You know careers aren’t set in stone, right? What you thought was your perfect career ten years ago might leave you feeling exhausted and hard to motivate now. If that sounds like you, then a career change could be your way out.
Many unhappy people at work sleepwalk through their career without even being aware they need change. Finding time for self-reflection is a tough ask in today’s busy world, but there are signs to look out for. Sometimes, you might not recognise these as a ‘cry for help’, but it’s so important to reflect on your recent experience with this in mind. Doing so will help you determine if a new career is what you need.
1.Do you complain about work all the time?
You could complain about anything regarding work. Your boss, your colleagues, the canteen, lack of parking, the slow computer you work on. Complaining about work all the time is the most common indicator you could do with a career change. It means you are unhappy, so ask yourself, when was the last time you had something good to say about work?
2. Are you overly stressed?
It’s normal for most people to experience stress in their professional and personal life. That’s just life. But stress can boil up and tip out of the pan. It can send you doolally. It can send you into a rage. It can really, really get you down. If you feel stressed and you can’t attribute it to anything else, work could be the cause.
3. Are you bored to tears at work?
This one’s a big indicator. To perform at your best at work, you have to be motivated. If you’re bored, I would say that is the exact opposite of where you need to be. You might find yourself doing less work or cutting corners to get the job done faster. If you’re bored, you need to change your career.
4. Do you dread going to work every day?
If you feel down and depressed because you have to go to work, it is quite clear you don’t enjoy it. “Enjoyment” and “work” aren’t words that often tend to go together, but if you have a good career they do. If you dread going to work, you might turn up late, watch the clock at work or find yourself taking much more time off.
5. Has your job been the same for a long time?
The correct phrase for someone who’s assigned the same job day in, day out with no variation is ‘pigeonholed’. If you’re pigeonholed, you will find yourself in a restrictive role with hardly any professional development that would enable you to progress in the future. Getting out of a pigeonhole can be difficult, and in some cases almost impossible, especially if you don’t have the necessary skills and certifications to progress.
6. Are you being overworked and underpaid?
Everyone has bills to pay, and absolutely everyone has a personal life to live. Work-life balance is crucial for your personal life, as well as for your performance at work. If your work is keeping you from those you love, a change in career that will enhance your work-life balance is the best option for you.
If you are being underpaid, you could negotiate for a pay rise to reflect your hard work. If they say no, that’s a good indicator that they don’t appreciate you. Nevertheless, your goal should be to work smarter, not harder.
You probably already have a good idea of what you want to do. Alternatively, if you don’t, then explore the 5 key steps to a career change for advice on how to evaluate your options. Once you have identified what you want to do, your next step is to assess your capabilities for your new career.
You will need specific skills to change career and get the job of your dreams. If you don’t have the necessary skills or experience, it will be necessary for you to get certified in your desired field. This is fundamental to getting your foot in the door. There are a number of nationally-recognised professional certifications you can take for Project Management, Change Management, Business Analysis, IT and other specialisms. Nowadays, most of the courses and exams are online-based, enabling you to develop your professional knowledge and skills around your busy lifestyle. Use professional certifications as a stepping stone to upskill and demonstrate your knowledge for your new career path!