Six Signs it's Time to Change Jobs

By Northeastern University - Graduate Programs Modified on May 23, 2023
Tags : Academics | Careers

If you're noticing any of these signs, it may be time to go back to school to find your true passion.

 Six Signs it’s Time to Change Jobs

Finding a fulfilling career can be a long journey. Few people enter the workforce knowing exactly what they want to do. In fact, by age 50, the average person has held 12 different jobs (PDF) in an effort to find the “right fit.” For many, this requires changing careers completely.

If you’re reading this, chances are you feel the current career path you’re on might not be right for you. Take this opportunity to examine your feelings toward your current role and consider these key signs when determining if it’s time to change:

1. You’re apathetic and complacent

As each day passes, you feel increasingly disconnected from your original reasons for entering the field. Mentally, you’ve checked out; you’re underperforming, your deadlines are slipping, and you just can’t muster the energy to fake enthusiasm about the company’s mission anymore. But this isn’t normally like you. What’s going on?

The truth is, even at a job you’re passionate about, there are times when work is just going to feel like work. But if you can’t remember the last time you felt energized by a new idea or invigorated by your next project, then it might be time to re-evaluate your role.

2. You don’t feel like you’re making an impact

Your job duties are the same day in and day out. Every day looks and feels identical. Over time you’ve stopped actively seeking out new opportunities to contribute. It’s time to find a new role that plays to your strengths, provides opportunities to develop new skills, and allows you to make meaningful contributions. Your career should boost your self-esteem, not diminish it.

3. You dread going to work

Everyone has those days when you hit the snooze button one too many times, or it takes a little extra boost to get up and out to work. Maybe the project you’re working on just doesn’t excite you, or you’re anxious about a meeting with the boss. But this is different — this is every day.

You live for the weekend, but despite your best efforts, the dread of Monday creeps in by Saturday night. If you find yourself this dissatisfied with your current role, it’s time to think about what other areas of work might better align with your passions.

4. Even your salary can’t make up for your dissatisfaction

The pay might be good, but the work is mindless and dreadful. At one point you could justify staying because of the paycheck, but now, even that isn’t enough. You find yourself watching the second hand of the clock tick by during meetings.

You’ve reached Tuesday after a long weekend and you’re already marking your calendar until the next vacation day. While you appreciate the stability your job provides, you’re beginning to feel like you’re wasting your potential. These are clear signs that someone could use a change.

5. Your job is affecting your personal life

Work should be challenging, but not debilitating. If you’re chronically exhausted, losing sleep, suffering from headaches, or experiencing other physical symptoms, this may be your body’s way of telling you your career is not right for you. It’s important to remember that your professional life shouldn’t seep into your personal life.

In fact, being permanently stressed can impact your relationships with others close to you. Have your friends and family commented on your irritability or constant complaining? If work is turning you into an unhappy person, start to explore activities that will make you feel like yourself again.

6. You daydream about a new career

You spend your lunch breaks thinking about what you’d do in “your next life” and relishing the thought of how you would deliver your two-weeks’ notice. You find yourself browsing job boards instead of work emails, and you’re starting to become jealous of your friend’s careers, wondering how they landed such “perfect” jobs.

You’ve thought about leaving, you’ve even brought the idea up to friends in passing conversation. Would you leave your job “if you could?” If so, it’s time to go.

If this sounds like you, it may be time to change your career. This could mean going back to school to learn new skills. But don’t worry, Northeastern University has great opportunities to help you find your passion.

Learn more about Northeastern University’s grad programs

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