Think outside the box: When to consider a new career

WHETHER you’ve been at your job for a few years or longer, there is some point during your career when you feel lukewarm about what you’re doing.  Having been in the same job for years boxes you in an environment that makes it acceptable for you — good or bad.

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This is also regardless of age, background or accomplishments, because a lot of people have probably fantasized about the possibility of a new career.  Those who haven’t are the exception.

According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), in 2015 the professional networking site LinkedIn reported that of its 313 million members, 25 percent are active job seekers. Another 60 percent were considered as passive job seekers — those not proactively searching for a new job, but will seriously consider opportunities.

Watch for red flags — major signs that it’s time to consider a new career.  Although it’s not going to be an easy decision to leave your job, it is probably about time to make a serious assessment about your future.

Here are telltale signs that it’s time to move on and consider a new job or career:

1. You don’t feel challenged. Your job has become boring and uninteresting, and you’ve hit a plateau. You are not learning and your mind is no longer stimulated. If you feel there’s still hope, ask for new projects and training, if possible.

2. You’ve been skipped for a promotion.  If feel that you’ve done a good job to deserve an upgrade in your position then just passed over for someone else is disappointing to say the least.  Find out why management has decided to give the promotion to someone else, as you could have missed the right training or certification.

3. You don’t get along with your boss.  Employees who are actually good friends with their boss are rare. In a research done by HBR, they found that 75 percent of working adults find that most stressful part of their job is their immediate supervisor or manager.  However, there should be somewhat a relationship between the two that requires respect and trust.  If there’s none, then most likely your chances for success are limited.

4. People have stopped talking to you.  You’re not included in management meetings, and people are making decisions without your input.  It’s possible that you are being shut out on purpose, and you’ve become the office wallpaper — you’re there but they don’t care.  If this is happening, then you will need to decide whether it’s better to ask what’s going on or simply start looking for a new job.

5. The stress has become unmanageable.  A heavy workload plus other outside stress like having a family (or personal life) is something most people are unable to balance. Some people don’t leave their jobs because the pay is good, but realized later on that the stress wasn’t worth it.

6. You have nightmares about your job.  Of course it’s normal to have dreams about your job once in awhile.  But if it is a recurring bad dream about your office, then your brain might be trying to tell you something.  Another sure sign that your work has become a nightmare is when you get depressed when you think about it.

We are naturally set to fear and avoid change, even it is obvious that we are undecidedly happy with our current situation.  Although it’s hard to tell the difference between short-term dissatisfaction and a lingering, deep-seated unhappiness about your job; it’s always clear when you have had enough.

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