Some people are lucky enough to have found their dream job. Maybe you thought you were among them. Yet your work doesn’t carry the same excitement it once did. While you could just be going through a bit of a slump, there’s also a chance it might be time to consider a change of career. Here’s how you know.
The idea of doing one thing for the rest of our adult lives is terrifying if you stop to think about it. Small wonder so many people have doubts about their choice of career. Small wonder people so often drop everything to pursue a different life.
Should you do the same?
Honestly, that’s entirely your decision. A career change is a huge move. It’s something you need to spend a lot of time considering, and I cannot tell you whether or not it’s the right decision for you.
What I can do is offer guidance by talking about a few of the most common signs that the job you’re working might no longer be the right job for you.
Instead of working, you spend hours wasting time on trivial things. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot focus. Maybe you’re bored, or maybe you’re simply exhausted and burnt out.
Whatever the reason, your productivity has dropped through the floor and you cannot get anything done. While a vacation could be just the thing you need to recover and pull yourself out of this slump, there’s also a chance that it’s something about your job itself.
Everyone has days when they’d rather stay at home than drag themselves to the office. Where it becomes problematic is when that’s your every day. When you dread getting out of bed in the morning because you know it means you’ve got to be working.
You need to stop and ask yourself why this is the case. If it’s because you don’t want to deal with your colleagues or your boss, your career might not be the problem - you might be dealing with a toxic work environment. If, however, it’s the work itself that’s bothering you, that’s another matter altogether.
You feel like a drone. Day in, day out, it’s the same old routine. The same tired conversations, the same meaningless tasks, the same drudgery. Over and over and over.
Does that sound like it describes you and the work you do? If so, you can go one of two ways. On the one hand, you can quit and try to find a career that’s more enjoyable. On the other, you can talk to your colleagues and superiors about finding ways you can be more engaged in the workplace, and rediscover your former love for your career.
Ask yourself - what do you care about? What matters to you? Why have you stopped caring about your current job, and what might make you care again?
We all have that one friend who seems to always live life to the fullest. That one friend who sees what they want and seizes it. They’re working their dream job, they have a great family, and they’re well and truly content.
It’s natural to be a little jealous of people like that - but when that jealousy overcomes the happiness you should feel at your friend’s success, there’s a problem. Take a step back and ask yourself why this envy exists. What is it about your friend’s life that you want for yourself?
What is it about your friend’s job that makes it more attractive to you than yours?
How often does your mind wander to the idea of escaping work? Are you obsessed with the notion of retiring or moving on? Do you constantly daydream about what it would be like if you could simply leave the office behind you for good?
Listen to your thoughts. You’re dissatisfied about something. As with the previous indicators, you need to figure out what it is you dislike about your job, and if that’s something you can work through with your colleagues.
Boredom. Apathy. Distraction. Unhappiness. Envy. These are just a few signs that the job you’ve chosen for yourself is no longer igniting your spirit in the way it used to.
I’d advise trying to figure out what went wrong first. Try to fix your relationship with your office. If that ends up being impossible, then by all means take the plunge - stop doing what you no longer enjoy and start doing what you love.
About the Author:
Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.
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