3 Signs You Should Consider a Career Change
Let’s start with the hard facts. According to Gallup, only one in three American workers are engaged at work. This number drops to one in eight globally.
In other words, almost 70% of US workers (and almost 90% of global workers) are not engaged or actively disengaged when it comes to what they have chosen to dedicate the vast majority of their day to. And thanks to smartphones, in some cases the majority of their evenings as well.
What a waste! Especially when there’s no good reason to settle for an unfulfilling career. But before we jump to solutions, here are some tell-tale signs that you’re on the wrong side of this somber statistic:
1. You suffer from “Sunday Scaries” more often than not.
Sunday Scaries refers to the anxiety that can set in on Sunday nights as you prepare for the inevitable return to reality: the daily grind. Everyone has those days when you just. aren’t. feeling it. (Even Oprah, I’m willing to bet). The temptation to hit snooze, call in sick, and binge watch Netflix is REAL. Especially after a particularly great weekend, or when you’ve been putting off an uncomfortable conversation and Monday happens to be D-Day. It’s normal to experience this every once in awhile, but if this is how you feel every Sunday, pay attention to it.
I’m sorry to burst your blissful bubble, but here’s the truth: someone who is engaged and fulfilled at work rarely experiences Sunday Scaries. They may not want the weekend to end (who does?!), but they’re also excited about the potential a new week brings. The opportunity to tackle new goals, meet new people, crush new deadlines, and get sh*t done.
2. You can’t stop comparing yourself to others.
There’s an official name for this: Obsessive Comparison Disorder. The phrase was coined by Paul Angone back in 2012 to describe “our compulsion to constantly compare ourselves with others, producing unwanted thoughts and feelings that drive us to depression, consumption, anxiety, and all-around joyous discontent.”
Social media is partially to blame of course. The average person spends more than two hours a day scrolling through news feeds filled with curated images of our friends, frenemies, and perfect strangers celebrating graduations, weddings, babies, promotions, and exceptional latté art. (Note that two hours is the AVERAGE, so if you’re a fellow millennial, it’s probably almost double that.)
In a world where we’re constantly confronted with a filtered version of other people’s reality, it’s impossible not to compare and contrast occasionally. But if you find yourself unable to scroll without spite, there may be more going on. After all, research shows that we’re most likely to compare ourselves with others when we’re unhappy or unfulfilled.
3. You don’t feel like doing anything or seeing anyone after work.
You may assume that someone who is unhappy at work will try to overcompensate by planning fun activities outside of work. Not necessarily. If you spend 8+ hours of your day feeling uninspired and disengaged, it turns out that the last thing you want to do when you get home is pretend that everything’s hunky-dory. Besides, none of us want to be that friend, who constantly complains but never does something about it.
The same Gallup study found that actively disengaged employees experience higher rates of anxiety and depression. And if you’re anxious or depressed, it’s a lot more difficult to muster up the energy (or interest) to plan a date with friends or start a post-work passion project. All you want to do is go home, get into bed, and distract yourself with TV, wine, ice cream, or all of the above.
While it’s unrealistic to leave work feeling fabulous every day, you should at least feel inspired to do something once or twice a week.
A lot of us will experience these symptoms at some point in our careers. If you’re experiencing all three consistently, however, it’s time for a change.
I know, I know. Change is hard. In the short-term, that is. In the long run, just imagine how much better your life will be when you look FORWARD to Mondays, can CELEBRATE your friends’ Insta-worthy moments, and leave work with MORE energy than when you started your day.
If you’re looking for a tool to help you take the first steps to changing course, check out this post on manifestation.