5 Signs It’s Time for a Career Change

You’re here for a reason. You landed on this page because you’re debating whether or not to change careers. Maybe you feel like you’re “too old” to change jobs or that it’s just “not the right time” to make a career shift. This guide is designed to help you identify when it’s time to make the switch. Check out these five signs that it’s time for a career change.

1 – You Feel Stuck with No Possibility for Advancement

There is only so far you can advance in certain companies, positions, and careers. For some employees, that’s the beauty of the work! They don’t feel forced to go beyond their comfort zone. But if you’re a person who wants to continue advancing, you need a position that allows for that. Evaluate your long-term opportunities in your current job, and if they don’t fit your goals, consider making a change.

2 – Your Job Negatively Affects Your Mental Health

It’s hard to avoid stress in any workplace, but your career shouldn’t consistently wear down your mental health. Approximately one in three employees in the U.S. say that their jobs have had a negative impact on their mental health in the last six months. Your job should improve or at least maintain your quality of life, not reduce it. If you feel completely miserable as a result of your profession, that may not be the job for you.

3 – You Don’t Feel Like You Can Be Yourself at Work

Most people have to put on professional versions of themselves, but you shouldn’t feel like a completely different person at work. Are you in an environment that lets you showcase your personality, or do you feel drained because you’re masking all day long? Think about looking for a job that taps into your personality rather than stifling it.

4 – Your Current Career Does Not Align with Your Long-Term Goals

If you view your job as nothing more than a paycheck, it’s probably time to change careers. Ideally, your job should help you achieve your long-term goals. That could be anything from living closer to family to having a certain amount of money saved for retirement. If you don’t see a way to connect your current work with your future plans, you may want to explore other options.

5 – Your Workplace No Longer Feels Like a Safe Space for You to Be

Full-time employees spend roughly 36% of their waking hours at work. If you’re in a position that requires overtime, you may spend even more than that. Your workplace needs to be a safe space for you, just like your home.

If you do not feel safe in your work environment, figure out what’s making you feel unsafe. Is there a specific person you could talk to management or HR about? Or is it the overall environment? If it’s the latter, changing professions or employers may be the best solution for your mental health.

How to Manage Anxiety During a Career Change

Changing jobs can feel scary, especially if you have a longstanding career. You may be hesitant about a career shift because it takes you away from what’s familiar or comfortable. If you’re working with a therapist, talk to them about your hesitation and weigh the pros and cons of changing careers.

Most people find that the end result of a career shift is worth the temporary anxiety in the beginning. Yes, you’re going to feel out of place and overwhelmed. That’s normal! But with each passing day, you’ll find yourself more comfortable and confident.

Research your new career extensively before making a shift. If possible, leave your current workplace on a positive note so that you can return if the transition doesn’t work out. Set aside some emergency funds to help you through the transition, and lean on your support system for guidance. You might be surprised by how quickly your life turns around!