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Knowing When to Give Up: 4 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Career

It’s surprising to hear just how many people openly say they dislike their job, whether it’s because of the people they’re working with, the duties involved or the fulfillment they get from it on a day-to-day basis.

Does this sound like you or someone you know? Is every morning a chore, with the nights only providing a brief intermission before the next day seeps more of your soul away? There’s no two ways about it: you may need to give up. This isn’t a bad reflection on you — on the contrary, it takes courage to push yourself out of autopilot and accept that you need this change. (Click here to tweet this thought.)

So, how do you know when to give up?


1. You’re Chronically Exhausted

If you’re experiencing exhaustion or any stress-related illness, you should probably already be looking at whether your job is right for you. When most of your time is spent working, or resting in an effort to be fresh for work, you get very little chance to escape the cycle.

Your body is trying to tell you what you mind will not accept: it’s time for a career change. It could be that a specific part of your job or a particular coworker is having this effect on you, but it’s often the sum of your circumstances that need shifting.


2. Your Work Isn’t “You”

You can be very good at something and yet detest every moment you spend doing it. If your job requires you to have responsibilities you aren’t comfortable with, or you need to use skills that make you feel ill at ease, then it could be worth looking at fields that don’t involve these things.


3. Your Salary Can’t Compensate for Your Unhappiness

Perhaps you’ve been saying you would leave the job that’s making you so unhappy if it wasn’t for the money it pays. Yes, it’s important to have an income you can live on, but above that, you need to think about whether another career could make you so happy the disposable income no longer matters.

I always think of the parable of the fisherman and the businessman that a colleague told me about; if you’re only thinking about money for the sake of money, it might be time to think about things for the sake of happiness instead.


4. You Feel Your Time and Talents Are Being Wasted

If you find yourself sitting at your desk, staring at a computer screen and thinking, “there’s got to be more than this,” then without a doubt, there is more for you. I remember hearing about a fairly high up and well-respected consultant who left his job in the city and went to work in a zoo. This might not be the change for you, but he maintained that it was for him. While all of his friends feared he was having a midlife crisis, he simply organized his priorities and sought out a job that made him feel like he was having more of an impact.