The New Year is symbolic for fresh ideas and new possibilities. It’s the one time of year where major change is not only acceptable, but respected as a clever and shrewd path toward self improvement. As you reflect on the resolutions you hope to achieve in the upcoming months, take a step back to consider your work and professional life.
How has the past year been in terms of your career mindset? Are you excited to get up and go to work each day, or do you approach your job as just another responsibility—a necessary evil to pay the bills?
Whether it’s singing and dancing, working with machinery or breaking into tech, what you do for a living should stir a passion within you that drives success. Here are five signs that you may be ready for a career change in 2018.
No. 1: You Lack Passion. The alarm rings. You hit snooze. Another day of doing the same old thing is not exactly the motivation you need to get going in the morning. When a job becomes, well, just a job—a way to pay the bills and nothing more, it may be time to consider something else.
Of course financial security is important. But, while the bills do need to be paid, there’s plenty of work out there that’s meaningful and purpose driven. Besides, it’s passion and excitement that push you to the edge—if either one is missing, you’ll quickly learn that financial incentives are not enough.
No. 2: You’re Not Challenged. A career that stimulates thought with work you find challenging is sure to keep you on your toes. On the other hand, a job that leaves you yawning is never going to satisfy. It may sound cliché, but when the work you do is unfulfilling and boring, professional growth may be stunted. And, when it’s easy to slip into a comfort zone, you crush career advancement in its tracks.
No. 3: Company Culture is Toxic. Regardless of your mindset, it’s tough to work in an organization with a negative culture. When your boss doesn’t respect his or her job, it shows. But when the entire company adopts negativity, it’s a cancer. Over time, creativity stalls, innovation dries up and work breeds pessimism. If you’re feeling out of place or uncomfortable, your company culture may not be a good fit.
No. 4: Your skill set doesn’t align with what you love doing. Sometimes we take a job because we’re good at it—and that’s okay. But if you constantly have this nagging voice on your shoulder reminding you that you were made for bigger, better things, something is amiss. If you continue to do a job because you can do it, and not because you really love the work, it’s only a matter of time before you become irritated, resentful and miserable.
No. 5: You don’t support your company mission. The last sign that it may be time for a career change is a little more altruistic. Maybe you enjoy what you do, and you’re good at it. But if you’re not onboard with the overall direction of your company—you can’t get behind their mission or purpose, you’ll soon become unhappy.
Success with any career is built on a foundation that what you are doing is having a positive impact. If you don’t agree with how your company contributes to the larger world around you, it’s next to impossible to thrive.
An entrepreneurial approach to work—an action-oriented mindset driven by the desire to pursue change for the better—will leave you creative and brave. The positive changes you make today, whether it’s pursuing a new attitude or a completely new career, will have a profound impact on your happiness in the future. And that’s something that will last long after the New Year celebration ends.