Top 6 Signs It’s Time for a Career Change

Career ChangeYou spend 40 hours/week at your job (more than that in some professions). If you get eight hours of sleep each night, that means you’re spending 35.7% of your waking hours at your job each week. So if you’re going to spend roughly one-third of your life doing something, you should be happy with it, right? At Climb, we’ve spent quite a bit of time talking to our students about their career switches, and we’ve gathered the top signs that it’s time for a career change!

1. Your job doesn’t challenge you

Most of our students have explained that overcoming challenges in their new careers is an incredibly rewarding aspect of career-switching. New challenges encourage growth and help you stay interested, engaged, and content with everyday life.

Kristy Glassick, a General Assembly student we interviewed, captured the feeling best when she reflected on the moment she decided to start her own UX Design business.

“I turned 30 on December 10th — and I woke up that morning and thought to myself, why am I sitting around knowing what I want and waiting for someone else to give me an opportunity?”

2. There’s no upward mobility

Once you’ve maxed out your ability to move up in your job, it’s probably time to look for a career switch. While working at an Apple Retail store, one of our students — Joshua Jaffe — described his desire to level-up and start building a more rewarding career.

“I’d been fixing other people’s computers for over five years, and I wanted to start building things with my own computer instead … and the immediacy of web development appealed to me. I love that I can build something, put it online, and have it accessible to the entire world within hours.”

If you like the field that you’re in, but you still feel you’re not in a position to move up, you could take a short-term certificate program to help you take your career to the next level.

3. You’re unhappy with the type of work you’re doing

Remember: you’re spending 35.7% of your waking hours at your job each week. If you aren’t enjoying your career, then you aren’t enjoying one-third of your life. Whether it means striving for a new challenge or switching to a job that lets you work in a more interesting environment, there are plenty of ways you can make sure you’re enjoying your work.

Take it from one of our students, Elliott Jones, who had an MBA and an office job prior to making a career switch to heavy equipment operations and becoming a crane operator:

“[I] had gone to college and had the office job and blah blah blah, and I thought ‘you know this sucks. I don’t like an office job. It’s not me.’”

4. Your career isn’t matching your financial goals

While personal satisfaction is a hugely important aspect of choosing a career, making money and meeting your financial goals is equally important. If you have a goal to buy a house, go on a grand vacation, or start a family, it’s important to look at your current salary and plan out a budget that will help you meet those goals.

Our student David explained than in addition to wanting a new challenge, financial goals definitely played a role in his career change from education to web development:

“In September of 2015 I had my first kid with my wife — so I had a two-month-old, and my wife really wanted to stay home with him for a while, and that was going to be basically impossible if I went back to education.”

5. You feel like you’re just going through the motions

After high school, there is pressure either to jump directly into a career or to get a bachelor’s degree, chose a major, and jump into a career in that path. Many people realize later that they don’t want to spend their lives following the path they set on at 18 years old.

It’s never too late to make a switch and choose a new direction. In his interview, Galvanize student Luis Rocha explained just that:

“[Once] I made the decision to do a bootcamp is when I really felt a transition from going through the motions — you know, you’re supposed to do high school, you’re supposed to go to college, you’re supposed to follow this set path — and I feel like that’s really when I took control of what I wanted to do.”

6. You’re looking for a different pace

As we noted in the last point: it’s never too late for a career change. We’ve spoken to students who have made career changes after six months or more than ten years working in the same position.

One student, Glenn, decided that after working for years as a paramedic, he wanted to get his CDL and become a commercial truck driver. The new career will give him the opportunity to see the sights on the road and move into a less stressful position.

One thought on “Top 6 Signs It’s Time for a Career Change

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