These are the red flags you shouldn’t ignore.
A few generations ago, a job usually meant a ‘job for life’. These days, studies predict that Gen Ys and Millennials may not only change jobs up to 15 to 20 times, they will also change careers more than once in their working life.
Here are eight signs that might mean it’s time to change your career.
1. Sunday evening gloom.
Every Sunday night, a gloomy cloud begins to overshadow you. More than just “oh, the weekend’s over, what a shame”, Sunday evenings see you turning moody and a bit grim in your outlook.
If you routinely sleep badly on a Sunday night, it’s another sign that the anticipation of a new working week is sending you into a spin. When your work is more than just a bad fit, it can be eating into your happiness and wellbeing without you even realising it.
2. You dread walking into the office.
The sinking feeling starts when you see the physical building as you approach it. Sometimes it manifests as a sick feeling as you go inside. That’s not a good sign.
Simply put, your body is telling you that you don’t like being at your place of work.
You learn to push through, to get on with things, but it takes a lot of energy when you need to steel yourself every day just to turn up to work, and that alone can leave you feeling depleted and exhausted.
3. Your dream job is in no way related to your real job.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? What would it consist of? If you can answer in a flash, and your current job in no way resembles your dream job, then chances are you’re in the wrong career.
Worse than just accepting that fact, you may over time realise your dreams are fading, along with your energy output towards the things you really love doing.
4. You don’t aspire to higher roles in your organisation.
Picture the people in the leadership roles at your work. If deep down you don’t respect or admire them, or aspire to be in their position one day, then you may be in the wrong sector altogether.
Register how you feel in a staff meeting. Are your internal thoughts super cynical? Are you routinely unimpressed and annoyed? Are you faking smiles and pretending you care about the things being discussed?
If your body language is giving you away, you’re not connecting to your career any more.
5. You don’t feel valued.
Have you come to accept that you are not given opportunities at work? Do you know you could offer more, but also know that it would never happen that way? Does your manager not really know about you and what makes you tick?
The worst thing about not feeling valued at work is accepting it as the status quo long-term, which can begin to erode your self-esteem. When you don’t feel valued, your enjoyment and performance begins to dwindle, often in a downward spiral.
6. You don’t care about what happens at work any more.
Another sign you may be due for a career overhaul is not caring any more about anything. Office politics, management decisions that affect you – changes, unfair situations, new demands and expectations.
You are simply ambivalent because you’ve mentally or emotionally given up on the workplace and your role in it. Being in this place isn’t ideal and it isn’t fun either.
7. You repeatedly stall on basic tasks.
Would you prefer to do anything, ANYTHING, other than the task at hand? Boredom, lack of motivation, running out of… steam…
If you find the same tasks are vying for your attention on your To Do List, the same core demands of your job are weighing you down rather than getting done, then you are struggling with the basics, and that’s a sign of career fatigue.
Watch Mamamia’s Out Loud team discuss sick days, and how they’ve changed in the contemporary work environment.
8. You take regular sickies.
Does the idea of calling in sick illicit a “stuff ‘em” response rather than any concern for your colleagues or any guilt? If taking a sickie is a common and relatively easy decision for you, you’ve mentally checked out of your career.
So if you relate to a few of these signs, maybe it’s time to reflect on whether you are just going through the motions in your career – and how long you’re prepared to do that for before you make a change.
Do you show any (or all) of these signs? Would you consider changing your career?
Looking for inspiration? These 11 excellent women will have you brimming with ideas: