3 Signs It’s Time for a Career Change

Even the best jobs will have periods that feel challenging and leave you questioning if it might be time to move on. While I generally advise clients to update their resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile quarterly - so that they are always prepared when a great job gets posted -  managing the nuts and bolts of a job search doesn’t necessarily help us answer the question, “Is it time for a career change?”.

That decision requires some honesty and reflection about how you feel about your career and life right now.

Here are three signs that it might be time for a career change, plus some tips on what to do if you’re experiencing any so that you can move your career forward.

1. You start dreading your Mondays on Sundays

It’s pretty common to want your weekend to last a little longer. Who doesn’t, right? Sometimes the weekend flies by, leaving us with an unfinished to-do list that makes starting the week a little challenging.

But if you’re experiencing serious stress, anxiety and a sense of dread on Sunday nights, it’s definitely time to take a look at what is going on during your work week. Consider keeping track of what’s causing you stress over the weekend. Are there projects at work on your mind? Office politics? Tight deadlines? 

Keeping track of what’s on your mind will not only help you identify the stressors now, but it can also help guide your next career choice. For more tips on managing the “Sunday Night Blues,” check out this post.

The bottom line is that how you feel on Sunday evenings can say a lot about what’s going on at work. If this is a pattern for you, pay attention to it. 

2. Your values and interests have evolved

When we begin our jobs, we know that our skills will evolve. Work is one way that we continue to learn and grow. Yet people seem surprised when they realize that not only do our skills evolve but our values and interests do as well.

You’ll likely experience a lot of impactful, even life-changing, experiences in your adult life. Perhaps it’s a hobby that takes on a life of its own, a conference that re-directs your attention in a new way, a trip of a lifetime that changes everything or the opportunity to manage and supervise a team for the first time. So many of my client’s career transitions can be traced back to a single experience that shifted their interests and values.

Take note of these experiences. Journaling is a great way to track how your values and interests are evolving. You can even use journaling to think about how your current skills might support your new interests and values. You’ll be amazed at the insights and connections you’ll have!

3. You’re burned out and bored

One thing that nearly all of my clients have in common is that they are mission-driven. They’re interested in connecting to a bigger vision and supporting a team to make creative and impactful things happen.

If this sounds like you then you already know how frustrating it can be when you’re busy at work but you still become disconnected from the mission. You’re burned out and you’re bored. It’s a terrible combination!

When you find yourself here, consider taking a few days off, if you can, and pay attention to how you feel upon your return.

If you’re bored, burned out and in a work environment that doesn’t feel like it will change anytime soon, this might be a great time to brainstorm what an exciting job would look like. How would you feel if you were better connected to your mission and your team? Which skills and talents would you love a chance to use and develop?

Remember, there are many kinds of career changes - not all of them require a ton of work or a new degree. It’s possible to make a shift that will feel less stressful and honor your evolving interests, values, and skills!

I’m hosting a webinar, From Burn Out to Boss: Job Search and Career Strategies for Stressed Out Professionals, on Thursday, Feb 23rd at 8 pm. I’ll be sharing my favorite time and energy saving tips for job seekers so you can land a new job while still having a life! Register here.


Jenn Walker Wall writes a monthly career advice column for JUGS and is the founder of Work Wonders Coaching + Consulting. You can follow her on Twitter: @JennWalkerWall