6 Signs it’s Time to Change Careers

So, you’ve been thinking it might be time to change careers – you just wish you had a way to know for sure. With 84% of Americans claiming they want a new job in 2011, you are not alone. So, how does one assess if it’s time to find a new career path? We asked over 100 career experts what the tell-tale signs are it’s time to move on. We saw 6 common themes. Here they are: 1. You limit your job thoughts to 9-5. Ben Eubanks, an HR professional says, "There are a few quick ways to figure out if you need to blaze a new career path. First, you're probably feeling burnt out. That might be obvious, but some people excuse it with, 'I've just been working hard lately.' If you constantly dread going back to work, that's telling. Another big one I've uncovered is whether you spend time thinking about it outside of work. Do you dream up ideas? Do you take time to learn more about your industry? If not, then you might be well-served by looking at another opportunity to see if it does ignite your passion." 2. You’re breaking the 80/20 rule. Dr. Janet Civitelli, a workplace psychologist & career coach says, "I have a 80% guideline for work satisfaction, meaning the goal is to be at least 80% happy with a career, job, or boss. If satisfaction falls below that, it is time to fine tune the job, find a new job, or change career direction completely. Many people are surprised to hear me say this because they expect to shoot for 95% or 100%, but I have learned through experience with thousands of clients aiming for near perfect work satisfaction causes less happiness, not more." 3. Your idea of "career reading" changes. Lisa Correu, a job search advocate & workshop provider lists the following:
  • At your annual review, you consider writing all the lyrics to "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the "Goals" section.
  • You interview a potential hire and spend 30 minutes talking about Sean Connery versus Daniel Craig as 007.
  • You cancel all of your subscriptions to industry publications and replace them with Garden Gnomes Monthly.
  • You’re asked to speak at Career Day and pass out invitations to your Pampered Chef party.
  • You wonder what it would be like to love your career again.
4. There isn’t a perk that would make this job worth staying for. Laura Lobovich, a certified Five O'Clock Club career coach says, "Career fatigue can affect you both emotionally and/or physically. If you are feeling tired, depressed or just plain bored, career fatigue could be setting in. If you are unwilling to do this job for more money, better benefits, at another company, with a goat, in a boat (you get the idea); looking for more ways to access Plants vs. Zombies from your work computer; or questioning the 'natural' career progression in your career (and secretly praying your boss won’t tap you for the 'next' move), then it could be time to explore a career change!" 5. You’ll use any excuse for a day off. Debra Wheatman, a career coach says, "General malaise combined with not caring whether you hit your usual standards indicates it’s time to find a new career direction. Do you find yourself looking for excuses to call in sick, blow off opportunities to take lead on a new project, or pass the buck when something goes wrong? It may be time to assess your current career path. If your sense of satisfaction for doing a good job fades away, you aren’t unhappy your performance review didn’t go well, or you spend more time on Facebook than business it might be time to move on." 6. You’ve got that "dread-it" feeling. Lisa Adams, a career coach says, "My clear telltale signs include that, unfortunately, well-known feeling of dread every morning as you prepare to go to work. It is a dread that is more than being annoyed by your boss or company politics. That dread becomes more and more an apathetic attitude. When you can’t even pick up an industry article or a company press release to review, that is a sure sign to move on. Lastly, if this is a second round in the same industry and role and you still are not engaged, move on." What did we miss? I invite career coaches reading this to share their advice in the comments below. What should you do? If you read the six signs and are in need of a career change, watch the recording of my social TV show, Career Reality, from this past Friday. It's up above. I invited CAREEREALISM-Approved Career Expert, Chrissy Scivicque to help show our viewers how to change careers without fear. Photo credit: Shutterstock

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