you don’t find your work to be challenging enough to keep you engaged, you’re not working up to your potential. At work, you should ideally be challenged enough to feel invigorated, but not so challenged that you get discouraged. If that doesn’t sound like your job, it’s time to make a change; that may mean asking for a promotion or additional projects to stretch yourself, or it might mean it’s time to find a new field altogether.

There aren’t opportunities for growth

In an ideal world, your talents and interests would be nurtured in your company, and there would be abundant opportunities for professional and personal development. In reality, many people go to work every morning unsure about whether their potential is being recognized and valued. If you find that you keep bumping up against the upper end of what your company can offer you in terms of development, you may want to start considering your next steps.

You aren’t satisfied with the pay potential

This doesn’t mean it’s time to run out the door because you’re not earning a six-figure salary in your first year at a company. However, if you know that realistically, your career path has a cap on the potential salary you can earn (and that number doesn’t align with your personal goals) it might be time to start considering potential alternatives.

You don’t feel a sense of pride or purpose

A career should be about so much more than just paying the bills. It should fill you with pride, make you feel invigorated and challenged, and give you a reason to greet the day. If you find yourself getting envious of people in other fields for the excitement they have about their work, here’s an important thing to remember: you can have that too, but getting there might require making a big change.

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If you feel stuck, uninspired, and undervalued in your job, the thought of making a big transition into a new career might fill you with a mixture of excitement and fear. Accomplishing ambitious goals isn’t easy, but the effort involved in building a career that makes you feel challenged, appreciated, and engaged is worth it.