For some people, the itch to embark on a career change is a noticeable, uncontrollable urge. Others may be surprised to find that the feelings of fatigue, boredom and stagnation they experience day after day are actually signs that it is time to begin looking for greener pastures. Regardless of whether you are just beginning to think of going elsewhere or if you are already searching for the next opportunities, these five signs signify you are ready to make the switch.
1. You used to love and enjoy your job… and now you don’t.
Perhaps it is the dramatic change in the way the structure or function of the company, or maybe it is a collection of small changes in your role. Either way, you are experiencing negative consequences of these changes and it is showing up in how you feel about work. Even if you used to be genuinely excited about a new day and your positive mindset carried you through your challenges, it is possible to lose those feelings. Fortunately, you don’t have to allow a workplace or environmental change affect you negatively.
2. You are physically and mentally exhausted ALL the time.
Everyone gets tired. That’s nothing new. But mental and physical exhaustion despite working reasonable hours on work that is not challenging is a sign that working with difficult people or in a difficult environment is taking its toll. You may find that you are expending energy more at work fighting to be heard or navigating bureaucracy than delivering actual incomes. If there is no medical reason for your exhaustion, it may be the day-to-day challenges of your job that are leaving you feeling depleted, defeated or simply exhausted.
3. You have become very good at work you hate.
Very few people accept a job they hate yet few people are reluctant to leave a position they have come to hate. The changing nature of job roles and businesses in today’s economy often means that the job you started will bear little resemblance to the job you hold now. In some cases this means your role now contains more of the work you hate and less of the work you love. However, since humans aspire to greatness you may have become very good at doing your job in spite of your feelings about the type of work you are doing. Remember: Just because you are good at something you don’t enjoy doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it.
4. You are bored, detached and apathetic about your job.
Do you struggle to care about the work you do or who the outcomes are affecting? Do you feel like you are ‘going through the motions’. Perhaps you feel like being made redundant would be a good thing so you could exit gracefully from your current position. Temporary boredom may be the impetus for creativity in your personal life, but at work it rarely creates the innovation so many organisations are looking for. In fact, prolonged apathy is not only detrimental to your current employment, it may affect recommendations for any future jobs as well.
5. Your strengths and talents aren’t being used to their fullest.
Most managers would give their right arm to have employees who are asking for more challenging opportunities in their work. There are few things more frustrating than when these requests fall on deaf ears. You may know you have experience or strengths that would directly affect the business outcomes in the organisation, but if you are constantly denied the opportunity to use them in your current role one of two things will happen. Either you will shrink back into boredom and apathy or you will lose the abilities and skills you have developed. If you feel under-appreciated, under-utilized or unheard, it may be time for a career change to an opportunity that allows you to use your talents.
Shanelle Moloney is the Managing Director of Moloney Consulting. Shanelle has over 20 years’ HR experience, 15 of which have been serving on senior leadership teams in Australian and Asia Pacific businesses across a range of industries. Shanelle is passionate about the recognition of leadership as a learned skill that requires the right resource investment, and has spent much of her career specialising in this area. Connect with me on LinkedIn.