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Signs That it May be Time to Change Careers

By Eric Dean JD, MBA, MA, MA, LPC, CADC

Most workers in the US are unhappy in their careers.

Despite feeling consistently unhappy and unsatisfied in their current line of work, many folks find it difficult to change careers. If you are thinking about making a career change, but having trouble deciding, here are some signs that it may be a good time to go for it.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Signs That it May be Time to Change Careers

  • Your job stress is constantly spilling over into your personal life

When your work stress starts to negatively affect important life domains, such as your family relationships, hobbies, or interests it may be time to take a closer look at whether it is worth it. Maybe you come home exhausted from work and have no energy left to interact with family and friends. Maybe you are so preoccupied with work that it is hard to enjoy hobbies on weekends. If work stress is constantly making it difficult to be present in other important areas of your life, then it may be time to make a change.  

  • You feel apathetic almost all the time

Apathetic is defined as “having or showing little or no interest, concern, or emotion.” Work projects that were once exciting and invigorating are now dull and exhausting. You may find it increasingly difficult to find motivation to start the workday and/or work tasks. The enthusiasm you once had for the company’s mission has declined and you feel like you are just going through the motions. 

  • You rarely look forward to work

We all have days when we are not looking forward to going to work. Maybe it is the end of a long week, and we don’t have much energy left. Maybe we have a meeting that day which we know is going to be uncomfortable. Maybe we are coming back from vacation and are dreading sifting through the 942 emails we received when we were out. These feelings are completely normal. However, when we almost never look forward to work, or even dread it, it is time to take a closer look. 

  • You are constantly fantasizing about a new career

Maybe you continue to replay giving your two weeks’ notice in your mind. Maybe you find yourself spending more and more time perusing job boards, instead of doing work tasks. Or maybe you feel excited at just the thought of being in a new career. Pay attention to your thoughts and the feelings they evoke, especially if fantasies about a new career predominate your internal monologue. 

  • Your salary is no longer sufficient to justify your unhappiness

Up until recently, your compensation was enough to make up for your unhappiness. I often hear from clients: “I may be unhappy, but I make good money, which comes with many benefits.” At some point, however, the money is no longer enough. You then may start to become a lot more open to careers that are lower paying, but more satisfying.

Wrapping Up

Feeling happy in our jobs all the time is unrealistic; transient feelings of stress, nervousness, and tiredness are normal. However, if you notice yourself becoming increasingly dissatisfied over an extended period, then it is a good idea to take a closer look at why you feel this way. 

Symmetry offers Career Counseling to help you identify the reasons for your dissatisfaction with work and explore new career paths that are more consistent with your goals and values. 

So, let’s get started – call Symmetry Counseling today at 312-578-9990.


“Apathetic.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster,

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