There are a thousand roads in life that can lead you to the wrong career. Sometimes we’re too immature when we make certain decisions. Sometimes our expectations don’t meet reality. Sometimes things change, we evolve and search for other things.
What is certain is that finding yourself questioning your career is immensely common. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average person will hold twelve different work positions during their lifetime. This change can be simply a change of jobs, or it can be related to a whole career overhaul. But how do you know for sure that you’re in the wrong career? If you’re second-guessing your career choices, look for these telling signs it’s time to move on.
Lack of Energy
A big array of factors have consequences on our energy levels. Some days, we simply don’t wake up too excited, feel a little extra tired, or just want to crawl into bed by the end of the day. For some people, however, this is everyday life. Dragging yourself out of bed is a job in itself, and the perspective of a day of work is unbearable. The work is so energy-draining that they find themselves unable to do anything after work.
If work feels like a drag day in and day out, this is a very clear sign that something needs to change. If what your career entails doesn’t flow naturally for you, it’s time to question your current situation. Try to figure out what is it that is making your job such a heavy burden.
Consider each aspect of your day to pinpoint the root of your problem and figure out if it lies in your job position or your career path. Then, if you do the opposite thing, and identify those things that provide you with energy, you will find information to help you plan your next move.
There are things in everyone’s job that are not particularly passion-inducing. No matter how emotionally invested you are in what you’re doing, there’s always that little menial task that just does nothing for you. When you’re faced with one of those, all it usually takes is a little distraction to get back on focus. But if it goes beyond that, and you feel an utter apathy towards your job, it’s time to ask yourself why.
Being emotionally detached from your job is, ironically, very taxing. After all, we do devote a lot of our time and energy to our work, whether we perform it on auto-pilot (wishing we were somewhere else) or not.
Apathy towards your job can stem from a lack of pride in your career. If the work you produce doesn’t align with your values, there is going to be an emotional distance between your work and your true-self that will destroy your motivation.
A telltale sign that you’re not happy about your career is constantly imagining you’re doing something else. You daydream about what it would be like to be a tech expert, have a tea company, be an astronaut…the furthest thing possible from your current reality. When you’re content where you are, you daydream about the possibilities within your field, where you could get in time. Since you do love what you do, you don’t really want to see yourself doing anything else.
An alternative, more aggressive versión of this is jealousy of other people’s careers. Sometimes, when we see somebody else doing something that we haven’t dared do ourselves, bitterness can overcome us. While we usually try to suppress jealousy, It’s important to recognize this as our minds telling us something about ourselves. What is it about that other person’s career path that you wish you were doing? Why aren’t you?
Under certain circumstances, it’s easy to feel trapped in the career you’re in. You have, after all, invested considerably in it, and you might even be thriving. But work is such a big part of your life that having a less-than-ideal situation might affect your whole life. Deciding to switch careers can be scary, but when the need for it becomes evident, it’s time to do something. It can turn out to be the best transformation of your life.