Changing career paths is often an unpleasant but, alas, unavoidable part of our lives. Sometimes, ending your relationship with your employer is not enough — it may not be that you need a vacation or that you and your coworkers are not right for each other, but it is time to change your career. Fear of changing jobs often haunts people trapped in a vicious circle of hating their stressful job and toxic boss and being afraid to move forward. Today, I will tell you how to understand that you need to change jobs, how to find a new career path, and finally find happiness in your professional life.
When It’s Time to Quit and Change Career — Signs of Stressful Work
If you feel like weekends are the only period you feel happy, it may be time to ask yourself the uncomfortable question. Here are some signs that suggest you might want to think about finding a new career.
- You are unhappy at work. If you can’t remember the last time you felt joy or satisfaction in what you’re doing, that’s a reason to ponder;
- On Sundays, you think about work with terror. If the mere thought of work on Sunday has you in a panic and dread, it may be worth spending the day off to update your CV. When you realize that the weekend is the only time you are finally free from heavy-duty, it may be a sign of burnout;
- You don’t imagine a future with this job. If the thought that you’ll be doing the same thing in five years is terrifying, it may be time to change your career. Of course, in any job, there can come a period when you have to do monotonous tasks or take on responsibilities that aren’t the most interesting. But if this period is delayed, perhaps you just do not suit the field of activity;
- You do not get along with your boss or colleagues. If you realize that you can not concentrate on the tasks because the boss constantly yells at you, you have tried everything, but to be with him is still unbearable, it makes sense to look for new jobs;
- Your achievements are not appreciated. If it seems to you that your efforts are not appreciated, think about whether you need it at all;
- Your job is interfering with your health or your relationship with your family. If you can’t keep a work-life balance, think about whether it’s worth it. Ask yourself the same question if the stressful office environment is undermining your health, both physical and psychological. Even the WHO warns about the dangers of a stressful office environment;
- Salary no longer motivates. Your salary is a very important element of motivation. It will also help to track when everything goes “wrong”.
- You are ready to start over and sacrifice something.
Types of Emotionally-Challenging Jobs
Burnouts most often occur in people whose jobs involve constant communication or a large number of stressful situations. This does not mean that you should completely forget about career development in these areas. However, it is important to understand the risks and prepare yourself for the fact that in some cases, you will have to actively and rigorously balance your work and personal life.
- Health care workers. More than half of health care workers experience burnout symptoms even in calm times. High responsibility and contact with death can drive anyone crazy;
- Teachers. Teachers can experience burnout for completely different reasons — some get tired of filling out paperwork and bureaucracy, others because of a lot of communication and being undervalued;
- Salespeople. These can be people sitting on cold calls or counseling in the mall. Regular communication with customers (not always polite) can be a drain on anyone;
- Lawyers. They are overly committed to their cases, have inadequate breaks and rest, have idealistic standards, constant stress, lack of outside help and assistance, constant fatigue, excessive responsibility for other people’s cases and responsibilities. Add to this guilt for missing events with family and friends, high expectations of yourself, and an inability to say no, and you can quit right away;
- Company board employees. Management has to contend with employees, other board members, and the general public and spend almost all their time at work.
How to Quit a Job and Find a New Career?
Changes in work, even pleasant and long-awaited ones, are always stressful, let alone finding a new career. That is why before making a drastic change, it is worth evaluating whether you are ready for a dramatic step — or whether it is better to move gradually and look for related positions in the industry close to you. Alas, those who start over often have to sacrifice something: possibly lose finances, rebuilt their network, or earn a reputation in a new field. Here are tips on how to quit a job and find a new career path.
Most people spend years dreaming about global career changes but remain in a job they hate. The daredevils who do take the risk are often completely disappointed in this choice. Instead of understanding their true desires and needs, they try to simply run away from the old life, guided by the principle “the further, the better,” which does not usually lead to anything good. Your sphere is not limited to the organization where you work now, nor to the format to which you are accustomed. No matter how much you get tired of everything, do not immediately give up your specialty and accumulated experience. It is important to understand what it is that “gets to you” and what else makes sense to find a new career path.
Expand Your Interests
If you are sure that you want to quit your current profession, but you do not know how to find your career path, your task is to determine your interests. In your free time, start trying everything you can: read about other professions, go to lectures, conferences, and masterclasses, watch training videos, and attend various short courses.
You can spend years pondering your true vocation, going over various options in your head, but never change a career. If you already have some idea of what you want to do, don’t waste time thinking about it. You won’t know if it’s the right thing or the wrong thing until you try it.
Take a Dream Test Drive
If you have a long-standing dream that your thoughts often turn to but which you have never tried to realize, it’s time to move on. Otherwise, twenty, thirty, forty years from now, you will regret not giving it a shot. Dream of a career as a filmmaker? Find an intensive course and make a few short films. Ever wanted to publish a collection of your short stories? Force yourself to write a certain number of words or pages every day. Searching for a career path is not that hard.
Get Rid of Your Fears
No matter how long you put it off, sooner or later, you will have to figure out how to quit a job you don’t like. Even if you have already realized what you would like to do next, have test-driven your dreams, and have learned a lot about the new field, the fear of changing jobs can stop you. We are terrified of losing our stability. Here and now, we have an employment contract, social insurance, a permanent salary, and familiar responsibilities. But in the future, there are only vague prospects and uncertainty. At least some stability in a job we don’t like is like an unhappy marriage to an alcoholic — an illusion of at least some family. Deciding to change a career is like embarking on a fascinating journey along an unfamiliar route, where many interesting discoveries, incredible adventures, and vivid emotions await you.
Working on an odious job is like being in a toxic relationship — you want to quit it but have an illusion that it won’t get better, and that’s all you deserve. Believe me, darling, you can be the next Beyonce, Neil Armstrong, or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer if you want to. Indeed, it takes courage to quit a job, but it takes more strength and tears to endure things you hate. You have just one life to enjoy, so why wasting it on a hated job?