You have mixed feelings about your current job. While some days are tolerable, others feel simply unbearable. You’ve thought about making a change but, until now, you’ve always decided that it’s easier, and perhaps safer, to just stay where you are.
In today’s rapidly changing, competitive environment where you are expected to not only be an expert in your field but also have a passion for what you do, it’s not surprising that many professionals and executives are actively considering career shifts. According to a 2014 Gallup poll, approximately 70% of employees were not engaged or were actively disengaged in their jobs. And a 2014 Jobvite survey found that more than 50% of employed professionals are actively seeking or open to new jobs.
So, when is it time for you to look for a new career opportunity? If you’re unclear about whether or not to make a career change, here are a number of indicators to help you decide.
Stress levels are high
Your work consistently makes you feel anxious, frustrated or unhappy. Thoughts about work have become disruptive and it’s apparent to those around you, including your loved ones. Work always has moments of stress but when that stress becomes all-consuming and never dissipates, it is time to consider a career change.
The challenge and excitement are gone
You’ve lost enthusiasm for your work. The job that once brought you satisfaction has since become routine and unfulfilling. You long for a role that allows you to more fully utilize your skills and strengths. If you’ve exhausted all opportunities for advancement in your current role, then it’s time to think about making a career change.
You no longer believe in your company
Things have changed. New leadership has taken the company in a new direction and you feel disconnected from the mission. Or a major shift in strategy has left you feeling disillusioned about the company’s future. It’s difficult for you to stay motivated when your goals are out of alignment with your company’s goals. If you no longer believe in your company, it’s time for a career change.
Your health is suffering
Changes in physical and mental health can be manifestations of dissatisfaction in your job. If you are having trouble sleeping, experiencing changes in appetite, becoming ill more frequently, or noticing changes in your personal and professional relationships, a career change might help.
You feel undervalued by your leadership
You’re a consistently high performer who has made powerful contributions to your organization but you feel disrespected by your leadership. Perhaps you’ve been passed over for promotions you’ve legitimately earned. Maybe your compensation is out of sync with your value. If your management doesn’t fully recognize your potential and reward you accordingly, it’s time to think about making a career change.
If your executive career has reached a plateau, now is the time to take action. Don’t allow your career to stagnate any longer. Begin by assessing exactly what you want (and don’t want!). Next, set clear goals and a strategic plan to achieve them. And finally, take the first step. The first step is often the most challenging but once you take it, you’ll begin to build the momentum you need to follow through on your goals. Remember, if you get stuck, seek the support of a career expert who can help you address key obstacles and stay focused on your plan.