Perhaps you’ve been experiencing a vague sense of unhappiness with your career for a while but it’s not been enough of a problem for you to think about doing anything radical. You get occasional times when you think you’re enjoying your job, or at least not disliking it quite so much. But let’s have a look at some of the classic signs that indicate you really need to think seriously about change…..
Daydreaming – You can’t stop fantasising about an alternative career that makes you feel alive – maybe its having a ceramic studio, becoming an interior designer or something else but whatever your dream, it is clearly sending you messages about what is missing from your current career.
Hitting the snooze button too many times – gathering the energy for another day in a job that doesn’t energise you can be a tough call especially in the winter, and if you find yourself trying to burrow further under the duvet it’s another sign something’s wrong…
Doing the minimum – you just don’t feel like going the extra mile anymore – the work or the people or both just don’t excite you and instead of pushing yourself to stretch and grow you find yourself not volunteering for projects and not delivering to the standard you used to pride yourself on. The sad thing is you know you feel worse by taking this approach.
Switching off outside work – this could work in two ways – either you can’t switch off because you’re so stressed and its affecting your sleeping and eating patterns, or you find yourself avoiding conversations with friends and family about work – you dread the question ‘what do you do?’ because it means you have to ‘fake it’ and talk about something for which you have no passion.
You’re jealous – of other people who seem to love their job, who have a sparkle, who seem to know where they’re heading in life.
So if you recognise any of these signs it’s time to start taking action. Adults spend on average a third of their waking life at work so you really need to be enjoying that third don’t you?
Work out what is causing the unhappiness – just because you have these symptoms in your current job it doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong career necessarily – often people think because they’re unhappy everything must change. Maybe it’s your current organisation or sector – if you were doing it in a different environment would that be better. Really be honest about the parts you still enjoy and what could increase the enjoyment – who do you need around you? What could your manager do to re-engage you? How would you feel if you tried a different project?
However, it could be that your unhappiness cannot be rectified by a change in project or company, that it goes deeper than that and it’s more about the reward, satisfaction and meaning you get from what you do. Career change is on the cards.
Let it go – if you have come to the conclusion that you do need to change career to find something that is more you and that makes your soul sing then it’s ok to acknowledge that you are letting go of your previous career identity. Work, job title, status can define us and it takes courage to say I’m not going to be that anymore but letting it go is a vital part of moving forward.
Give yourself space – people can take on average up to 2 years to change career so allow yourself some space and time to develop your ideas and work out what it is that will make your next career move one that you will jump out of bed for.
If you feel you need some help and support to make your change happen these are the kinds of areas we work on in our Career Energiser programme.
Or leave a comment if you feel the 5 signs apply to you or you want to add to the list of signs ….