The doubts about your career start creeping softly into your brain. You try to ignore these thoughts, push them away.
Focus on what you have, and take comfort in the perceived safety of your position.
Starting over seems like too much of a scary prospect, a waste of your accomplishments so far.
The truth is that you can’t ignore your gut forever; you can’t dedicate your life to something you’re not sure about.
When you finally face the fact that you might be in the wrong career, you have to analyze the facts to understand what went wrong, and how to proceed to improve your situation.
If you want to know if you need a career change, dive into yourself by answering these questions.
Why Do You Insist On Staying?
If you’re not content with the way your career is going, ask yourself what is keeping you there, sincerely.
If it’s a certain redeeming quality about your job, then evaluate if you can migrate that to another career.
And if it’s about money and security, it’s not a good enough reason. If the year 2020 showed us something, it’s that job security is feeble, to say the least.
If you’re staying in your current career out of fear, don’t. That is not a good enough reason to dedicate your energy to something you’re not passionate about.
Focus your energy on building new paths for yourself, not on convincing yourself to stay put where you are. You don’t need to, really.
Is Your Mind Elsewhere?
Do you find yourself dreaming about doing something else? Trying to convince yourself that staying put is the smart choice, that this crisis will pass?
Having a constant fight in your head between what you want to do and what seems sensible is unbearable.
If your mind is constantly telling you that you would be happier doing something else, don’t just push the thoughts away.
Let the idea actually flow, and open yourself to the possibilities. Where is your mind telling you to go?
Why don’t you listen to it? Don’t insist on convincing yourself that you want what you have if you don’t. You can always have something else.
Are You Limiting Yourself?
Organizing your life within the limits of your career, things are going to look very straightforward.
You’ll be able to see where you’re going in five years, in ten, in fifteen.
But the possibilities are endless, and if you’re questioning your current career, you’ve already realized this.
If you look at things with a broader perspective, you’ll start asking yourself bigger questions, beyond the confines of your current work situation.
You will see that you can expect more from your job than money or steady growth.
You will understand that your work can have a fulfilling purpose, that it can benefit from your skills and interests.
It is indeed possible to have a career filled with passion. Ask yourself, would a career switch allow me to have that? How can I make that happen?
What Can You Do?
Imagining a new career is going to help you make a decision, but you also need to think realistically.
Research well before making final decisions. Consider what education or certifications you’ll need, and how much of a time and money investment it represents.
Read books and articles; reach out to people in the field and ask them questions.
It’s important that you have an understanding of the practical aspects of this other career, and what it truly entails.
You can’t know everything until you’re actually on the job, but having a clear understanding of things, beyond your wishes, is key in making a responsible decision.
Deciding to change careers is hard, uncomfortable. It means starting over, in a way. But it’s a show of your strength, of your continuous search for the best life you can lead.
You have to understand that you hold the key to your happiness, and you can’t live in discontent forever.
Allow this process of questioning to bring you closer to self-awareness, and bring your experience with you as you make new decisions.
Ultimately, you will be glad you made the necessary changes. Trust your gut.