A New Start: How do you know when it’s time to change jobs/careers?


For most people, there can be many moments of boredom and frustration with their current job. That alone doesn’t mean that it’s time to look for something new, but if you feel that way every single day, it might be time to reflect on what is really bugging you.

Some folks consider their jobs as simply a means to an end – standard 9 to 5 – and their lives begin after hours. They don’t let whatever work they do get into their heads; it’s just a few hours a day then they do whatever they like. To those people I say, rock on! Do what makes you happy.

Some days, I’m jealous of that attitude, but that just isn’t me. I’m one of those types who want a job that brings them joy as well as a paycheck. That ideal, however, can be tough to find in this economy… which is why I jumped at the chance at steady income after I couldn’t land a journalist position immediately after graduating – where I have been for over four years – and each year I felt it sap my energy. I always had an excuse or emergency pop to delay searching for a job where I could use my degree. Starting from scratch is scary, but I knew that I had to stop complaining and DO something about it.

You should be certain that your unhappiness at your current job requires you to leave it, and/or the industry, completely. Some problems can be fixed by changing aspects of your job (without leaving the company). Beth Kuhel – author and career coach – posted a blog at U.S. News in December with some important things to consider when you’re feeling that itch.

Some key points to reflect on:

  • Figure out why you are unhappy and if it really requires you leaving the company and starting over
  • Talk with your boss about your schedule
  • Volunteer to assist with other projects/activities outside your immediate responsibilities
  • Consider switching departments within the same company
  • Find activities outside of work that interest you
  • Think about whether or not you going off on your own would be best

Now, if you are like me and are currently working in an industry that isn’t in your dream field, then the answer is pretty clear.

This is your life, you owe it to yourself to reflect on every pro and con. Then, do whatever is good for your soul.

How do you know when it’s time to switch jobs? Leave a comment below!

Other articles to check out:
Forbes: 13 dos and don’ts of job searching while you’re still employed
Forbes: How to start thinking about career change


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