When a business pivots, it usually means that business (or the development of a product) was heading in one direction, only to make a dramatic change and go a completely different way. Professionals can take the same approach with their careers, even switching from one career to another. But how do you know when you're on the wrong path? These 20 telltale signs can help you identify when it's time to make a career pivot.
1. The Passion Is Gone
When someone asks what you do for a living, how enthusiastic is your answer? If you have no pride or passion in what you do, you should probably think about a change. Imagine an answer to that question that would fill you with enthusiasm and consider pursuing that career track.
2. Sunday Nights Fill You with Dread
Everyone with a healthy personal life hates to see the end of the weekend. However, if you spend most of Sunday stressing over what Monday morning will bring, you probably aren't in the right job.
3. You're Counting the Years, Months, and Days Until Retirement
It's one thing to count down the days until retirement when you're close. But if you have 20 years or more and you're already counting the days, it's probably time to reevaluate your career. Life is too short to live for the day when your career will reach its end.
4. You're Going Nowhere
After a while, some jobs reveal themselves to be nothing more than dead ends. If you're more likely to be struck by lightning than get a promotion, get your resume ready. You should at least know that your hard work could eventually lead to something.
5. Everyone Else Is Doing It
Your friends, co-workers, and colleagues are often an indicator of employment conditions. When you notice those around you are making big moves, this may be a sign that there are plenty of opportunities available if you just take a chance.
6. Your Health Is Suffering
Job dissatisfaction can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health. If you're losing sleep and paying repeat visits to the doctor, you're probably long overdue for a change.
7. You've Become a Complainer
Take an inventory of your personal conversations. If many of them involve chronic complaints about work, take stock. Ask friends and family if you complain about work too much and take their answers seriously.
8. You're Calling in Sick
How many times have you called in sick in the past six months? If you're eagerly awaiting the end of the year so you'll get a fresh stock of sick days, it's a bad sign.
9. You're Indulging in Unhealthy Behaviors
To get through a difficult situation, many people turn to unhealthy behaviors like drinking and overeating. Maybe you're struggling to engage in practices that can help you perform and feel better, like meditation. Pay attention to the bad habits you've cultivated and consider the cause.
10. You Have No Allies
You don't realize how much you need camaraderie in the office environment until you're without it. If everyone seems to line up against you whenever you present an idea or ask a question, you're operating in a toxic environment that will probably only get worse.
11. You've Become "That Guy" in Your Office
Small doses of bullying are present even in the most professional of work environments. Are you feeling bullied? Are you picking on people? Neither of these is any fun and probably indicates your current work situation isn't right for you.
12. You're Being Ignored
Even if you aren't the office outcast, you can still feel as though you're invisible. If your name is left off of important memos or discussions are taking place without you, your co-workers and supervisors could be leaving you out on purpose.
13. Nobody Cares
Those long hours you put in on that urgent project went completely unnoticed. It would be far better to put those hours in for someone who would appreciate it.
14. You're Being Asked to Do Something Unethical
If you suddenly find yourself in a position where you're doing things that are against your personal ethics or, worse, illegal, start looking for a new job now. Your principles shouldn't be for sale.
15. Big Birthdays Depress You
As you approach your 30th, 40th, or 50th birthday, the way you feel can be a barometer of your career progress. As you reevaluate your accomplishments, ask yourself how you'd like those accomplishments to read instead.
16. Friends' Accomplishments Depress You
In a social media era, often it's our friends' online activities that tell us the most about ourselves. If you're constantly envious of or simply not happy for others rather than being happy for them, you're probably in the wrong career.
17. There's Nothing Left to Learn
When you've stopped learning, you've stopped growing. If you feel as though you could do your job in your sleep, it's time for a more challenging career.
18. You Have Extra Money in the Bank
One of the biggest challenges to making a bold change is money. If you have enough money in the bank to get you through, consider taking an entry-level position in a new field or starting your own business.
19. You Have a Strong Support System
To tackle a new career challenge, you'll need loved ones to support you. If you have that in place, you can't fail.
20. You're Ready to Tackle the Next Big Challenge
If you're questioning your career choices, chances are you're already ready to move on to the next challenge. Unfortunately, you may decide to wait until you're absolutely miserable in your current job to make that change. When you're ready, make a plan and go for it.