Are you looking to make a big change in your career? Are you sure? We had the distinct privilege of sitting down with Kathy Caprino, an international career and personal success coach, writer, speaker and leadership developer dedicated to the advancement of women worldwide. Kathy shares with us her vast expertise on this subject.
She explained that there are indeed strong signs and indications that it’s time to make a change in your career. It’s actually rather obvious if you’re open to them, but many if not most professionals stay in denial far too long and don’t make a move because they’re afraid to change and embrace some risk.
Here are Kathy’s top 5 signs that you should be considering and exploring change;
The skills that you’ve been hired to use for this job aren’t a fit for what you’re good at or enjoy
So often, people don’t understand that the skills that you possess are not necessarily the same as the natural talents and abilities that you enjoy using each day. In other words, you may be “great” at updating spreadsheets (or overseeing projects, or doing event planning) but in reality, you may actually hate doing it.
What we’re good at is not the same as what we love doing. If your job forces you to use skills that aren’t enjoyable or easy for you, you’ll be miserable and drained every day in your job. And you’ll feel like an impostor much of the time.
You believe deep down that you’re meant for better, bigger, and more thrilling things
I’ve interviewed hundreds of successful career changers, and many of them have shared with me some version of this:
“I had this terrible, nagging feeling for years that I was made for better things than this, but I just didn’t act on that feeling until I finally snapped and say “YES!” to myself.”
Many people, particularly women, feel ashamed and embarrassed to admit that, deep down, they feel they are made for better things than their current role. They’re afraid this sounds boastful or arrogant to think these types of thoughts. But these thoughts and feelings are not something to ignore – they’re pointing to the fact that there is another direction waiting for you, one that will bring more joy, success, reward, recognition, and satisfaction to your life.
If you feel you’re made for more exciting things, then you are. Don’t be ashamed of it or hide from it.
You’re unhappy most of every day doing this work
This is not brain-science here – the clearest sign that you need is a change is how you feel about the work you’re doing every day. The majority of the time, are you feeling unhappy, depressed, thwarted, bored, misunderstood, mistreated? Do you feel that the “real you” just can’t come out in this job, and the way you love to work isn’t honored or respected? Do you wonder how you ever ended up here, and fantasize daily about doing something very different?
Don’t be in denial about your feelings – they’re pointing you to a very real situation that needs to be dealt with. Remember: You don’t have to be miserable or lose your sense of self in order to be gainfully employed.
The environment is tainted with extreme toxicity, including your boss and colleagues
A job isn’t just about the functions and tasks you perform every day. A job – and your success and joy in it – is shaped by a myriad of other factors including:
- Your boss, colleagues, and the leadership dynamic of the company (if there’s narcissism, you’ll suffer)
- How your organization treats all of its human resources (including you, but also others)
- The outcomes that the company is driving toward, and whether you respect and support these outcomes
- The growth you can achieve in this role (is it boring, stagnant, and deadening to you?)
- The collaborative spirit and positive, growth-inducing behaviors (or total lack of them)
- And finally, how well your dominant action style is suited to the action-approach your company and boss demands of you
Looking holistically at your job – and understanding all the dimensions of it – will help you see more clearly if you are right for this role, or if you’re more suited to thrive in another job or type of work experience altogether.
The outcomes that you’re working toward feels meaningless or negative to you
Finally, how do you feel about the outcomes that your job supports? Do you love what you’re working on and do you feel it has contributive value in the world? Do you believe in the positive good of what you’re doing, and that what you’re spending your precious life energy on is indeed worth it? Or do you think that what your company is doing is actually wrong, unethical, unnecessary or even hurtful in the world?
You can’t thrive or even succeed a tiny bit if you don’t believe in what your organization is putting out in the world, or how they’re doing it. You simply cannot succeed if you subconsciously oppose what your employer stands for in the world.
If any of these signs strike a chord for you, it’s time to make a change. The key question isn’t “Will you?” but “When will you finally honor what you know to be true about yourself?”
Kathy Caprino, M.A. is the author of Breakdown, Breakthrough, and Founder of Ellia Communications, Inc. and the Amazing Career Project and Amazing Career Coach Certification training. Kathy is also a Forbes, Huffington Post and LinkedIn contributor, TEDx speaker, and top media source on careers, women at work, leadership, success and personal growth, For more info, visit kathycaprino.com and connect with Kathy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.