For many, a new year means a new challenge. There was a time when people regularly stayed with their employer for decades, climbing the corporate ladder until there was nowhere else to go. Nowadays however, more and more professionals are seeking career changes in jobs they have outgrown or simply dislike.
While many people feel unenthused by their job at some point during their career, it’s the major red flags you have to worry about. If a major sign occurs, it may be time to conduct a serious assessment into your current position, and where you see yourself long-term. And while it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between short-term dissatisfaction and deep-rooted unhappiness, when you see these signs occurring over a long period of time, you will know it’s time to leave.
You are not learning
Numerous studies have shown that the happiest progression into old age involves a professional life that encourages continuous learning. Your mind should be constantly challenged, especially if you are the type of person that seeks creativity, curiosity, a love of learning and a hungry mind.
Your job should be a place in which you are evolving; constantly feeling challenged by the tasks at hand. If your current position or career has progressed to the point in which you aren’t learning, it may be time to rethink your career path.
You are underperforming
If you aren’t performing to the best of your abilities, it does not necessarily equal failure. If your career isn’t challenging you, it may cause you to become stagnant in your day-to-day tasks. You may find yourself cruising in autopilot, hindering both yourself and the company in which you work for. If you seek happiness and engagement in your professional life, you are better off finding a job that motivates you to perform at the highest possible standard.
You dread waking up in the morning
For most people, the Monday morning wakeup is less than ideal. While it is normal to be tired in the morning, if you are feeling dread at the thought of going to work every single day, then something as to give. Pit-inducing anxiety or crippling trepidation should not be feelings associated with your career.
You feel undervalued
Even if everything else is ticking boxes, you may not feel completely satisfied with your work if you find that you are being unappreciated. Everyone wants to feel as if they are succeeding professionally, so recognition, especially by managers, is a crucial indicator as to whether you are in the right field for you. People who feel undervalued at work are more likely to engage in counterproductive work behaviours, not operating to the best of their abilities.
You are just doing it for the money
While many people suffer through unrewarding jobs just for the money, this should not be the sole reason you select a career. Staying at a job for financial reasons can be unrewarding and demotivating, resulting in a number of negative outcomes that can be detrimental to your career progression. The bottom line is that you should be doing something for intrinsic rewards, rather than slaving away in a career for extrinsic or financial gain.
If you can relate to these feelings of exhaustion and boredom, you need to determine exactly what is doing the damage. Breaking your job down into different components can help you decipher which direction to take next: Which aspect is the most draining? Is it the subject matter? Or your co-workers, perhaps? Being specific about what is not working will help you decipher what needs to change.
It also helps to hone in on the positives in your career. Where do your strengths lie? Do you like working in a team? Or perhaps the customer facing environment? This will also help you to determine how you should rethink your career.
Once this direction has been established, it is time to change your career. While this is often easier said than done, there are a number of avenues in which you can explore to push you into the right field for you. Going back to study is one way of getting your feet wet into your industry of interest. Short courses and TAFE courses are a great way to fill the gaps in your knowledge and give you a competitive edge when it comes to job promotions. They can also provide you with practical, hands-on experience that will give you insight into what you can expect when you enter the workforce.
Undergoing some form of education or training will also help to prevent this situation from occurring again, granting you greater job satisfaction and a new professional perspective on life.
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