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Should You Change Careers?

should you change careers

Many of the professionals in today's workforce chose their career when they were relatively young. The western world places much emphasis on choosing a college major at just 18 years of age and pursuing that major until it turns into a (hopefully) lucrative career.

But many people who follow this process eventually feel as if their have made the wrong choice and should change careers. There are several tell-tale feelings, warnings, and signs, that this may apply to you.

First and foremost is a heavy feeling of anxiety. Many people start out loving their careers and look forward to going to work each day. They enjoy what they do, and they love the people they work with. Over time, these feelings may fade. In fact, they are almost certain to fade as we get over the novelty of our new job and it settles into routine. The fact that you are no longer excited about your job may be a sign that it's time for a change.

But if going to work every day causes you great anxiety, then it's almost certain that you've already passed the point of signs, and you're headed straight for a fork in the road: change careers, or burn out. The anxiety surrounding a job can manifest itself in many forms. You may have trouble getting out of bed in the morning for the simple fact that you dislike where you're going to. You may become irritable on the job and take out your anxiety on your co-workers. Or you may simply suffer a decline in productivity and notice a marked decline in the quality of your work.

This work-related anxiety has a ripple effect than can affect your entire career. For example, a worker whose productivity and quality declines will be routinely passed over for promotions and raises because it communicates the idea that you're simply not a hard worker, or not interested. And that's true! You're no longer interested in your job, so you have simply stopped working beyond the bare minimum requirement.

The good news is that there are plenty of options for changing jobs. Many people who feel they are stuck in a "dead end" position have opted to return return to school and pursue a different degree entirely. Pursuing a second degree in an unrelated field is a breath of fresh air for many people whose lives have become routine, and whose careers have become loathsome -- if not dreaded. In fact, even the government is promoting a "retraining" program for workers whose occupations have fallen out of favor, or those who simply seek to change jobs to do something more exciting and interesting.

Many others with advanced degrees who are changing jobs have decided to leave their boss, and their traditional office, behind altogether. Instead, they have turned to entrepreneurship and freelancing, capitalizing on their skills and hobbies via online websites that promote creativity and initiative.

No matter your stage in the career-switching cycle, it's important to know that feelings of anxiety about your job are normal; options such as furthering your education in new areas, or striking out on your own, exist to help you overcome that anxiety and redefine yourself as well as your occupation.