Unhappy? Stressed out? Maybe it's your career. Find out by asking yourself these questions.
You’ve been working in the same career for five, 10 or 15 years, and now you feel dissatisfied, restless and bored.
You dream of a change but it’s a problem because at this point you are making decent money, and you have acquired some responsibilities along the way (a house, a car, a kid). Indeed, you may have attained a certain mastery over your job, which earns you respect (which you like) while at the same time tying you down even more firmly (which you don’t like). You’ve got decent benefits. You’ve got “security.”
So you keep plugging along, all the while wondering if you are on the wrong path.
Is this you?
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If so, try asking yourself these questions:
Are you tired all the time? If your health is good and your personal life is on track, but you’re still depleted at the end of every day, the culprit may be your work. After all, you spend most of your waking hours on the job. Hating it is bound to take a physical toll.
Do you feel less confident and capable than you used to feel? This is a sign that something in your life is eating away at your self-esteem. Fulfilling work builds you up instead of breaking you down.
Are you jealous of others? Sure, the grass is always greener, but if you are starting to believe that pretty much everybody you know has a more satisfying job than you do, it’s time to reevaluate.
Are you resistant to change? If reorganizations are starting to feel like too much effort, if new technology leaves you cold, perhaps it’s because the thrill is gone.
Are you overspending? Buying stuff (possibly too much stuff) just to ease the pain of going every day to a job that you hate is not good. It’s a huge clue that it’s time to take a hard look at that job.
Finally, when you go to parties do you hate telling people what you do for a living? This sounds trivial, but it really is an excellent way to gauge your true feelings about your career.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.