So what are you looking forward to this week? When I ask most people this, they give me a look like I’ve lost my marbles, especially if it they have just a standard week at work ahead.
I get it – there are always times when you feel less than excited about work, especially when the weather is like it was last week, or you are on the count-down to holidays.
But if you are regularly spending your time thinking or worrying about work when you’re not actually there, or are feeling burned out by your current position, then it may be time to think about a change – this could be moving role or company, or could be a complete career transformation.
Big career shifts are possible, whatever stage of life you’re in, but it can take a leap of faith to make the transition. The hardest part may be convincing yourself that you are ready to do it – and that you can actually do it!
So how do you know if what you are feeling is part of the normal up and down cycle of work, or if those thoughts may be trying to tell you something more? Below I’ve outlined a few pointers which may help you decide its time to take the leap….
1. The Sunday night blues
If your Sunday night blues are now starting on Saturday morning, it might be time to look at why you are feeling that way. I admit that we’re not always going to be skipping through the door on Monday morning, but fear, dread and worry should not be part of your normal working day. Inventing excuses to try to get out of work, even if you don’t end up using them, is a big indicator that something needs to change.
2. You are not ‘you’ at work
Most people put on a bit of a front at work, for example having to be more confident or assertive, or maybe you try to blend in and keep your head down, but if you find yourself having to completely change who you are in the office, then that is going to increase your stress levels whenever you are in that environment. We are often in work for 40+ hours a week, and that is a long time to spend being someone you’re not.
3. Money, Money, Money
Life comes with responsibilities – bills, family etc and so it’s tempting to stay put and keep earning. But life is short – way too short to stay in a career that is making you stressed or unhappy. There are so many preconceptions around career change – I won’t be able to earn enough, I’ll have to take a pay cut – but how will you know until you properly start exploring? Notice there I said 'exploring' - I would never advocate handing in your notice without a firm plan of what to do next. The added pressure of having to find a new job quickly can mean that you make decisions from a point of necessity, leading to another position that may not be right for you.
4. The green-eyed monster
None of us like to admit to jealousy, but when you start getting snarky about others’ career success, it’s a sure sign you need to fix something in your own. Comparisonitis takes a lot of energy – why not put that energy into building something amazing for you?
5. Your work is affecting your life
This is a big one. Stress and unhappiness at work can be pervasive – it creeps into every area of your life. First you are glaring at people on the bus, then snapping at the partner/kids/dog then before long you are lying awake at 2am worrying about the next day. It can also affect your physical health, causing headaches, stomach problems and even sexual problems. If you notice any of these signs, then for your own sake, as well as those around you, it might be time to explore alternative career directions. What have you got to lose?
I hope the above points have been food for thought – if you want to know more about starting a career change, then I’ve written a short guide to kickstarting your career change here. I’d love to hear how you get on – feel free to drop me a line here, or come and say hello in my free Facebook group The Returnity Lounge.