In this article, learn about the top signs that may indicate it’s time to pursue a new career.
Thinking about a career change and trying something new? You’re not alone. A recent survey found that 70% of US workers are actively looking to change careers. While some will eventually make the switch, it remains a dream for most.
Such a big decision always comes with its fair share of doubts. “Can I learn something new? Am I being realistic? Am I crazy to leave my job?” To put your mind at rest, lets go through the top reasons it may be time to change careers.
1. There is nothing left to learn in your current role.
You’ve been there so long you can do it with your eyes closed. That’s great, except you’re not learning anything new and your days seem like they’re on repeat.
This is not a good sign. If you aren’t already, you’re likely to become frustrated and even bored. If you are someone who likes a bit of a challenge, it’s probably time for a change.
Manu, Web Development Student at OpenClassrooms
“For more than 10 years, I worked in a warehouse and then became the store manager. The next promotion I could get would be Area Manager. But this new role doesn’t interest me based on some of the lifestyle changes it would require. And currently, I’m really bored as store manager. Every day, I do the same things – I feel like I’m on auto-pilot and not being challenged. To find an alternative, I did some self-assessment considering my talents and interests. And I decided to resume my studies to become a front-end web developer and web designer.”
2. You don’t like or have never liked what you do
There are many reasons one might have never enjoyed their job. Sometimes we have to do whatever it takes to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. For others, maybe it was pressure from a parent or a spouse that drove us to make the decision. Or perhaps, we pursued our current role just to see if it was a good fit. In many cases, long after realizing it was not the right position we are still there out of comfort or indecision.
Whatever the reason, it feels imminent now to make a change. On average, we spend around a third of our lives in the workplace. That’s a good enough reason to make sure we’re doing something we actually like, if not LOVE. We all deserve a job that makes us grow, that inspires us and that makes us feel proud of what we do.
3. There are no opportunities for a promotion
You want to feel like there’s a path in front of you that’s leading somewhere exciting. Maybe you’d like to become a manager, work internationally or have a better salary. But it appears these doors are not open in your current position.
Changing industries or moving to a bigger, more international company can give you more opportunities to achieve the progress you desire. It could be a matter of simply learning a few new skills or acquire some higher credentials to make the move a reality.
Peggy, Multimedia Project Management Student at OpenClassrooms
“I left my last position as it seemed like a dead end job. I couldn’t see an evolution for myself within the company. The choice to move on became even easier to make coupled with my need to make a higher salary to support my family. My switch to multimedia project management was an excellent decision.”
4. Your job poses you an ethical dilemma
You care deeply about the environment but the bank you work for has just signed an agreement with a big oil company. When our personal values no longer align with those of our job, conflicting feelings can arise, leaving us in turmoil.
This is another valid reason to want to change jobs. If you stay where you are while dealing with a conflict in your values you’re likely to lose motivation and suffer from burnout.
5. You have an unfulfilled professional dream
You always wanted to be a developer, designer, career coach, teacher, freelancer, etc. but those around you persuaded you it wasn’t a great idea. And, you stopped yourself from taking those paths. But you’ve always felt a nagging sensation that just maybe you should have tried to follow your dream.
Now could be the right time. The digital industry has jobs that are accessible after only short-term periods of study. This means a quick career change is absolutely possible.
6. You’d like to try something new
People don’t always need to be fed up in order to want to leave their job. Sometimes, they just need a change. They are curious by nature and always want to learn something new.
People like this are known as switchers and multi-talented. They are interested in many different industries and working in many different domains. They change their positions regularly and often between unrelated industries.
If this sounds like you, perhaps a change is exactly what’s needed. These days, being a switcher is becoming more and more acceptable to recruiters as long as you can explain why you want to work in a new role and how your skills are suited to it.
Thomas, web development student at OpenClassrooms
“After 10 years working in a bookstore and managing their online store, I decided to move to the other side of the computer screen. Naturally, my work experience made me curious about the nuts and bolts of the site. So, here I am, training to become a web developer!”
7. You’d like a better salary
You haven’t had a raise in months, or even years. Maybe you’ve had a few small ones increases in you pay but nothing major, and now your insufficient wage is stopping you from doing what you want in life.
Many jobs within in digital are well paid and location independent. Think web or mobile developer, cybersecurity expert, UX designer, product manager and many more. It’s up to you to choose the one that interests you the most. The salary will depend on your own abilities and motivation.
8. You’d like more independence in your work
You’ve worked within companies, but it never felt like it suited you. You’d like more control over what you do and the companies that you work with. You’d like to set your own rates and dictate on your hours. You’d like to work from home or anywhere on the road.
The good news is that many jobs in the digital industry allow you to do this. Developer, designer, community manager, web copywriter, marketing expert, cybersecurity manager, teacher, or personal coach, to name just a few.
9. Other reasons you may decide to leave
This list doesn’t contain all of the possible reasons you may decide to change your current career. However, if you feel any of the following apply to you, it’s probably a good time to make the jump:
- You are suffering from chronic stress or are near burnout
- You’d like to change cities
- You want to work abroad
- The job has changed and doesn’t suit you anymore
- There’s too much travel
- You’d like to spend more time with your family
A final thought
If you think that you have a good reason to change, then it’s probably true. Staying in a job that does not make your heart sing in any way or is not contributing to your professional development doesn’t make you a hero. You have the right to be happy at work.
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.