Career Change | Three Signs You Can’t Stand Your Job

written by Patrice Perillo.

People often wait until the 11th hour before they decide to get serious about making a career change. By the time they get to that point, they’ve already suffered for months or years putting up with a job they hate or outgrew a long time ago.

However, there were most likely symptoms present much earlier that were signaling it was time make a career pivot – but they chose to ignore them. That’s why they ended up in a career meltdown.

At the point when you’re in a puddle on the floor, there’s no way you’re going to be able to plan a smooth transition from your current job to a new, more fulfilling career. That’s why it’s so important to know the early signs that you should think about a career change. When you see the early warning signs and heed them, you won’t end up in a panic wanting to run away from a job you can’t stand. Instead, you’ll be able to proactively take actions that will help you stay positive and help you discover your next career chapter.

Here are three common early warning signs that it’s time to think about changing careers:

Sign #1: Your Free Time Is Full of Great Distractions

Before Melissa decided to seek help to find a new career she spent several years in the pharmaceutical industry hopping from company to company, moving from place to place in hopes she could find a way to enjoy her work. However, this strategy failed. She still hated her job.

Instead of facing the idea that she might need a new career, not just another job in the same field, she created a life that helped distract her from her job dissatisfaction.

Melissa filled every waking moment outside of work with great distractions. Her favorite distraction was partying with friends, spending lots of money on expensive dinners that were complete with lots of alcoholic beverages, dancing and laughing the night away. She also took luxurious vacations. As soon as she came back from one vacation she was busy planning the next one.

None of these things are bad but if you’re using them to distract yourself, like Melissa was, from that dull ache inside that’s whispering to you about doing something else with your life, then you’ve mastered the art of “fulfillment through great distractions.” This my friend, is an early warning sign that you’d be wise to pay attention to.

Sign #2: You Focus on Stuff, and Getting More Stuff

Melissa also loved having stuff and loved shopping for more stuff. In spite of the large salary she earned Melissa was in debt because of her need to have the best stuff, and lots of it.

She leased a large, luxury car, rented a luxury condo, and spent a lot of money on the latest fashions and gadgets. The main reason she stayed in her job was so she could afford all this stuff.

Whenever she felt miserable about her job she reminded herself of the “great lifestyle” it provided. She would often look around and congratulate herself for having all the symbols of what she had been taught to believe were success. When feelings of deprivation surfaced she simply started to think about and research what next thing she needed that would buy her a temporary reprieve from that sense of lack.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with wanting and buying nice things. But if you’re focusing on having stuff as a way of filling yourself up, listen up. You may be trying to convince yourself that material success equals a good life. You may be using this as a distraction from looking deeper. Instead, pause and ask yourself what is it you really want?

Sign #3: You Numb Out

Perhaps the most common early warning sign that it’s time to consider a career change is when you have to numb out on a regular basis.

Melissa had a variety of ways to numb out. Most nights she liked to drink with friends after work. Weekends she escaped from the boredom and stagnation in her life by shopping. People jokingly call this “retail therapy”, since it’s such a culturally accepted temporary fix for uncomfortable feelings.

Some people binge on TV shows. Some people even use exercise. Whatever you do in excess can be considered numbing out. Basically, you numb out to stop yourself from thinking about anything that would stir up emotions you don’t want.

When you numb out the feelings of emptiness and lack of fulfillment go away. It might seem okay to numb out on a regular basis but this is a sign that it’s time to do a bit of soul searching.

Listen to the Early Warning Signs

So there you have it, those are the three most common early warning signs that it’s time to think about changing careers.

Melissa finally faced the fact that she couldn’t stand her job. Unfortunately, she waited till the last possible minute when things got really bad. Eventually, she got help. She identified a new career that was a much better fit for who she was. And you know what? Melissa isn’t using great distractions to get through her life. She doesn’t define success as having lots of stuff. She doesn’t have to numb out anymore.

If you pay attention to these warning signs you can prevent a career meltdown. You won’t have that nightmare where you’re trying to claw your way out of a job that’s slowly killing you. If you heed these early signs you’ll put yourself in the driver’s seat. You’ll give yourself permission to consider a career change instead of letting a job you can’t stand suck you dry. You’ll have enough creative energy to imagine what it might look like and how it might feel to be doing something more fulfilling. Instead of waiting till things feel desperate, you’ll be able to plan a smooth transition to a career that feels like a great fit. You’ll be able to write your own ticket to your future.

So, here’s to paying attention to the early warning signs and getting a head start on your next career move!

Ready to take action and start the happy and fulfilling career you deserve?

Sign up for my live upcoming course, How to Find a Career That Fits You Best Even if You Don’t Have a Clue, on May 29th or 30th.

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