Stuck In A Rut: How To Determine When You Need A Career Change

By on July 11, 2013

After finding yourself in the same job for several years, you start to question if it is the right place for you. Is it where you want to spend most your week? Choosing to leave is a hard decision to make, so first consider these five guidelines to help you decide if you want a new career.

1. List Personality Traits That You Admire in Yourself


Jobs Help Wanted
Image via Flickr photologue_np

This is a great way to see if the vocation you now hold is the right fit for you — and what career-fields would better suit you. Ask yourself what drives you or makes you excited. Is it helping people or being creative? Maybe it’s micromanaging or working with numbers? Another question to ask yourself is do you like working with a group toward a common project, or would you rather work alone?

2. Create “Pros and Cons” Lists

Several different pros and cons lists will help you here. Analyze your current position, and create a list determining the pros and cons of remaining in your job. Do the cons outweigh the pros? Make lists applying to a general field or specific jobs you would rather have. Compare the lists to find a clear answer to your job woes. Be sure to invest some seriously time to researching future career paths.

3. Decide Between a Job That Requires Traveling vs. Staying Local

Have you ever dreamed of being in a different place every week? Or would you rather stay in your local area? The answer will greatly impact your career choice. For some, traveling is exciting. It might take you to locations you have never been before. If traveling, more pay, and helping others seems like a career path you’d be interest in, you would love being a travel nurse. Being paid to explore new cities will keep you from boredom.

4. Observe Other Careers

Whether you ask your friends and family about their jobs, or you research information online about specific jobs, knowing what exactly to expect out of a new career is incredibly important. You don’t want to find yourself in another job where day in and day out you’re unhappy. Also, make sure you explore any fantasies you might have about certain career paths.

Sometimes they are not as glamorous as they may seem, but other times a job will bring you greater joy than you expected. Even if a job seems like a completely irrational choice, explore your options and maybe it will become more possible.

5. Remember to Stay Hopeful

If staying in your current job makes you feel miserable but finding a new job seems overwhelming, remember to breathe, take it slowly, and remain hopeful. You need to have good self-esteem and know that you deserve happiness and a job where you are doing something you are passionate about.

Knowing the right steps toward finding a new job eliminates some of the doubts you have about leaving your job. Do your research and be hopeful because a new, exciting job is in your near future.

About J. Fish

J. Fish is a freelance writer with a strong grasp on many interesting bits of information. Find him writing about anything related to tech, culture, DIY, and more! Follow him on Twitter or Google+.