As the end of the year approaches, many of us begin to reflect on both the career highs and lows that have occurred in 2018.
But if you’re finding that there are very few ‘highs’ or an increasing number of ‘lows’, then it might be a sign that your career has become stagnant and it’s time to move on. Career transitions are not uncommon over the course of one’s lifetime. According to research by SEEK, 43 per cent of Australians are currently considering a career change. The study also found that 38 per cent of people in the Australian workforce have made one career change, while 29 per cent have made two, and a further 33 per cent have switched career paths three times.
It’s easy to get stuck in a field you don’t like, particularly if it comes with a decent pay packet or perks. But that’s not enough to keep you motivated and fulfilled for years to come. If you’re feeling unhappy, first you need to establish whether it’s your workplace or if it goes deeper to a career level. If you’re becoming more and more uninspired and disillusioned in your career, then perhaps it better to shift gears and opt for a change in 2019. Here are five signs you need to look out for:
1. Your passion is something completely different
Ask yourself, do you enjoy your line of work or have you lost interest? Do you constantly wish you could live your passion instead of what pays the bills? Your work and passion should align, at least in some form. Many people find that after a decade or more in a career their interests have shifted. This usually comes with changes in values or with new skills and experience. Others find that their industry has been disrupted in some way, often due to technology, and what attracted them to the career in the first place no longer exists. If your passion is in a different field, explore opportunities that are available and find a way to test it out as a career before you make the switch.
2. You’re bored, unmotivated and uninspired
If you find yourself dreading every single Monday that rolls around, it’s a clear sign that you’re unhappy in your current environment. Most of us prefer to be spending time relaxing with family and friends, but our work life should offer us opportunities to achieve professional goals and fulfil ambitions; and this is exciting, motivating and rewarding. Finding a career that inspires you, not bores you is key in finding professional and personal happiness.
3. You’ve stopped learning and challenging yourself
Personal growth is important in every step of your career. You need to feel challenged and continually build your skillset to help you achieve your career goals. Doing the same thing, day in, day out, can be draining and make you feel stuck in a rut. This in turn, will lower motivation and your drive. In order to reach your potential, you need to be challenged so seek a career that will help you make an impact and push you that little bit further.
4. You can’t imagine being in the same industry for another five years
Close your eyes and think about your dream role. Is your current position leading you on a path that will help you achieve it? Is it in the same industry that you’re currently working in? If not, think about where you could end up if you continue working in the same position for five years. If it fills you with fear and anxiety, now is the time to develop an exit strategy. Everyone needs a clear succession plan, so map out how you can move into your desired industry and achieve your dream job.
5. Your current career doesn’t fit well with your priorities or lifestyle
Work makes up a large portion of your life, but it isn’t your whole life. People can become so absorbed by their work commitments that other important parts of their life suffer. What are your priorities outside of work and more importantly is your career restricting you from these? So many people begin their work day early in the office, only to leave late at night and miss dinner with their family. Others find they’re constantly travelling away from home or missing out on their child’s school activities. If this is a common occurrence and flexibility isn’t offered in your chosen career, it could lead to long-term unhappiness. Choose a career that allows you to build a life where you can focus on what matters most.
Sheree Mutton is a freelance journalist and the Founder and Managing Director of media agency, Reeton Media, which specialises in content creation, communications and copywriting. She has written for The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Sydney Morning Herald, Kidspot and more.