Most of us will experience a career rut at some point in our lives.
When you’re in a career slump, sometimes things get better.
You might get a new manager that’s more effective or hop to another company that better aligns with your values.
However, if your career slump has been going on for a while, it might be a serious sign that you need a change.
Here are 3 signs that tell you you’re ready (and need) to change careers.
1. You don’t know what you’re working towards anymore
When you start your career, you’re driven by getting a raise or a promotion. You want better compensation with benefits so that you can save money and live more comfortably. However, at some point you’re not going to be getting a huge raise or promotion every 1-3 years. If you can’t get job satisfaction from a promotion or raise, then what will make you happy?
Now if you can’t answer that question in your current career, you might not know what you’re working towards anymore. If it’s not a promotion or more money, what is it then? Where’s the fulfillment and reward in your job if it’s not monetary incentives?
...which leads me to my second point.
2. You’re not driven by the mission of your career
What’s motivating you to go to work everyday? Is it the work that you do or the people? Is it the compensation and benefits you get?
More importantly, what do you want to get excited about at work?
Most of your time at work is spent doing your function. If you want to be excited about your job, you need to be driven by your function.. so when your values don’t align with the mission of your career, it’s a telltale sign that you’re not passionate about your career.
You have to be driven by what you do at work to really love what you do. That means if you’re not driven by the mission of your career, it’s time for a change.
3. Job hopping hasn’t worked out
Now if you’re feeling the first two points in this post, I’m positive you’ve thought about leaving your job.
If you did - good for you! You should. You should look for another job that will make you happier.
However, if you’ve moved onto a new job but are still feeling empty and unfulfilled... it’s a clear sign that your unfulfillment has less to do with any other factor (company, team, manager, etc) and more to do with your actual job.
That’s your career I’m talking about! It means you’re not fulfilled in your career and job hopping hasn’t (and probably won’t) work out.
What if I don’t want my current career but I don’t know what I want to do?
Know that how you feel is completely normal! Career pathfinding isn’t taught which is why we end up in career slumps and feel completely directionless.
Here’s what you should do.
Think about what makes you excited. You want to go to work everyday being excited about the actual job, so that means you need to first figure out what makes you excited.
By determining what makes you excited, you learn a little bit about your own passions.
And when you know more about your own passions, you have a better idea of how to find a career you’re passionate about.
As always, don’t give up!
It isn’t easy to find a career you’re passionate about…
But know that it isn’t impossible either.