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Sometimes there’s clear cut signs that you’re ready to change your career, especially if you wake up on Monday morning dreading going into work: because of the dysfunctional office atmosphere or manager who seems determined to make your life miserable or just the fact that you’re dreading the start of another week when your hard work, commitment and results will not be acknowledged and valued by the organisation. Trusts me we have all been there at one stage of our careers!
However, sometimes the signs are not so clear cut and changing career will depend on what stage of life you are at, for example, you maybe a new entrant into the workforce and changing career will be less difficult as you experiment with different types of jobs. The calculation changes however, when you have family members dependent on your income which gives you less flexibility in changing careers.
Making such a big decision, doesn’t happen overnight and any decision should never be made in anger or the spur of the moment.
In my years in recruitment helping female executives manage their career I have heard many reasons for when it’s time to change: and it’s not always about disliking the job or company. Some candidates really liked their job – but needed a change or others were somewhere in the middle who neither love nor hate their job but desperately needed a career change. In reality the time for a career change is dependent on each individuals’ circumstance and this should always be respected.
However, during my discussions with successful career changers, they shared with me six main reasons:
You Should Consider a Career Change If...
You Are Suffering from Anxiety: When you chose your career back when you were in your early twenties, your life was probably different than it is today. For example, you may have been single then, but have a family now. What seemed like an exciting career that required lots of travel and manageable hours, is no longer viable? If the thought of coming into work makes you anxious and longing for more time at home, or anywhere apart from being in the office- then you should look to explore a new career.
Your Job is Damaging your Mind and Body: Some occupations are inherently stressful. Whether, its working long high intensity days, or having to complete constant project deadlines or reach high sales targets. The buzz and adrenaline of the end result of your efforts always feels incredible, and you are proud of what you have achieved and you'd feel like your sacrifices were worth it. However, those constant 15-hour days or 2:30am sales calls to North America, eventually take a toll on your body and mind as the stress of work depletes your energy. If you find yourself dealing with job stress that is too much for you to handle, it may be time to move on in order to preserve your mental and physical health. It’s truly, not worth it. Nothing is worth the sacrifice of your long-term physical and mental health.
You Are Experiencing Job Burnout: Even a career you once loved can wear you down. After years of being in the same occupation, you may begin to experience job burnout. Literally suffering from mental and physical exhaustion on tasks you used to be able to complete with your eyes closed or just having zero motivation for the work at hand. Don’t waste another minute. It's time to seek out a new career.
Your Work Bores You: Another factor that constantly comes up, is the fact that people become bored in the work that they do. It happens to the best of us. At the beginning you thought you’d love doing what you had been educationally or technically trained to do, only to find yourself dreaming about something completely different. If your career no longer challenges you or excites you. If you feel stuck or going to waste, it's probably time to pursue a different one that can help revitalize and motivate you.
You’ve Considered Leaving Several Times: When you compare careers, on a daily basis by scanning multiple job boards or find yourself always popping out of the office to take another recruiters phone call. It may be time to ask yourself what is pushing me to consider exiting - although we all think about escaping work at times, an obsessive focus on moving on can mean that this isn’t the career for you anymore.
Lack of Recognition: Is one of the absolute top reasons why female executives decide it's time to change careers – they have always expressed to me that - when you work hard and go the extra mile for your organisation, teammates and manager – and when you sacrifice your own happiness so that the company or team can achieve desired results – but receive not even the minimum of a thank you – it's time to hit the exit door. We all crave acknowledgment and praise for a job well done. What’s truly amazing is how many organisations neglect to do so and wonder why their leading female talents, look for appreciation somewhere else.
If any of these signs strike a chord for you, it’s time to make a change. Most importantly it's about being true to yourself as when the work environment “you” are in no longer enables you to be the best version of yourself, it's time to give “you” another chance to be your true best self!