Careers: Knowing When To Move On

As dramatic as it sounds, career choices can make or break the quality of your life. This is not surprising, considering how much of our waking time we spend at work. According to studies, about 90,000 hours during your lifetime

Job fulfillment is a key element in leading a content life, so a constant questioning of the status of things is normal and expected. Sometimes, however, things get more real. If you’re having serious thoughts about changing careers, here are some telling signs to recognize before making the decision.

You’re Always Complaining

We all complain about our jobs, of course. However, if that’s all you talk about, something’s wrong. Ask yourself what is it that bothers you so much about your current career, and think long and hard about it.

Is it that you feel overworked, tired, or bored? If you’re experiencing any of these things, that’s already a big sign that something is wrong. No matter how hard you work, if it fulfills you, it will not be a motivation problem. There’s a difference between being physically tired (which you should address) and a lack of interest. 

You Are Not Growing

Fulfillment comes from the good use of our skills towards a goal. If you feel like you have reached a routine, you will get bored. Humans thrive from challenges, which bring out the best in us. Doing the same thing over and over will kill your morale and stunt your personal growth.

The lack of space to grow can be due to various reasons, and you should identify what it is in your case. Is it the industry you’re in? Is it your particular job situation? Is it the position you hold? These questions can give you clues on what specific things you need to change to improve.


You’re Set on Something Else

Sometimes, you don’t have an evident dislike for your career, and you’re even good at it. You are simply are interested in something else. If that’s the case, why not embrace it? This doesn’t mean that you’re going to just drop everything you have on a whim. But allow yourself to try it out.

Take an online course, find an internship, talk to people who do what you want to do. Be serious about your research. Ask the hard questions about all aspects of it: finances, logistics, requirements…everything. Remember that the grass always looks greener on the other side, so try to make an informed decision.


Your Performance Is Bad

You’re not doing things right. You are working on projects just to get them over with. You’re disengaged with your work. You don’t care whether it turns out good or bad. You’re getting bad reviews from your superiors. These are all clear signs you’re not content in your career.

Maybe you were good at your job at some point when it interested you. But if now you’re not, it might be time for a change to find something new you might be interested in. You can only keep up a bad performance for so long.

You Are Drained

If your work life is bringing you down, you might notice a change in your energy levels. This could be due to depression, anxiety about your situation, or a hard workplace. The truth of the matter is that this affects all aspects of your life.

When you’re off work, you should not be consumed by it. A good balance is important, for work is not all there is to life. Your career should be a source of joy and contentment, not something to stress about even off-duty. 


We all have rough patches at work. When we’re having a bad time, it’s vital to determine the root of the problem. Once you have figured it out, you should do your best to resolve the situation. If changing careers is what you need, you should go for it. However daunting it may seem, a bad work situation won’t get better and will lead you to burn out. To make the right decision, you must engage in a process of hard, honest self-questioning. You will know if it is time to move on.


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