There comes a time in everyone’s lives, where you must ask yourself that dreaded question; ‘Am I really happy in my job?’. It’s a hard question to mull over, so to help you out, take some time to seriously consider the following questions, and work out whether you might need a new job, or whether it’s time to go down a new path altogether.
When it comes to career happiness, we’d all prefer to be lying on a beach somewhere sipping a cocktail than having to get up early and force our way through the day-to-day challenges that work life brings. But with the average person spending a third of their life in the workforce, your job, as well as your eagerness to perform it, is a very important component of your overall happiness.
But in truth, the real answer to the question of our happiness is a lot more complex and can lead you directly to the even bigger question; ‘Do I need a new job, or is it time to pursue an entirely new career path?’.
Does Your Current Job Challenge You?
There are two likely categories most of us can file our jobs under, that is, that our job’s too challenging, and the second, that our job lacks any sort of challenge whatsoever. For the former, many of you can probably picture it, the endless spreadsheets, the constant filing and having to undergo the same repetitive tasks day-in, day-out.
We all have a natural desire to advance and to want to be challenged, but sometimes we just can’t manage to get this feeling in our work lives. We all have a need to work towards something, a goal of sorts; something to help us push the boundaries of what we can achieve. Because of this, we can easily grow to despise the repetition of a job that has no room to move in.
For some of those lucky ones out there, this may not be a problem, but for the most part, jobs typically lack something to strive for. This can lead to a serious decline in interest levels, and easily drive people into hating their jobs.
On the other hand, some may find themselves in jobs that are too challenging. Generally speaking, humans shouldn’t be exposed to prolonged periods of stress; and impossible deadlines, difficult clients and long, stress-filled hours in the office can easily lead to that.
Being too challenged at work can be the cause of poor management, a bad work environment or simply because the work itself is too difficult. In these cases, it’s most likely going to be an issue in the job itself; so, if you’ve found that you’ve had enough, it’s probably time to start looking elsewhere.
In Five Years, Where Do You See Yourself?
We all have aspirations for our careers, and often these are set from a very early age. If you didn’t end up in the job of your dreams, then that’s ok. If we all got our first dream jobs, then the world would be overrun with astronauts, rock stars and ballerinas. The fact of life is, that while we don’t always get to be what we originally wanted, that doesn’t mean we must give up altogether.
We all have some sort of plan. Whether it’s being promoted to manager after a few short years, or graduating with honours and finding a job straight off the bat, it’s these career hopes that keep us motivated. Unfortunately, sometimes life just gets in the way. Declining industries, poor job prospects and low pay are all common factors for why we settle for jobs that aren’t what we’d originally hoped for.
Picture it for a moment and try to see where you’ll be in five year’s time. If your first response was to roll your eyes and think to yourself, ‘anywhere but in this job’, then it’s probably time to start looking elsewhere. Did you see yourself in the same position, performing the same routine tasks? Then chances are, you’re ‘career stuck’.
This isn’t good if you’re the type of person who wants to strive for more, and wants to progress up the career ladder. If that’s the case, maybe it is time to start considering another career change altogether. After all, just because we didn’t get into our chosen field straight away, doesn’t mean we can’t in the future.
What is it That’s Holding You Back from Career Happiness?
This is often a hard one to answer and can come in many forms depending on the individual situation. It can be because of low pay, long hours, and for some, especially those who may not have grown up in the technological times of present; the tasks can be too difficult to perform or keep up with.
If you’re unhappy because of your job, you’ll find you typically experience one or more of the following:
- Poor management
- Low pay
- The workload is too difficult or, too easy
- Long hours
- You don’t have a healthy work-life balance
- You don’t get recognised for any of your accomplishments
- You don’t get along with the people you work with
If you’re unhappy because of your career path itself, you’ll typically experience things such as:
- You’re bored
- You aren’t motivated even to try anymore
- Your work-related stress is affecting you
- Your skills don’t match the tasks you’re performing
- You have no career aspirations for the future
- The work you do doesn’t interest you
Are you now saying to yourself; ‘I need a new career change’? If so, good. This means you’re on the right path to starting the next exciting phase of your life.
And the Verdict?
If you’ve come to the decision that its time for a new career, then don’t worry. It’s easy for us to veer off track with our dream careers and get distracted by jobs that offer us safer pay, better job security, or just simply for lack of a clearer path.
No matter how much you may have gotten side-tracked, it’s never too late to take the plunge and get back on track to that dream of yours. Changing careers may seem scary, but there’s nothing more rewarding or satisfying than putting yourself and your happiness first. Do some research for career change ideas or come up with areas that you’re genuinely passionate about or interested in to find out what careers might be best for you.
If you want to do this, it’s best to first take the time to work out your options; it’s not always easy to leave the safety of a job and enter the unchartered territory of changing careers. If you don’t feel you have the skills, there are always courses and learning options available that can teach you basic IT skills, or business administration which are always valued in any industry. So, whether you’re looking at a career change at 40, or at any age, it’s important to remember that it’s always possible, no matter how daunting it may seem.
You can even undergo a formal qualification through online courses if you want to get trained up while working full-time. There’s plenty of courses and qualification levels available, and this is often a safer alternative, as it means you can still earn money while studying at your own pace. It also makes looking for a new position easier if you already have the necessary skills on your resume.
If you’re screaming to get out of your current industry, but don’t even know where to begin when it comes to looking at other careers, short courses are a brilliant way to give you a taste of what a job can offer. This is a great way to get a better understanding of what you’ll be doing and can help eliminate some of that stress of making the same mistake again.
We spend an entire third of our lives working, so it’s more important than anything else that we try and do what we can to be happy in our working lives. If you’re ready to get the ball rolling, start developing career change ideas by exploring some of our course subjects to find out more about the current industry trends, job prospects and the skills you’ll need to take that first step towards your career happiness!