updated - September 20, 2021 Monday EDT
There's nothing wrong with wanting a new job. Almost no one gets a job in young adulthood and keeps that job until they are ready to retire. Most of us have multiple jobs, with many of us holding a dozen positions or more over our lifetime.
However, there's a big difference between wanting a new job and wanting a new career. You might search for a new job because you don't like the office politics where you work or you're looking for better hours. If you want a new career, you might want these things to change, but you also realize you want the actual work you do to change.
How do you know if you should look for new career-not just a new job? A few signs include:
You dread getting up in the morning
You feel bored
You hesitate when telling people what you do for a living
You feel like a different person at work
You daydream about doing something different
Getting out of bed in the morning can be hard, even if you do like your job. From opening your blinds so the sun shines in your bedroom in the morning to setting your alarm clock across the room so you have to get up to turn it off, there are strategies you can use to get up and going faster.
The trouble is, none of that stuff works if you dread going to work.
It's important to think about why you dread getting up and going to work in the morning. If you're having trouble with your manager, a new job might be in order. If working on that next project is the problem, you may want to consider another career.
Surprisingly, burn-out isn't always the problem in the workplace. For some, it's more of a bore-out.
Being bored on the job doesn't automatically mean you need a new job or a new career, but if the work itself doesn't interest you, or you ask for a more challenging project and you're still bored, it's time to do something different.
It's common for people to ask others what they do for a living when meeting for the first time. If you're out meeting friends of friends for the first time and you find yourself hesitating to tell people what you do for a living, you may want to consider a new career.
It's especially important to start looking for something new to do if you're embarrassed about your job, but if the idea of answering questions about your position brings a sense of dread, annoyance, and boredom, it's a sign that you need to find a career that you like enough to tell other people about when they ask.
Does your career seem like a good match for your personality? If not, you won't want to tell other people what you do, but you'll also discover that you feel like you have to hide your personality while you're at work.
There's nothing wrong with being a more professional version of yourself at work, but if you feel like you have to be a completely different person in order to get through the day, your mental health is likely to suffer eventually. It's much better to search for a job that can benefit from your natural personality traits than to put on a different face just to get through the day.
Daydreaming isn't a waste of time. It can actually bring you much success if you harness the power of daydreaming the right way.
Pay attention when your mind wanders. What kind of job or career do you like to imagine yourself doing in the near future? What do you see yourself doing 5, 10, or 20 years from now?
What kind of daydreaming do you do about your current job? Do you daydream about how you would quit? Or maybe a dangerous situation closes down the building for a few days?
Daydreams that reoccur over and over again should help you decide if it's time to switch careers.
Sometimes, getting a new job is just what you need to reinvigorate your professional life. Sometimes, you need a whole new career. Contemplate these signs over a few days or weeks and hopefully what you should do next will become clear.
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