From internationally renowned fashion designer Vera Wang, who made her first foray into this competitive industry at the age of 40, to teacher-turned-Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti, there are lots of high-profile examples of people who’ve successfully switched things up when it comes to their careers.
And it’s never been easier to retrain. You can now choose from an array of courses in fields ranging from finance to floristry – and select a learning style that suits you. For example, as well as traditional classroom-based courses, training specialists such as financial education services provider Simply Academy now offer e-learning courses that enable you to study flexibly.
If you’re wondering whether it could be time to step outside your comfort zone and try something new, here are five sure signs it’s time for a career change.
- You’re not feeling the passion
If you wake up each morning with a sense of dread about the day ahead, something’s not right. You can’t expect to love every aspect of your job, but you should get a sense of satisfaction from doing it – and there should at least be elements of it that motivate and inspire you. If that feeling of passion and excitement you had when you first started in your career has gone, you should think about dusting off and updating your CV and looking for other opportunities.
- Your full skill set isn’t being used
Do you feel as though your skills aren’t being fully utilised in your job? Knowing that your talents are going to waste day after day can leave you feeling discouraged. Perhaps you’ve been overlooked for promotions, or management won’t agree to give you more challenging assignments. If you’re not allowed to spread your wings in your role, it’s probably time to look elsewhere.
- Your mental and physical health is suffering
When your work regularly leaves you feeling stressed and feeling low, the consequences for your health and wellbeing can be damaging. Excessive stress can make you feel anxious, irritable, tired and overwhelmed. In turn, this can have a negative effect on your relationships with family and friends. Too much pressure at work can also lead to physical problems such as headaches and dizziness, and it can drive you towards unhealthy behaviours such as excessive drinking and overeating. If you just can’t seem to shake feelings of stress or you struggle to achieve a healthy work-life balance, you should consider taking your career in a new direction.
- You’re not valued in your role
Do you give your best at work day after day only to find your efforts go unrecognised? Your boss doesn’t have to give you high fives constantly, but feeling like you’re a valued member of the team and that your abilities and hard work are appreciated is a big part of being happy in your role. If you can’t get acknowledgement and approval for great work, think about moving into a job where you will be valued.
- You aren’t being rewarded properly
Being rewarded in your job can be about much more than the salary you receive. Everything from bonuses and pensions to professional development opportunities, flexible working patterns and access to mentorships can make up your remuneration and benefits package. If you’re not happy with your pay and other job perks, and you’re not in a position to negotiate improvements, it may pay off to take your talents elsewhere.
Regardless of your background, work experience or age, you shouldn’t be afraid to make a career change. There are plenty of opportunities out there to explore, and particularly with the option of flexible learning programmes, retraining may be easier than you think.