Change is a life constant. We experience a change in various aspects of our lives. The concept of change is evident in our personal lives, in our families, communities, school, work, etc. When it comes to our work lifestyles, while changing a career can be overwhelming and sometimes scary, there are many times it is the best decision to make, especially when negative signs are arising.
“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” — Warren Buffett.
While job-hopping is unpleasant, there are times when a worker must consider making a switch to a different profession or position within or without an organization. If you have thought that you are in the wrong career, you might recognize some of these signs below that show the warning signs that you are right and be on your way to finding the right job for you.
#1. Scared of the Job
When it is Sunday, your heart skips a beat; you’re unhappy because Monday is around the corner. You might experience anxiety issues such as headaches, exhaustion, tensed muscles, mood swings, and insomnia because of this very fact. These are telltale signs that that job has become toxic. The truth is that you might need to stop that job and look for what suits you best.
#2. Working for the Money
You might be doing the job, but the truth remains that you’re only there because of the money it affords you and nothing more. The job doesn’t make you happy, you don’t like it, and it bores you. You never have any enthusiasm to carry out the job, but you make up your disdain for it by getting things for yourself since you have the money. These you take as consolation prizes for putting up with such a job.
#3. No Job Satisfaction
When done with work, you don’t feel satisfied with how much work you’ve put in. There is no optimum satiation for the amount of work that you are putting into the role. You might sometimes think the job you are doing doesn’t challenge you enough. When you first started in this position, you had so many expectations. However, now you feel like you are not utilizing or maximizing your fullest potentials. You are almost always at the point of fatigue. If you feel like this, you might want to rethink your career path.
#4. You Picture Yourself Elsewhere
Despite sitting in your office or in front of your computer and perusing documents, you fantasize about working from the comfort of your home from time to time. You picture yourself working for another organization. You feel unfulfilled or unhappy with the present work you are doing. If this sign is your experience, you must take time and find that career that interests you.
#5. You’re Passive and Record No Growth
When you started this career, you had dreams, but suddenly all those seem to have vanished. You realize you’re passive and unmotivated and not growing. It is almost like you are stuck in a game called circle—going around without actually going anywhere. Are you in a dead-end job? It’s time to get off that treadmill of non-progression and move into a more beneficial career. This feeling is one of the reasons that might make you rethink your career decision.
#6. The Decision to Start a Family
When you were single, it was easier for you to handle so many tasks simultaneously. But being married with kids, you do not have the luxury of time to do so much. Many women run into this dilemma when the decision to get married and start having kids surfaces. It’s often a complex process raising children and still be very productive at work. Many countries don’t go the extra mile to give women and men the luxury of advantageous options for starting a family, working, and creating a harmonious balance. Something has got to give usually in these situations.
“Parents are entitled to a total of 12 months’ leave in connection with the birth and after the birth. These 12 months include the mother’s right to leave for up to 12 weeks during the pregnancy and six weeks of leave reserved for the mother after the birth.” — Nordic Co-operation.
So, what is the best country in the world to be a mother? So far, Norway ranks as the best country to be a working mother. For mothers, the country boasts of excellent health care and educational systems. The maternity leave they offer is next to none globally. In addition to maternity and paternity leaves, they also offer childcare provisions. Other countries that rank high in this regard are Denmark, The Netherlands, and Sweden. It’s so sad that the United States is nowhere in this ranking.
Starting a family should never be a bane that affects your work life or job security. The Fairygodboss establishes that only two companies in the United States come close to some of the offers that the country of Norway offers. For instance, just Netflix and Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation offers fifty-two (52) weeks of paid maternity leave. That is noble of these two companies. However, these are individual companies doing this motivating act, not the United States’ nation in its entirety. So, if this is your current dilemma, then you are right to look for the right job—or should I say the right company or even the correct country—case in point, Norway.
#7. You Can’t Cope with Your Coworkers
Certain kinds of people make the workplace awkward and uncomfortable. Some of these coworkers could be bullies, manipulative persons, or gossips. In the article “10 Signs You’re in a Toxic Work Environment—and How to Escape,” Career Contessa highlights some signs that typify a toxic ambiance in the workplace. One of the points mentioned is “Cliques, Exclusion + Gossipy Behavior, and Unmotivated coworkers,” among others, leading to the workplace being toxic. Many factors constitute a hostile work environment. Negative behavior and awkwardness of your coworkers can make the workplace toxic. You may need to find a setting to work in that is more positive and brings out the best in you.
#8. Overworked and Underpaid
Many people find themselves in career situations where the amount of work they are doing is not proportional to their pay. For instance, a full-time salaried job in the United States is a forty-hour workweek proposition. However, you see some individuals in organizations putting in sixty (60) to eighty (80) hours regularly working in their career. They are not getting paid overtime because of their exempt status as salaried workers. That is a situation that has a big question mark?
Yes, there is nothing wrong with being part of the team and putting in extra hours to get a project done. However, when such practice becomes the norm, it could quickly burn the individual out. It’s not just the workplace burnt out from work that is an issue; it is also dangerous to the individual’s health. I have heard of stories of individuals who have developed high blood pressure issues due to excessive time at work. I have heard stories of people slumping at work due to the fatigue of working so many hours with little rest. It happens, and it can be a compelling reason to consider changing a career.
Some companies may be experiencing understaffing issues; hence, your overwork situation. You are working more to cover the slack, but your rate of pay remains the same. Even if it does change, it comes in in trickles. So many people are severely overworked but highly underpaid. Many of these individuals stay mum and keep working. Why? They are afraid of retaliation from the organization, which could cost them their job. In this case, you find yourself too dedicated to work with no time left for you to attend to yourself and de-stress. It just might be time to consider other opportunities.
#9. You feel Ignored
Some workers in organizations feel ignored. Now, not all suggestions you come up with will always be plausible. However, you notice that you’re the one person whose ideas never receive any serious consideration. Your superiors make it a practice to ignore your point of view in critical situations. You never receive any consultation with things that pertain to your career. You are a do-boy or a do-girl. Decisions are made for you and about you with no prior ask or tell about how it affects you. The notion of a promising career must be a tête-à-tête, a conversation to come to some concord—your opinion matters. If your superiors and peers constantly push your opinions or voice to the side, then it may be time for you to change your career.
#10. No Relationship with Family/Friends
Because you have acquired a certain attitude to work and probably lack time to live a balanced life. You have a strained relationship with your friends and even your family. I have seen one or two individuals who lost their marriages due to their dedication to work. These individuals invested so much time and energy in their careers that their marriages took a nose-dive, crashing to unsalvageable bits. Your family and friends barely see you, and when they do, you are busy with work. When you start noticing that the job is beginning to take a toll on the people in your life, this is time to reflect and probably find what’s right for you.
“Our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” — M. Scott Peck.
Like I said when I started this article, I am no advocate of job-hopping. Be a soldier for your organization. Be a legend for your company. However, be true to yourself and love yourself enough not to punish yourself under certain unbefitting circumstances. Your atmosphere determines your altitude. Your internal wellbeing and happiness will determine your success and productivity in your career. However, when you start noticing the signs stipulated in this article, you need to ask yourself honest questions to decide whether to stay in your current career or make a change for the better.
Are you scared of your job? Are you just working for the money with no other reason for being dedicated to the job? Are you not satisfied with your job? Do you picture yourself elsewhere? Are you passive and have no record of growth? Did you decide to start a family, and it’s not syncing well with your career? Are you in a situation when you can’t cope with your coworkers due to their toxicity? Are you overworked and underpaid? Do you feel ignored? Is your relationship with your family and friends suffering due to your current career? Then it would be best if you made a change in your job for something better.