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13 signs that it’s definitely time for a career change

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byAdrian VolenikJuly 12, 2023, 8:00 am

As someone who’s been through multiple career changes in the last 20+ years, I’ve come to recognize the telltale signs when it’s time to do so.

From money concerns to not being able to progress any further, there are many valid reasons to jump ship.

Here are just some of the signs that it’s definitely time for a career change.

1) Financial concerns

Money. It’s what makes the world go round. It also puts food on our plates.

If your current job doesn’t provide the financial stability or growth you want and expect, it might be time to pursue better possibilities.

If you like this type of work, you can apply for a position at a different company. Otherwise, it’s best to change your career altogether.

2) Constant stress

If your job consistently leaves you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious, it’s damaging your well-being.

Chronic stress can lead to various health problems, including increased blood pressure, heart disease, weakened immune system, digestive issues, headaches, and sleep disturbances.

We all know this, right?

If your job is negatively impacting your health, it’s a sign you should consider a change.

It’s that simple. Do it for yourself or your family. There will be no one to take care of them if you’re lying in a hospital bed or worse.

3) Negative work environment

A negative working environment includes any of the following:

  • Toxic relationships among colleagues or between employees and managers

  • Ineffective or untransparent communication

  • Lack of trust

  • Micromanagement

  • Unclear or unfair policies

  • Lack of recognition and appreciation

  • Absence of teamwork and collaboration

  • Ineffective leadership

  • And many more

Toxic colleagues, unsupportive management, or a generally unpleasant work atmosphere can take a toll on your happiness and well-being, signaling a need for change.

4) Sunday night dread

A study showed that a whopping 81% of workers experience elevated anxiety on Sunday in anticipation of Monday. That’s not something that should be normalized.

As someone who experienced this uneasy feeling on many, many Sundays, I can tell you that it does ruin your day, doesn’t it?

If you’re reading this article, the chances are you know the feeling too.

If the thought of going to work on Monday fills you with dread and ruins your weekends, it’s a strong sign you’re not satisfied with your current career.

And, if you’re experiencing this next behavior, you already know the answer.

5) Lack of enthusiasm

In a country where only 20% of workers are passionate about their jobs, it’s easy to see why many workers lack enthusiasm.

If you no longer feel excited or passionate about your work, it may be a sign that it’s time for a change.

However, be aware that your potential new career might also not be fulfilling. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

6) Lack of work-life balance

During the pandemic, many people started working from home. Although it was later revealed that they worked even longer hours than they would in the office, they were happier and had a better work-life balance.

However, if your job (WFH or office) demands excessive hours, interferes with personal commitments, or leaves you with no time for self-care, it’s easy to say you should consider a career change for a better balance.

This is especially true if your job is causing strain in your personal relationships due to long hours, constant stress, or dissatisfaction.

Coupled with other factors on this list, a career change might be the best thing for you.

7) Lack of growth opportunities

Hitting a career plateau and not seeing a clear path for advancement or growth will kill your motivation and productivity.

If there are limited or no opportunities for advancement or skill development in your current career, it could be time to explore new paths.

Performing the same tasks repeatedly without opportunities to take on new responsibilities or projects can also lead to boredom and a lack of intellectual stimulation.

Not to mention stagnant wages.

8) Feeling undervalued

The same happens if you believe your skills and contributions aren’t recognized or rewarded appropriately.

If your hard work and achievements go unnoticed or unappreciated in your current role, it can be demotivating and lead to a desire for change.

Reflect on your interests, values, skills, and strengths. Identify what motivates and excites you. See what transferable skills you have that can be valuable in different career paths.

Learn about various industries, job roles, and potential career paths that align with your interests and skills.

9) Lack of alignment with values

A meatpacker that has become a vegetarian isn’t going to be satisfied with their job anymore because it doesn’t align with their values.

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This blatant example is something to think about. If you feel your values conflict with your job or career in general, you have three options.

Try and change the company culture and direction, stay at the job and feel miserable, or quit.

Now, what will you do?

10) Boredom and monotony

Some estimates show that between 43% and 53% of the workforce is bored right now.

For most people, boredom makes the workday last forever. I know that was the case for me at my boring jobs.

The eight hours would just drag on forever, and the clock, I swear to God, looked like it was going backward at times.

When we’re no longer stimulated by our work, we experience a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration.

This leads to a negative attitude towards work and a decrease in overall happiness in the workplace.

For those reasons, when your work becomes predictable and repetitive, and you feel unchallenged, it’s a good sign you need a new challenge.

11) Desire for new challenges

You don’t have to be bored to crave new experiences. If you want to learn different skills or explore other industries, it’s a sign that you’re ready for a career change.

Taking on new challenges can reignite motivation and engagement in work. Challenging tasks provide a sense of purpose, stimulate curiosity, and foster a proactive mindset.

And the opportunity to tackle unexplored problems or projects generates enthusiasm and drive to excel.

If your current job or career can’t give you that, find a new one.

12) Incompatibility with your skills and strengths

Similarly, if your current job doesn’t align with your natural abilities and strengths, you feel like you’re constantly swimming against the current.

It also naturally leads to:

  • Lack of fulfillment and engagement

  • Decreased performance and productivity

  • Limited opportunity for growth and development

  • Increased stress and burnout

  • Reduced job satisfaction

  • Potential for imposter syndrome

  • Strained work relationships

If turning your incompatibility into strength within your current job proves challenging, explore alternative career options that align more closely with your strengths.

Research industries, job roles, or organizations that value and require the skills and abilities you have.

This exploration may lead to a career change that better employs and promotes your strengths.

13) Gut feeling

Ultimately, if you have a persistent, deep feeling that it’s time for a change, it’s important to trust your intuition and explore new career possibilities.

Gut feelings are often driven by our emotions and intuition, which provide valuable insights that aren’t immediately apparent through logical analysis.

Your gut feeling can serve as a compass guiding you toward a career that aligns with your values, passions, and authentic self.

It can help you recognize when you’re in a career that doesn’t resonate with who you are and push you toward pursuing work that brings you fulfillment and purpose.

How to change a career

Changing a career is one of the most important things you can do in your life. There are many steps you should consider when planning a career change:


Reflect on your interests, values, skills, and strengths. Identify what motivates and excites you and what transferable skills can be valuable in different career paths.

Research and exploration

Learn about various industries, job roles, and potential career paths that align with your interests and skills.

Complete informational interviews, network with professionals in fields of interest, and use online resources to gather information.

Set clear goals

Define what you want to achieve in your new career. Set SMART goals that will guide your career change journey. Having clear goals will also help you stay focused and motivated throughout the process.

Gain practical experience

Look for opportunities to gain hands-on experience in your desired field.

Consider volunteering, freelancing, or taking on internships or part-time roles to build relevant experience and showcase your commitment to the new career path.

Update your resume and online presence

Tailor your resume and online profiles (such as LinkedIn) to highlight your transferable skills and experiences relevant to your new career.

Emphasize accomplishments and achievements that align with your target field.

Make a transition plan

Plan the logistics of your career change, including financial considerations, potential impacts on your personal life, and the timing of your transition.

Take action and adapt

Once you’ve done your research and preparation, take action to pursue opportunities in your new career. Be open to adjusting your plan as you gain new insights and experiences.

Final thoughts

If you’ve been consistently dissatisfied with your career for an extended period, despite attempts to improve your situation, it’s likely time for a change. It’s that easy.



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