How To Know When It's Time To Switch Careers

If all you can think about is your next paid vacation, then it might be time for a wakeup call when it comes to your job. How do you know when it's time to switch careers? It can be a difficult question to answer, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the most important questions you can ask yourself as you try to find your calling in life.

Picking a career is not an easy thing, and while some of your friends may have known what they wanted to be since they were three years old, I think it's safe to say that there are just as many of us (if not more) who at 23 years old still have no idea what to do with our lives. Assessing the five points below may help you determine if you're currently in the right field.

Sometimes one job leads to another, which leads to another, and before you know it, you're top dog at a company you never saw yourself being at — like, ever. And guess what? Sometimes that's great, and it works out. But a lot of times it doesn't. Don't be afraid to consider a career change, no matter how "late in the game" you think you might be. It's your life to live, and you only have one of them, so you better make the most of it.

1. You're Not Feeling Challenged Anymore.

The day you can do your job with your eyes closed, your hands tied behind your back, and your body spun around a baseball bat 10 times is the day you should consider getting a new one. I mean that all figuratively, of course. But in all honesty, if you feel as if your career is not challenging you anymore (or perhaps it never has), then you might very well not be in the right field. Work should be a place that stimulates your mind, makes you think critically, and keeps you on your toes — if it's the right one it will keep your brain feeling young and your drive feeling strong.

2. You Feel Like Your Work Isn't Making A Difference In The World.

Not every job is going to be changing lives, but every job should offer some way in which it is contributing to the world. No matter how well a job pays, if it's not in a business you feel passionately about anymore, you should definitely consider a career change. I stand behind that.

3. It's Not Paying You Enough.

I hate to be the one to tell the musician to stop playing and the artist to stop painting, but money is important, and if you're not making enough to sufficiently support yourself, it also may be a strong sign that you need to start investigating other career options. It's one thing to be just barely making the rent in your early 20s, but it's another thing to be reaching 30, wanting to start a family, and to still be living paycheck to paycheck.

4. The Stress Is Affecting Your Lifestyle.

Stress kills people — quite literally. The amount of ways stress affects our mentality, psychology, and perhaps most devastatingly, our physical bodies is not something that should be ignored. If working on Wall Street or serving as a chief engineer at a start-up leaves you with sleepless nights and ulcers, let me just tell you, it's so not worth it. Don't be afraid of challenge (re: point number one), but know the difference between challenging yourself and needlessly stressing yourself out.

5. You're Not Excited About Going Into Work... Ever.

Most of us don't wake up on Monday mornings feeling stoked about the new work week, but that being said, you should have some excitement or sense of fulfillment from going into work more regularly than not. If every morning is a challenge for you and weekends are all you live for, it's time to find a new job. If you're in the right career path, you may very well be excited for Monday mornings (or least Tuesdays).

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