Career growth is a mix of making advancements at your current job, learning new skills, and sometimes changing jobs. It is not bad to want to change jobs, but you should do it at the right time.
Many times, you will know it is time to change jobs when it looks like you might lose your mind staying at your current job. Some other times, the satisfaction in the job is not just there again. But it is important that you know the right time to switch jobs because career decisions are critical decisions.
More so, statistics have shown that few people start their careers knowing what to do. Many just figure it out along the way. A survey carried out on how people change jobs revealed that the average person has changed jobs up to twelve times before the age of fifty in the pursuit of finding the right fit.
In fact, about 65% of Americans are currently looking for a new full-time job. So, you can be sure you are not the only one planning to change jobs or make a career switch.
Obvious signs that it is time to change jobs
There are several signs that you will start experiencing in your current job that will be pointers for you that it's time to move to a new job. There might be an initial fear of leaving your job for a completely new job, but statistics have shown that switching jobs can be a smart move if done at the right time.
1. You are becoming complacent
Complacency can be a result of several reasons. It could be that you are not in your desired career to start with. It could also be that you are fed up with your current salary, and it is affecting your motivation.
Most employers would want you to feel fulfilled about your job; if that's not the case with you, then it is a red flag. It can limit your creativity and affect your output.
The truth is that you can get bored after some time even after a job that you are deeply passionate about, but when your lack of motivation has lingered for a long time and not even a salary raise can cure it, then you might start considering a job change. It is a red flag for you to feel enthusiastic about your job for a long time.
2. You feel undervalued
If you are already feeling that your efforts just go unnoticed, it can dampen your desire to contribute more to the organization.
You are on your own and all your contributions are hidden to co-workers; it is highly likely for you to start feeling you are not needed in the organization, then it's time to start packing your bags, else you might become an extra burden in the organization.
3. No work-life balance
Your job is affecting your personal life. You cannot keep up with schedules outside work again. You work from sun-up to sundown. You don't even get invited to events anymore, because your friends know the response is always, I'm at work.
You should be diligent in your work, but it shouldn't be at the expense of every other aspect of your life. You can develop serious health issues also if it is all work and no play.
So, when your job is making you fail at keeping up with relationships, keeping up with important tasks and events around you, then you should consider making a switch.
4. You feel underpaid for your efforts and years spent in the organization
There is nothing that can create dissatisfaction such as the feeling of being underpaid. The reward for your job is your salary. If that reward no longer looks like a reward, it can kill your motivation and drive entirely.
You started with a low salary, and you think this should change after some months or years, it can become a constant worry for you.
Now, before thinking about changing your job, you can approach your boss. Research the average salary you should be collecting based on your role and your experience in the organization. If nothing changes after you complain, you might as well start looking for jobs that can meet your salary demands.
5. Tasks have become a dread for you
This is a red flag! The reason you have a job in that organization is that there are tasks for you to do. If those tasks are now a dread to you, then, that is a sign you are getting tired, or the job is becoming overwhelming for you.
The resultant effect is that you are likely to mess up the task, you will do a shoddy job, and get a correction or a harsh rebuke for it depending on the severity of the mistakes you made on the job. If this continues and you are apathetic about learning to make the necessary changes, your presence in the organization won't help either you or the organization.
Now, before you consider changing your job, you can explain your situation to your boss. You just need a break for a while to cool off and come back refreshed. This can be the solution you need. But if it doesn't work, then you should start planning to leave.
6. You no longer feel efficient or confident about your job
Lack of confidence kills productivity! If you have lost your confidence, then you might want to have a conversation with your boss about it first. See if he can help you to get your confidence back.
You also need to check the source of the inefficiency. Is it from constant nagging from your boss about what you do? Is it the lack of skill? It might also be that the task is getting beyond the scope of your job description.
Whatever the reason is, lack of confidence is enough reason to change jobs but make sure you know the source, so you don't carry it to your next job.
Have you read How to become an irreplaceable great employee?
7. You don't believe in the vision of the company like you used to
If you have lost faith in the vision of the company, it will be hard to do your tasks effectively. You can only spend your time and efforts well for a vision you believe in. There is no point struggling to carry out your tasks if you no longer believe in the vision.
8. You daydream about a new career
You are always thinking about this new career path that you desire so much even while you are working on a task given to you at work. Your mind is overwhelmed with making a career change so much that it affects your attitude to your current work.
You just found yourself in this career when you've always had an interest in another. You'll reach a point where the desire for the career you always wanted will subsume the effort you are putting in your current role.
This can also affect getting better in your work, as you might not take corrections seriously again, because you are thinking, this is not what I really want to do, you are thinking this is not my desired career. Then make a career change already!
9. You get bored easily
Boredom kills creativity. And most times, boredom comes from having to do the same thing repeatedly. If there seems to be no new challenges to undertake in your job. You are likely to stop being interested in the job.
It may be that your current employer does not have a career growth plan for you, hence the absence of taking on new challenges.
Tips for switching careers
Changing careers takes a lot of planning, patience, and practice. Foremost, you need to have clear-cut career goals so that you can break them down into actionable steps.
You cannot jump out of one career into another one without a plan, especially if you are considering an IT career.
1. Be specific about why you want to change careers
First, think about your reason for switching careers. Is the dissatisfaction in your current career caused by a burnout? Are you tired of the repetitive tasks in your current career and yearn for something more creative? Is there a career you are passionate about, and you are willing to explore?
If the solutions to the questions highlighted can only be answered by changing careers, then you should take the step to change your career.
2. Research career options
Research the career options available in the career path you desire. Read about different careers, check the requirements, the deliverables, the salary structure and identify the skills you need to learn.
3. Learn the necessary skills
The next thing is to start learning the skills needed for you to work in your chosen career. The change must start with you before you can change your career. The needed change is in upskilling yourself.
There are different ways of learning new skills
i. Take online courses
There are different online courses you can take to upskill yourself. There are chances that you will get the courses for the skills you need online. So, search for relevant courses online and take the classes.
ii. Attending a college
This is an option you can consider if you have the time and the money for it. Although if you are considering a career in information technology (IT), you don't really need to attend college, it will be an added advantage for you if you do.
iii. Attending a Bootcamp
Bootcamps offer something close to a college experience at a cheaper rate and a lesser time. So, if college is too much of a time and spending for you, attending a bootcamp is a good option.
4. Gain hands-on experience
The evidence of learning is in practice. You can't determine how much you know until you have put what you learned into practice. You can apply for internships, offer to do free projects for people, or start a personal project solely for the purpose of mastering your craft.
Gaining hands-on experience will help you market yourself better by hiring managers. Hiring managers want to see a project you have worked on successfully before hiring you, especially if you are considering moving into the information technology sector.
5. Approach recruiters on social media sites
Don't wait until there is a vacancy before you start applying for jobs. Approach recruiters with the projects you have worked on. You can spark a recruiter's interest if you present one of your projects.
There is no specific duration for you to stay in your current job before planning to change to another job. However, there are signs you can watch out for, and there are also ways to go about it.
If you are planning to switch to tech, check out our GoCreate Bootcamp and see the exciting opportunity that awaits you.