If you’re asking yourself this question the answer is fairly likely to be yes. Perhaps you hate what you’re doing and want to try something entirely different or maybe you simply want to take a side step into a similar job at another firm. Here are some of the warning signs that it’s time to move on.
You are constantly exhausted. If you wake up in the morning feeling like a zombie or struggle to sleep altogether, the chances are you will be struggling at work. You may feel like each day is a real challenge or be battling illness because you are constantly run down. If your body is telling you that it’s not coping, it’s at least worth considering a new job. It might just be that your particular work environment is toxic or overburdened and that a similar job elsewhere would suit you better. But if you know that your current career is intrinsically pressured, for example teaching or sales, and you don’t feel you will ever be cut out for it, it’s time to look for something different.
You have more to give. You might be thriving in your role because you have the relevant skills and experience to get the job done. Perhaps you’ve always been good at giving presentations or analysing marketing data. This can be rewarding, but what if you have a creative side that never gets unleashed? Or perhaps you have a burning desire to travel but you are basically tied to your desk. Or maybe you’ve been doing the same job for 20 years and there is no sign of progression. These are all signs that it might be worth trying something new.
Your salary doesn’t satisfy you. There are two aspects to consider here. Firstly, your job may not be well paid because the industry you work in isn’t high-paying. If you work in the voluntary sector or have a low-paid job these may simply be facts of life. If you’re not earning enough to make ends meet it might be time to acquire new skills or move into a better-paid work field. At the other end of the scale, you may be earning mega bucks but are consumed by boredom and emptiness on a daily basis. You may even feel as though you are making this money unethically. If you are well paid but have zero job satisfaction it might be time to take a cut and find a more fulfilling career.
Your heart isn’t in it. Perhaps you were told as a child that you should become a doctor or a police officer. You fulfilled all the criteria and landed yourself the ‘dream job’. Only it wasn’t ever your dream. You simply played to your strengths or allowed others to influence you. Deep down you wanted to be a poet or a pastor or a plumber, but you ignored your dreams. Changing your career to follow your dream isn’t a sign of failure. You’ve already proved that you’re good at something and are likely to have many transferable skills. It may even be possible to incorporate your passion into your day job. If not, think about opportunities that could tick the right boxes. It’s time to follow your dream, not someone else’s.
You want to go it alone. You’re fed up of being told what to do by someone who is less qualified or experienced than you. You’ve been doing the job for years and have built good links with people in your chosen field, but on a day-to-day basis you feel the wrong decisions are being made or that you could do a better job than your superiors. It’s always worth taking a reality check in this instance and praying about your future. It might just be that you need to take on more responsibility in your current workplace or find similar work with an employer who will get the best out of you. Alternatively, you may decide to set up your own business. Before you hand in your notice, it’s vital that you research your chosen industry really well. Is the market strong at the moment? Will the experience you have be enough to make your business a success? Do you have the right support network around you? Can you afford to take the risk? There are plenty of success stories out there, but this isn’t a career change to take lightly, so give it a good deal of thought before making a decision.
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Joy Tibbs is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to Premier. Find out more at joyofediting.co.uk and find her on Twitter @joyous25