It’s that time of year again, where we all make promises to wipe the slate clean and create a new start. You’ve just had a break from the day to day grind of life, enjoyed the sunshine and maybe even had a holiday away somewhere.
Now you have to get back to the merry-go-round and start juggling all those parts of life – work, family, fitness. But this year, its going to be different right? You’re going to try harder. Things aren’t going to get to you as much. Your going to stay positive.
Then you have to head back into the day job and the dread sets in…
But how do you know if you’ve just got the holiday blues or had a bad day at the office? When will you know if it’s really time to pull up stumps and change careers?
For me, the first sign was that the feeling lasted more than the train trip home or coming back from a holiday. I literally could not stop thinking about how I wanted to change my life and career – for six long years!
Like some of you, I stuck it out in a career that wasn’t making me happy because I had bought into the myth that happiness sat at the top of the corporate ladder. Sure I had a great life and all that entails, but eventually another pair of shoes or lavish holiday simply wasn’t worth it.
Is it time for you to break free? Here are four signs to look for:
1. New jobs are a chore
Sometimes you don’t actually need to turn your back on corporate life – you may have just outgrown your role and a new job at a new company gets you back on track. But when you struggle even to get excited about a new job, well that’s a sign.
I worked as a contractor on projects that could last anywhere from 12 months to two years. There would be little breaks between projects, by the end of which I would be ready to sink my teeth into a new project. And then came the time when I wasn’t.
Work was no long making me happy. It was time to try something new, and I had to find out what that was.
2. You’ve stopped learning or growing
Are you lacking motivation at work? Feeling uninspired? Or maybe you’re just drifting through the day on autopilot?
I remember that awful feeling of being stale. I wasn’t learning anything, I wasn’t being challenged, I was just doing the same thing day in day out – I felt like I was just stagnating. It was time to make a change and learn something new.
3. Dreaming about your next career
Do you find yourself wondering about other careers? Maybe you’ve begun casually looking into new career paths, or even researching in more detail what would be involved in changing direction. Dreaming about change is actually the first step in mentally preparing yourself for a new path.
I found myself increasingly researching new and different careers. I gathered information about different careers, and their qualifications and career paths. I spoke to people working in careers that interested me and learned their stories. I took note whenever they told me how happy they were and how they loved showing up for work every day. I wanted that for myself!
4. A growing interest in other peoples’ stories
It's one thing to show a polite interest in other people’s lives – and quite another to spent an entire dinner party plying them with questions about how they changed careers and every step along the way! Your ‘interest’ could actually be a very big sign.
As the seeds of change were planting themselves in my head, I found myself drawn to reading articles and downloading podcasts about people who had pursued their dreams and surrounding myself with people who had made the change.
How did they know it was time to take the leap? How did they make the change happen? And the big one, did they regret the decision they had made?
What was amazing was that almost everyone I spoke to said they would never go back to their old lives! They weren’t sugarcoating it and they talked about the challenges faced in their new careers and that they still had bad days, but despite this, they would not change a thing. It was the best decision that they had made to follow their passion and purpose.
I found them so inspiring – and I still do! If they could make the change, then why couldn’t I?
The fact is, if you surround yourself with the right people and resources, you will not only learn a lot about yourself and what you want to do next, you will also learn the tips and tricks to actually make it happen.
If you need help connecting your passion and purpose, check out my website or drop me a line. I’d love to get you to where you most want to be.