6 Signs It’s Time for a Career Change

6 Signs It’s Time for a Career Change

It’s not always easy to find a new job, but it can be even more challenging when you want to change your career.

However, with planning, some time and a strategy in place you can reinvent your career and make the change, regardless of where you are in your current career or how old you are.

In fact, many people who successfully change careers are mid-career and are tired or burned out or just wanting to do something different with the rest of their working lives.

Changing Jobs vs. Changing Careers

One thing to consider is that there’s a difference between changing jobs and changing careers. Changing jobs is defined as moving to a similar position with a different employer.  It is, of course, easier to do. Changing careers is more involved and usually means moving to a completely different type of position or to a different industry.

A career change may mean retraining, additional education, and even starting over at a low-level position and beginning a new career path from scratch.

It’s not always simple, which is why I am sometimes surprised by the number of people who successfully change careers, often later in life. It isn’t always easy to do and sometimes takes a leap of faith and a bit of bravery.

Are You Ready for a Change?

It’s very easy to get set in your ways and to think that because you have always had this job or worked in that industry you can’t do anything else. That’s not true.

We can all make a change if we want to. The timing needs to be right and the foundation for making a move needs to be established, but it can be done. The hardest part is convincing yourself that you’re ready to do it and that you can do it!

6 Signs It’s Time for a Career Change

In some cases, you may not even be aware that you need a change. You might be bored or tired or simply don’t feel like going to work.

Another sign is when you are using every excuse you can think of to take time off, and cringe at the thought of going back to work.

Even worse, you just don’t like your job and would rather be anywhere else than at work. That can happen to anyone.  When it does, there are warning signs that are an indicator that it could be time for a change: 

Are you complaining about work all the time? Do you simply not want to do your job anymore, regardless of what company you’re working for?

Have you experienced signs of stress which you can’t attribute to anything other than work, which is driving you almost crazy?

Is your job boring? Can’t get anything done? Are you accomplishing less during a typical work day or procrastinating about doing important tasks?  When your job stops being fun, it can be a sign you need a new one.

Has your job been the same for what seems like forever? If you have trouble creating a professional development plan or setting goals on the job, then your job may have run its course.

Do you start dreading going to work on Monday morningor every morning? That can be a signal that you are experiencing low job satisfaction or increased stress on the job.

Do you constantly think about quitting or retiring? Though we all think about escaping work at times, an obsessive focus on moving on can mean that this isn’t the career for you anymore.

Reasons Why You Should Think About a Career Change

Here’s a quick list of the signs that may indicate it’s time for a career change:

  • Burned out
  • Always complaining about work
  • Tired
  • Not interested in the job
  • Will take any excuse for not to going to work
  • Unable to focus on tasks
  • Unproductive
  • Performing poorly
  • Stressed


If some of these symptoms describe you, keep in mind that your boss has probably noticed, too. You may want to start thinking about finding a new job before your boss thinks of it.

It’s easier to job search when you have a job than when you just got fired.

It’s easier to explain that you want to advance your career than it is to explain you lost your job because of poor performance. It can be awkward to discuss why you lost your position during a job interview.

Tip: When you’re thinking about a career change, these free online career tests can help you find ideas for what to do in the next stage of your career.

How To Change Careers at Any Age

When you’ve decided that it’s time to change careers, here’s advice for getting started:

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  • May 4, 2023