You’re displeased with your job and thinking of going down a different path. Is this a temporary thing, or is it time to finally take action? Changing careers is a monumental decision, albeit a necessary one, sometimes. What’s important is that you understand clearly what you want to do. If you’re unsure, consider the following things.
ARE YOU FAKING IT?
Going to work feels like a huge drag. You have to put on a façade and pretend you’re something you’re not. You have perfected an acting routine that you start every day when you get to your workplace. Who you are just doesn’t fit.
In practical terms, this can mean something different for each person. To some, it might entail faking a bubbly, extroverted personality to perform the needed tasks. To others, it might be trying to play the part of the perfect employee, correct in every move, and aligned with all aspects of the company.
You’re human—you’re constantly evolving. It’s normal for you to change. However, if your current career path does not allow for this growth, you’re in for some frustration. Bottling up your true self for work is putting yourself through unimaginable distress, and you shouldn’t keep this up.
EXPRESS YOUR OPINION
You might be unhappy where you are, but the thought of moving up the ladder to do your boss’s job just kills you. This kind of despair about your future tells you unequivocally that you do not want to be in your line of work.
Progressing in your career means having the possibility to express your opinions and make decisions. It also means gaining responsibility and involvement in projects. If the perspective of doing this doesn’t excite you, but rather kills your joy, you need to move on.
REFLECT ON WHAT MOVES YOU
You dread the subject of your job like the plague. If you’re forced to talk about it, you want to get it over with quickly. This means you’re not in the least proud of what you do. You find no interest in it, so why should other people?
Think, instead, of what you do like to talk about. Maybe you want to know more about that cool web developer’s job, or how that girl in marketing goes about her workday. The contrast between your interest in other areas and what you are doing is a telltale sign that something is just not right.
IT IS TIME TO LOOK FORWARD
You’re comfortable in your job, even if you’re discontent. You feel like trying something new would mean turning your whole world upside down. That’s not a good enough reason to stay where you are unhappy. If you’re thinking this way, you’re probably not in your career out of passion.
You don’t have to dive headfirst into a new career, and completely disregard your old one, if that’s what scares you. You can start by getting experience with less time-consuming activities. Career counselor Sap Stybel says tutorial websites are a great tool to gain expertise in your areas of interest, without taking on a full-time commitment. Another way you can build up experience is to find people who are working in areas that attract you and ask them questions.
It might also be the right time to take a break and think things over. Disconnecting from your job for a few days can help you see things more clearly. Retreats can really inspire you to move in the right direction and can give you the final push you need to make that important decision regarding your career.
The fear of change should not be an obstacle to your career fulfillment. Remember that change is inevitable, and playing it safe won’t help you avoid that. Instead, take control of your life and decide when to turn things around. If this year has shown us something, it’s that no job is completely secure. And even if it was, you’re not here to play it safe. If you feel compelled to do something else, just do it.
In all honesty, if you’re here, you are most likely sure you need change. If your current career path was satisfying enough, you wouldn’t even be considering these matters. But that is positive because it means you’re in touch with your inner self, and you’re asking yourself important questions. That kind of self-reflection is what allows you to grow, and to find things that fulfill you. Life is too short to settle; you have the right to chase new dreams. The labor market is changing, and this might be your opportunity to tag along.