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5 signs it's time for a career change

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay


Exciting and fulfilling as your job once was, it’s normal to eventually long for change. Whether it’s a change in environment, a change in pace, or a change in industry altogether – career-switching has long-been a constant trend, with nearly 70% of workers aged 18-24 considering the jump, based on recent statistics.

Below, we explore the tell-tale signs it’s time to change career paths, the factors to consider before making a move, and how to successfully make the switch.

What are the signs you need to change careers?

You’re experiencing signs of workplace burnout

Among the most prominent signs you’re need of a job change are burgeoning symptoms of workplace burnout. The phenomenon is all-too common, affecting a whopping 92% of Australian and New Zealand-based workers according to the 2021 ANZ Autonomy of Work Index.

Burnout refers to the decreased levels of energy, engagement, and overall job satisfaction employees often feel due to work-related stressors. These can range from having poor work-life balance to factors out of their control – such as having a poor manager or company culture.

If you’re starting to dread the thought of coming to work, and feel your passions replaced by negativity and cynicism; then perhaps its time to reflect on where your professional life is heading. 

You’re starting to dream of other career paths

Disconnecting from one’s job can typically lead to daydreamng about other, potential career paths. You may find yourself constantly browsing through online job boards, bookmarking interesting companies, and even growing envious of your friends’ and family’s jobs or work cultures. Should you catch yourself falling into this habit, don’t ignore it – it’s a sign you’re longing for something different.

Try and pinpoint what it is that draws you to these other jobs – is it their workplace culture? The role itself? Perhaps it’s the perks and salary? If you find yourself unable to negotiate for these particular changes in your current company, then perhaps its truly time to jump ship.

You no longer feel like you’re making an impact

Your work days may feel like you’re simply going through the motions; like you’re working on the same old tasks, day in and day out. The weeks start blurring together and as you reflect on your monthly achievements, there sadly isn’t much that stands out.

If you’re starting to feel sidelined by your company, like your efforts and skills are undervalued and under-utilised, then career apathy or boredom is inevitable. You may also start to lose faith in your company’s vision; as if all the possibilities that once excited you are now well out of reach. Alternatively, you might also feel as though your values have evolved, and no longer align with those of the business.

Whatever the case, if your contributions no longer feel valued or impactful, then you’re better off finding a new job where they would be.

You’ve grown out of your current role

In a similar vein, if you feel as if you’ve grown out of your current role and are no longer progressing in your current career path – that’s another red flag to seek new opportunities.

You may no longer feel as challenged in your job as you used to, tasks may start to feel more “routine” than interesting, and you’re no longer learning anything new or substantial. Perhaps the tasks or projects you’ve been assigned to cease to feed your current passions or interests.

In this case, it’s worth looking at new career paths that offer the professional challenges and development you desire. However, consider whether this is simply an issue with your company (where your current position lacks room for advancement), or a problem with your industry altogether (in which case, it may be best to explore new overall career options).

You have no work-life balance

Finally, a career that lacks proper work-life balance is bound to wear on you quick. No matter how exciting or well-paid a job may be, having little time to tend to your personal care, goals, or activities is a quick recipe for workplace burnout and overall poor well-being.

If your current career path has started to wear on your personal life, impairing your ability to spend time with friends, family, or even yourself – it’s worth considering any adjustments you can make. Perhaps its simply having a more organised schedule, setting clearer boundaries (i.e. “switching off” after 5 PM), or making the effort to invest in your health, such as taking breaks and getting adequate hours of sleep each night.

However, if you find you’re unable to tweak your current situation, then it may be best to start exploring new options.

What factors should you consider when changing careers?

 

  • Your previous work experience and transferable skills. Assess all that you’ve learned in your current job (and those prior), and identify the assets that may benefit future job opportunities. If you’re switching industries from project management to ICT, for example; then your skills in strategy, business, and team leadership may prove valuable in plenty of tech roles.
  • Your passions and career aspirations. What is your dream job or industry? Take note of what interests, fulfills, and engages you – and use this to map out potential roles or industries for your career change.
  • The pros about your current role, and what you hope to see in the next. No matter how badly you may long for change, there’s bound to at least be something you appreciate about your current role. Consider the factors that have made you stay up to this point, and areas of change or improvement you hope for in your next role.
  • Your financial situation. If you’re planning to quit without a new role secured, ensure you’ve got enough savings to help tide you over. Otherwise, it’s recommended to establish your new path while you’ve still got a job to fall back on, so you can hit the ground running once you’ve made the leap.

What are the steps to a successful career change?

  1. Assess your current situation. Take the time to weigh out the aforementioned factors. Make a checklist of your current strengths, any skills gaps you hope to address, what you’re after in a new career, and whether you’ve got the financial capability for change.
  2. Examine the job market. Shop around for available positions in online job boards or through existing industry connections. Learn what the competitive pay rates are, common work cultures, and what employers tend to look for in new hires.
  3. Consider further training. If you’ve got your eyes set on a new career path – yet lack the skills to dive in headfirst, further training through courses or workshops are a highly recommended option.
  4. Refine your resume. Be sure to update it with any new skills you’ve gained in your current role or through training. Depending on the new career path you’ve chosen, it may also be best to tailor your details to match the skills demands of the industry.

As mentioned, making a career change is often made easier through further study or training. Upskilled offers a wide range of practical online courses, exploring Australia’s most in-demand industries (from community services to tech and business). Build the skills you need from the comfort of your own home; and at a pace and schedule that fits you best.

Set your sights on that dream career today, and enquire with us on a course.
 
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