The Top Four Signs It's Time For a New Career
You lean over and reluctantly check the time on your phone. 11:07pm. While you wish your Netflix marathon could last forever, the more logical you inside your head is saying it's probably time for bed. After all, you have that status meeting at 9am tomorrow, and you're fully expected to feign interest and participate beyond merely being present with eyes held open. You click off the TV, haul yourself up from the nurturing embrace of your couch, and let out a loud sigh dripping with exasperation and despair. Tomorrow's Monday.
Have you ever felt like this? I have, and it sucks. Yet, far too many of us put up with it for years-- complacent, believing that this feeling is normal. "It's just how life is," we convince ourselves. Wrong. Nope. No way.
I'm going to talk about some of the key signs suggesting you're in desperate need of a new career. And I'm not talking just about a job change, where perhaps you've grown annoyed by the people you work with or the less-than-fantastic pay and decide to hop over to another company in your industry. No. I'm talking about a complete career overhaul - a new field, a new challenge. A new you. You with me? If you're asking yourself "should I quit my job," consider if these indicators describe you right now:
You’re doing just enough to get by.
You've figured out the perfect system to "game" your job. You know how to appear much busier than you actually are while still being able to slip away for two-hour lunches and afternoon cupcake binges. You know the level of output and quality that pacifies your boss, and do exactly that every time. No more, no less. You get satisfactory employee reviews and feel confident you won't get fired, but you're also not motivated to work towards any big promotions. You're going through the motions as a minor cog in the big company wheel.[bctt tweet="If you've figured out how to game your job, it might be time for a new career, says @waronboring"]
You’re avoiding work-related conversation
When friends or family ask you how work's going, your standard reply is something like, "Oh, you know, it's going. Nothing too crazy going on right now, which is good." You then quickly change the topic to prevent yourself from launching into an expletive-laced tirade about how your boss doesn't know his rear end from his elbow and you'd rather spend your days slinging coffee at Starbucks (at least that way you'd be able to fuel your venti soy vanilla latte addiction for free). You also tend to purposely avoid networking events because the thought of explaining your titillating job responsibilities to dozens of strangers with cooler jobs makes you want to massage yourself with sandpaper-- a clear sign you should explore new career opportunities.
You travel to escape.
You take full advantage of your company's mediocre vacation day policy by going on frequent trips to lands near and far. Any international travel plans you make are yearned for and excitedly talked about months in advance of your departure date. Shorter long-weekend trips are peppered throughout the year to offer extra sanity breaks while waiting for your vacation bank to adequately replenish itself. You enjoy the unique experiences and exotic flavors that travel provides, but deep down you know you're using travel as a way of escaping your everyday life. The monotony of your soul-sucking 9 to 5 job has grown to impalpable heights, with travel serving as your mandatory hit of relief.[bctt tweet="If you use vacation to escape- not just recharge- it may be time for a new job @waronboring"]
You dread Sunday nights.
After a weekend of letting off large amounts of steam, you're finally faced with the fact that all good things must come to an end. The sunlight fades at what seems like warp speed after a tasty brunch with friends ended just a few hours prior. And now, there you are, sneaking a quick glance at your phone to assess how much longer you can delay the inevitable arrival of Monday morning. "Is there time for just one more episode?" you ask yourself, secretly pleading Netflix will roll the title sequence before you have time to talk yourself out of it.
If so, you need a new career.
Is any of this ringing a bit too true to home? If so, something's wrong. Changing careers to find the right fit will make you eager to work hard, excited to talk about the cool stuff you're doing, anxious to return home after a trip, and ready to tackle new challenges every Monday morning.
To find your true career match, you must join new groups, learn new skills, start your job search, explore new career opportunities-- or preferably all of the above. As comedian Ricky Gervais once quipped, "Remember, Mondays are fine. It's your life that sucks." It's up to you to say "I need a new career," and then take action to find a career you'll love-- and to not give up until you find it. Because life's just too short to hate Mondays.[bctt tweet="Remember, it isn't Monday making you unhappy- it's your job, says @waronboring via @rickygervais"]
Siôn Owen is a Startup Institute Instructor in Chicago and Ringmaster at Pitch Circus, a communication consultancy for bold thinkers. Siôn’s mission in life is to kill boring presentations before they kill us first. He specializes in teaching entrepreneurs how to get more creative and persuasive with their pitches to help their big ideas stick.