Having the realisation that you might be in the wrong job is a tough one. Coming to the conclusion that you need to change careers is even tougher. To make sure you’re 100 percent sure of your decision, here are six signs it’s time to switch things up and make a bold move, according to leading career experts.
1. You don’t leave work feeling satisfied
If you’re in the right job, you’ll be using your skills to their full potential, Jo Rapley, People & Culture Manager at BPS World says. And if you’re not? You might need to face a new challenge.
“[If you’re in the right job], not only will you feel satisfaction with your job role but in your career as a whole too”, she tells Cosmopolitan. “Most mornings you will feel energised and raring to go for the day ahead; you will work that little bit harder and smarter to put a smile on people’s faces with added vigour in your work relationships”.
If you don’t think that way, the chances are it’s time to move on.
2. You don’t receive regular updates on your progress
Your current manager should be feeding back to you about what their expectations are, recognising what you’re doing well and setting you targets on how to improve.
Jo continued, “You should feel confident in carrying out tasks without anyone telling you what to do, completing them on your own initiative albeit in conjunction with others.
“You will know you’re in the right job because you perform a task with mutual help and trust, taking very little direction at each step. You should feel like you want to demonstrate a commitment to your organisation and its overall mission.” If you don’t? There’s a reason for that.
3. Work feels like something you have to do
Yes, a job is something the majority of us actually have to have in order to survive, but divisional manager at REED Jody King says it shouldn’t constantly feel that way. It should be enjoyable and hard work.
“If you think that work is something you have to do, then it is likely you’re not satisfied with your career”, she explains. “Career dissatisfaction largely comes from feeling unhappy and/or trapped within your job.”
4. The environment feels toxic
The social and emotional side of a workplace is as important as the job itself, Jody says, adding that colleagues having an understanding of each other on a personal level is key to job satisfaction. Not feeling it? Career. Change. Time.
“It’s important to remember that, while you don’t have to be friends with your colleagues or like everything about them, you have to be able to work together as a team”, she continued. “A toxic environment will quickly spread, leading to team members becoming demotivated, unprofessional and unproductive. This will ultimately have a negative impact on the company.”
5. The Sunday-fear starts to ruin your weekend
We’re all guilty of getting that dreaded end-of-weekend feeling, but if it’s genuinely impacting your weekend and taking hold of your mental health, you need to take a closer look.
As Jody says, “Life is too short to be unhappy, and if the Sunday-fear is starting to ruin the end of your weekend then something needs to change. Look deeper at your work options, speak to colleagues, and gauge advice and feedback from senior management to see if any changes can be made in your current role.”
6. You find yourself constantly complaining about work
Reed.co.uk note that a tell-tale sign it’s time to move on could be how much energy you expense on complaining about it.
“Everyone’s entitled to vent frustrations now and then, but if you find your friends’ eye rolling every time you mention your boss, your colleagues, your pitiful paycheck – your negativity may be a sign that you’re in the wrong job”, spokesperson Lauren Holden advises. “If you find yourself easily distracted and bored; its either because you don’t know what you’re doing or you don’t enjoy what you’re doing.”
What to do if this sounds likes you
If you’ve been reading every point and thinking, ‘yes, yeah, yup’, it’s probably time to do something about it.
BPS World‘s Jo Rapley says you should first think about what it is that’s making you unhappy: is it the fact you’re not being stretched to achieve what you’re capable of, the lack training in your current role or an overall satisfaction deficit?
“This should help you work out which path you need to tread next. If it’s a satisfaction issue, you need to think carefully about what you enjoy at work”, she advises. “A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis might help you identify what you are good at and help you research alternative roles where you can apply these skills. Assess where your skills are transferable and where you might need to bridge the gap through qualifications and training.
“If you’re struggling capability wise then you need to consider your course of action with your employer. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on where you could make improvements. Embarking on some training or studying for a new qualification will stand you in good stead for any job changes.”
Jody of REED advises similar, saying the first step in improving job satisfaction comes from speaking to your line manager.
“If you feel like you’re in the wrong job – or need a career change – it’s a good idea to speak to your line manager or a senior member of the team”, she adds. “Talk about the elements of the role you are unhappy with and seek feedback. If management is unable to help you and improve your work life, then they will be much more supportive in your leaving process.”
This article first appeared in Cosmopolitan.com/uk.