It's never been more common for people to change jobs and careers. Most people are at least open to the idea of a career change. Now it’s more common for people to change jobs and careers every 3 to 5 years. The average person now holds over 10 job titles during its career. Many change careers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Age is not a barrier.
Women in particular are no longer willing to stick around in a job or career if they feel as though they are not being treated fairly in the workplace. Only 19% of employed women say a lot of progress has been made over the past ten years in achieving gender equality, according to a 2021 Ipsos survey.
Even though progress has been made, there are still many employers that fail to recognize, promote, and invest in women as much as their male counterparts.
So, you are not alone if you are thinking of a career change. Is it time for a change? Are you thinking about a change of job or a change of career? If you are not sure if now is the time, we’ll outline the signs it may be time for a change and talk about strategies you can use to make a career change.
10 signs that it’s time to consider a career or job change
Wondering if it’s time to change career paths? It’s perfectly natural to periodically lose interest in your job, lack motivation, or wonder what else is out there. But when you feel underappreciated or passed over, consistently have dread and no longer enjoy your job, it may be time to make a change.
If you present one or more of these signs, it’s a good time to start exploring your career options and see what is available.
- Your body is telling you enough is enough! You are physically feeling worn down.
- Your job is impacting your self-esteem: You are not feeling like yourself. You have feelings of anxiety, and depression and you don’t want to go to work.
- You’re only there for the money: There is a lot more to a job or career than your salary.
- You dream of a different career: Your mind is somewhere else. You have thoughts about a completely different job or career path.
- You’re lacking energy and you’re eternally bored: You have no motivation. You don’t have the drive you once had.
- You’ve become disconnected from your passions: You have lost touch with your passion.
- You’re jealous of friends’ jobs: You want what someone else has.
- You’ve become apathetic to change: You’ve stopped trying to progress. You have become numb or even resistant to changes in your current job.
- You would leave if you could: If the opportunity presented it, you would take another job without thinking twice about it.
- Your friends don’t recognize you anymore: Your personality has changed. Your outlook and how you act have changed to the point people notice the changes in you.
If any of these seem familiar, find out where your passions lie, retrain, and make the change.
How to make that career change at any age
Whether you are only a couple of years out of college or a professional with decades of experience, you can make a career change. Here are steps to take to get yourself ready to make a change:
- Consider your why / choose where you want to go next: When making any change, it’s important to make sure you are running towards something instead of running away from something.
- Take money off the table: One of the most common excuses for not changing career paths is money. If money was taken out of the decision, would you want to make a change? What type of job would you want to do? Think of changing jobs as a calculated risk. If you plan for it, it will come.
- Focus on transferable skills: Think of the skills you have from your current job/ career. What abilities do you have that can be applied to another role? What experience do you have that can apply to an alternative career path?
- Upgrade your skill set: It’s common for people to upgrade their skills to make a career transition easier. You could consider taking online courses or even finding webinars, books, and podcasts to hone your skill set. Think about the new career path you are considering. What new skills will you need?
- Identify the sweet spot: Find the intersection of the things that you enjoy and are good at. If you can find a role that you are good at and have a passion for, you’ll be in a great position to thrive personally and professionally.
- Brainstorm new career paths: An important step to identifying your next move is to research new career paths. Take a deep dive into careers and jobs that interest you. Find out what they entail, and talk to people who work in these roles. Get a sense of what these jobs are like. Work with a friend or trusted colleague. Bounce ideas off each other. You’ll have strength in numbers and a more creative atmosphere to develop ideas.
- Find a mentor: Working with a mentor can help you explore your desire for a career change. Mentors have experience and insights you can leverage. They will give you something to think about. You’ll get feedback about what you are thinking. A mentor can work with you to work through the thought process and help you make the best next step for your career.
- Increase your network: The more people you know, the better. An expansive professional network will help you get access to more opportunities. You never know which person in your network could be the connection you need to move forward with your career.
- Build your personal brand: What is your personal brand? Who are you professionally? What makes you unique? What skills and abilities can you offer to employers? Work on having a better understanding of your personal brand and what you can do to help an organization.
- Think about freelancing: The gig economy is huge. Taking on a freelance project or two can help you identify if a potential career change is right for you before you leave your existing position. You could freelance and find a particular job that is not right for you. But you could also find that a freelance gig is just what you needed to confirm that making a change is the right decision.
- Develop an action plan / set yourself some goals: Deciding to make a change is one thing but creating an actionable plan and goals for yourself will make it real. It provides you with a strategy to follow, goals to attain, and a plan to successfully transition into a new role.
Making a career change is a big decision. It’s not something you should take lightly. Thousands of women today are taking action to seize opportunities, make a change and transform the workplace for the better. Learn more about how women are transforming the workplace.