The Quick Report

If You Answer Yes to Any of These, It’s Time for a Career Change

Few people stay with the career they entered the workforce with. By age 50, the average person has held 12 different jobs seeking the right “fit.” If you can answer “yes” to any of these job questions, it’s time for a career change.

Read More: Five Steps to Changing Your Career

What the Latest Research Tells us About Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, people born during the baby boom years of (1946-1964), by the time they reached the age of 50, they had held an average of 12.7 jobs. This total was calculated during their working years between the ages of 18 to 56. 

Nearly half of those jobs occurred during the ages of 18 to 24. These figures seem to indicate that most people are trying to find the “right fit” during their early working years. 

There are lots of reasons people start down one career path but venture onto another. Some people assume that a certain career is what they want. They may go to college or take vocational training. However, once they enter the workforce, they find the job unsatisfying or not what they expected. 

Some people are pushed into a career direction by family. Because it wasn’t what they really wanted, they eventually moved on.

Some people enter the workforce in a certain vocation simply because they need a job. They may have taken a position that was the best opportunity for them at the time. They move on when they can.

Choosing the Wrong Career Isn’t Necessarily a “Misstep”

Even when we are not completely satisfied with a particular vocation, it’s an opportunity to learn more about ourselves. We can become more in tune with our talents, challenges, interests, and what we value in the workplace.


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Can You Answer “Yes” to Any of These Questions?

If you’re reading this right now, that alone may be a signal that, at the very least, you’re wondering if a career change is right for you. If you can answer “yes” to any of the following six questions, it’s a clear sign that it’s time for a career change.

Read More: Why We All Need a Career Counselor

1. Do You Dread Going to Work?

There are days when every one of us doesn’t feel like going to work. That’s not what we’re talking about. That’s a mood. And moods pass.

We’re talking about dread. The kind of feeling that stirs up some serious anxiety. Does a sinking feeling hit you on Sunday morning that Monday is tomorrow? Do a variety of panic-inducing thoughts follow? 

You may have any number of questions or statements going through your head. Can I face that place tomorrow? Can I deal with those people? Is it really worth it? 

2. More Money Won’t Buy Your Happiness, Right?

“I’m not there to be happy, I’m there to make money.” Does that sound familiar? After all, no rule says work is supposed to be fun. In truth, it’s usually the opposite. Some people get paid the big bucks to deal with things that aren’t pleasant.

But for others, even if they are receiving a great salary, they’re still dissatisfied in their current position. And for these people, more money definitely won’t buy their happiness.

But What if You Got Paid Even More Money?

If no amount of money will fix how you feel about work, it’s a clear sign it’s time to make a change. However, you need to identify all the factors that are contributing to your dissatisfaction. Then, since money is not a factor, you want to seek a career change that will meet those needs.

3. Do You Wish You Could Have More of an Impact?

For many people, money isn’t the only thing that motivates them to show up at work every day. Those people would likely identify with this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The reward of a thing well done is having done it.”

This perfectly encapsulates wanting to make an impact in what they do. When workers feel stifled or limited, it makes them feel undervalued. Further, they feel their time and talent are being wasted. They’re being robbed of an opportunity to put their skills to work.

If this is the way you feel, it may be time to seek out a new role that allows you to play to your strengths, as well as presents an opportunity for further growth.

4. Have You Stopped Caring?

One of the biggest buzzwords to hit the workplace lately is “quiet quitting.” This is where employees put forth the minimum amount of effort. Just enough to get the job done and not get fired.

Quiet quitters don’t go above and beyond, don’t volunteer for tasks, might not speak up in meetings, and refuse to work overtime. They also no longer put forth fake enthusiasm toward the company’s mission.

If you find yourself in this apathetic state, perhaps it’s time not to quit quietly, but to quit for real.

5. Do You Daydream About a New Career?

Are you constantly finding yourself thinking about a new career? Do you peruse job listings? If this is where you’re at, whether you realize it or not, you’re halfway out the door in your mind.

Although we are not our thoughts, they certainly do influence our feelings and behaviors. Desire comes out of thoughts toward things we want to have and hold. When we positively direct our thoughts, they can guide positive actions. 

If you find yourself daydreaming about leaving your job, have confidence that you can. Turn those desires into action by making a plan and acting on it.

6. Is Your Job Affecting Your Personal Life?

We are not referring to a situation in which your job is getting in the way of late-night partying. We are referring to careers that make demands that seep into your personal life. It may impact relationships and marriages, children, family, and friends.

There are many ways a job can impact your personal life. It may make time demands that leave you with little personal time. Or It may cause stress that spills over into your personal life and affects your personality. It may drain your energy leaving little left for your own personal use. It may even be affecting your health.

Sure, work can be challenging. But no one should be a martyr for their employer or vocation. If you can answer yes to any of the above, red flags are waiving signaling it’s time to consider a career change.