How To Know When it’s Time to Make a Career Change

Most of us just get caught up in life and continue to work up the corporate ladder. For me, it was the same for about the ten years I spent in corporate America. I worked for a hospital pharmacy next to the ER. It wasn’t the best place to work, but I had some good times and learned a lot.

I knew I wanted to do something different, but I didn’t know what. It wasn’t until my boss said this to me: “I started working here when I was 17. I’m 57, and I’m gonna die in this chair, and so are you.”

A nervous laugh was my outward reaction. But my mental reply was, “No, I don’t want your job or to work here forever.” This was a sign for me, signaling me that it was time to start thinking about leaving. Other signs can help you identify when it’s time for you to leave your job and pursue something more fulfilling. These are a few tips to know when it’s time to make a career change.

You Don’t Want Your Boss’ Job

My boss’ words shocked me, but it woke up the reality of things to me. In your case, it may be the realization that you don’t like your boss’ job. It can be complicated, too demanding, or just unsatisfying. If you are next to take your boss’ job, consider your possible future. Ask yourself, is this somewhere I want to be when my boss retires? If the answer is no, you may need to look at something else.

Your Job Performance is Lacking

This happens often for many people, and it doesn’t look particularly good on your annual performance review. The most common reason may be because you’re dissatisfied with your job. It’s become boring; you don’t find the worth in it anymore, or it’s so routine you could do it with your eyes closed. Most people turn to other options, like freelancing, when they’ve hit that dissatisfaction in their job and want to move forward.

You Detest Going to Work

Image via Babylish

Image via Babylish

Most of us don’t want to go to work, but we do because we need money. There is that moment when you sense that work is just dissatisfying, and you get no gratification from doing your job. That’s where I was about two years before I quit. My job was so dissatisfying, the only reason I still went to work was just to bring home a paycheck. If you reach this point, think about the reasons you’re dissatisfied and what you can do to rectify it before quitting.

You are Under Appreciated and Over Worked

This was my other problem at the pharmacy. When I moved up into pharmacy buyer, I was suddenly required to stay late if the pharmacy director did. This meant that the other personnel could leave, but not me. Why? They were on salary as I was, but since they were pharmacists and made more money; it wasn’t practical for them to stay for petty work. If you’re under appreciated at work or over worked, and nothing is done even when you speak up about it, it’s time to leave.

Despite what may be going on in your situation, it’s crucial not to leave on a bad note. Burning bridges can leave you stranded for work in the future, and it hurts your professional career.

You’ll Make More Money Working For Yourself

I toyed with the fantasy of making money on my own (lots of it) and working at home where I could see more of my family instead of slaving away in a cubicle at a job I disliked. The reality of it didn’t kick in until I began working for myself.

My intention was just to match my ending pharmacy salary. But, you may be in a different situation where you feel that your job doesn’t pay you enough and that you can make more by yourself.

My Advice

While this is more like common sense, don’t quit your current job without a plan or backup savings. I had about $12,000 to back me up for a few months while I decided what I wanted to do. The future mistake I made with that backup, however, ruined that plan. A substantial savings cushions you and covers your bills while you work up your plan.

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Author:Nida Sea

Since 2008 I've been creating content for clients large and small. My goal is to promote your company's brand. Your success is my success.

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