Do you remember your first meeting with your careers advisor at school? Can you recall having a clear idea of what you wanted to do? I certainly didn’t. It goes without saying that finding a rewarding and fulfilling career is not something that happens overnight. Only with time (and a lot of trial and error!) can we realistically build well-informed opinions of how a career might be fulfilling.
With time we’ll also begin to understand what’s important to us and how our career might align with our personal sense of purpose. This will be helped by reflecting regularly on how our roles impact our lives, and in doing so we’ll also become increasingly aware of opportunities.
Depending on the stage you’re at in your career, it could be tricky to change paths, but we do believe that it’s possible to make a change if you’re truly committed to it. Here are some of the signs it might be time to consider a shift:
You’ve lost the passion
You may have had it at the start and lost it, or perhaps you never had it. It could be that your true passion lies outside of the workplace, but your job leaves you no time or energy to devote to it. If your heart sinks at the thought of wasting away the hours in the office, it’s probably time to make a change. Just imagine the possibilities if you were able to spend time doing something you really cared about!
When we’re unhappy or stressed for a period of time, it materialises in our physical health. If you’re exhausted and unmotivated in the morning, then feel drained when you arrive at home, it might be time to assess how your career is impacting your health. Exhaustion is just the start of it. Stress can equally lead to heart disease, anxiety and migraines. Opt for a healthier, energised and brighter you instead.
You’re embarrassed to tell people what you do
When meeting new people, do you find yourself embarrassed to answer the icebreaker, ‘What do you do?’. If so, it’s more than likely you’re aware of not fulfilling your full potential in a job. If you wish you could give a different response, your embarrassment is probably indicative of desiring a career you’d be proud to assert as yours.
You’re stressed and unhappy
Most of our jobs will necessitate periods of stress now and again, but they certainly shouldn’t be long-term. It’s inevitable that sustained unhappiness and stress will lead to bitterness and have an impact on your overall outlook. If you find yourself in a position where you’re regularly becoming upset and people remark that you’re not your usual self, it’s probably time to consider what’s causing it. Make no mistake: your happiness is crucial to fostering continued success at work, relationships and life!
The money isn’t enough
You may have joined for the bumper bonus and the pay rise, but you’re so unhappy that the money doesn’t even matter anymore. If you genuinely feel like you’re exchanging happiness for money, five weeks’ annual leave every year is likely not going to save you from misery. We all need money to survive and stability is important, but long-term you’ll probably earn more in a role that motivates you anyway!