Once upon a time, you made a decision to pursue a career you thought was right for you. Recently, you've been wondering if you chose the wrong career path. Should you try to hang in there, or is it time to jump ship? Here are five signs that you picked the wrong career.
Is it a Terrible Job, or the Wrong Career?
Everyone has lousy days at work. But if the bad days vastly outnumber the good ones, that's a sign of a deeper problem.
Could it simply be your current job that's dragging you down?
The following five signs could indicate that your current job isn't just a discouraging stumble on your career path. If you find that several of these signs ring true, you may have picked the wrong career altogether.
Sign #1: Changing Jobs Doesn't Help
Initially, you thought the restlessness and dissatisfaction stemmed from your monster of a boss or your obnoxious colleagues. So, you were thrilled when you landed a new job in your field at a competing company.
The new company was like an oasis at first, with highly engaged coworkers and a respectful, dynamic manager. Plus, there were perks that went beyond free coffee—including a weekly ''Bring Your Dog to Work Day''!
But once the honeymoon was over, you realized that even the pooch perched on your desk wasn't enough to help you overcome your resurfacing disgruntlement: The day-to-day drudgery of the new job wasn't really an improvement on the old one.
Sign #2: You're Chronically Bored at Work
It doesn't matter how productive you are or how many client accounts you manage. Your workload could slay Hercules—but no matter how busy you keep yourself, you can't escape the overwhelming feeling of boredom. You've had more fun sitting in traffic jams than sitting at your desk.
And while boredom sounds like nothing to complain about, it's linked to depression. Your boredom may be a sign that you feel hopeless in your current career.
Sign #3: You Feel Like You're in Prison
You start to get depressed every Sunday afternoon, once you realize that Monday is right around the corner. No matter what you did over the weekend to escape, your good mood comes crashing down faster than a house of cards in a hurricane once the work week rears its ugly head.
Entering your workspace is like incarceration. Requesting leave is like petitioning the warden for compassionate release—and you're using sick days faster than you can accrue them.
You've tried techniques to mitigate typical workplace stress, but this seems to run deeper than just a few tough days.
If you'd still feel shackled to your desk, no matter what improvements occurred in the office, it could be a sign that you're stuck in the wrong career.
Sign #4: You're Only in It for the Money
Mortgage payments and college tuition for your kids are the only things tying you to this job. If your current career didn't ''show you the money,'' providing a really decent salary or a great health-care plan, you'd be out of there in a heartbeat.
If payday is the only time you like your chosen career, well…that's a sign that it's probably time to choose a different one.
Sign #5: You Resist Professional Training
While your colleagues subscribe to professional publications and keep their skills up-to-date, you'd rather walk barefoot on glass shards and roofing nails than read a single article in a technical journal. If your boss makes a training session mandatory, you'll go. Otherwise, you consistently turn down training opportunities and professional conferences, even when they're held at a swanky hotel in Vegas with casino privileges and a lavish buffet.
And forget about reading anything career-related once you go home for the evening—that's about as appealing as walking 60 miles in sandals during a snowstorm.
If learning more about your current career seems like a big, boring waste of time, take it as a sign that you've made the wrong career choice, and should contemplate moving on.
Is it Time to Consider a New Career?
Whether you're just starting out in your career or you've been in your field for many years, there's no need to stay in the wrong career. You can make a successful career transition with the right resources.