I remember reading a quote when I was quite young that has stuck with me throughout my life. “Indecision is the thief of opportunity,” it read. In life we all want to make the right decisions and choose options that propel us towards success and happiness, but sometimes our inability to decide can get in the way of our progress. For many people, choosing which way to go in their career and when to move on from their current role can be a decision that holds them back.
When it comes to figuring out where your career is actually going and how to move forward, life coach Lauren Handel explains that it’s often hard to know when to move on from a job and when to make a career change. “Most people don’t come to this realisation overnight but let it build up until something forces them into action—be it a sudden opportunity or a slow burnout,” she wrote on Mind Body Green. “It’s hard to pin down the pain point of a job you don’t like when you’re rationalising the paycheck, the time commitment, the passion, the relationships, the investment,” she continues.
While staying in a fruitless job may seem secure, safe and even easier than moving on, sometimes in life we simply need to bite the bullet and make the decision to change direction. So how do you actually know if it’s time for a career change? Ask yourself these questions.
1. Am I growing in this role?
“Personal growth doesn’t come from places of comfort and ease. It happens when you accept challenges that push you out of your comfort zone,” Handel writes. You may have experienced a period of rapid growth when you first started in your role, but if you often feel like you have stopped developing new skills and growing in your role, it could be time to move on. If you no longer feel like you are growing it may be an indication that you are now simply too skilled for your role and it’s time for a new challenge.
2. How do I feel on Sunday night?
If you start to dread the coming week before the weekend is even over, this could be a tell-tale sign that it’s time for a career change. Have a long hard think about things and consider if your unhappiness stems from your own attitudes and issues, or the fact that you genuinely feel that you are in the wrong role. “If you have attempted changes and you’re still weighed down by a laundry list of general grievances (a toxic boss, an unrealistic commute, etc.) consider if it’s worth… being that unhappy about issues beyond your control,” Handel writes.
3. Am I ignoring my dreams?
“The biggest reason people stay at jobs they don’t like can be boiled down to fear,” Handel explains. Be honest with yourself – if you have dreams that are simply not being satisfied by your current job, it may be time to bite the bullet and start chasing your dreams, even if it’s scary. Handel suggests that it’s never a good idea to quit your job straight away, unless you have significant savings that can keep you going while you establish yourself in a new role. But once you decide to make a change develop a 3, 6 or 12 month plan to move yourself towards the career that you desire to have. Don’t let indecision steal your golden opportunity.