10 Signs It’s Time for a Career Change

career change

Work is an important part of our lives. It’s where we spend most of our time during the week to earn a decent salary to pay for a house, the car, and food to feed the family. In fact, it’s estimated a worker will spend 14% of their life at work. So it’s truly a big deal when we’re considering a career change at any point in our livers. 

Because we spend so much time at work, it’s ideal we care about what we’re doing. If not, we’ll spend a lot of time in an unhappy situation, and that’s untenable in the long run. So if you notice your enthusiasm for your job is dropping and you spend most of your time at the office daydreaming of escape, it is time to think about  a lateral move or switching into a totally different industry.

Ask yourself if this job is really right for you. Because the wrong job will make you feel depressed and negatively affect your career and personal life.

If you’ve reached this moment in your working career, it’s time to assess the situation and polish up your interviewing skills.

We compiled a list of signs that it is time to quit your job and consider a new path:

Poor workplace environment

In the most extreme scenario, you could be in a situation where you have a terrible boss or your co-workers wouldn’t hesitate to steal your ideas. Perhaps, you’re in a frat like environment where the people openly talk about “banging” their secretaries in their office. If any of these extreme conditions exist, hopefully you haven’t spent a lot of time at the company.

On the flip side, perhaps you work in a perfect cubicle environment in a perfectly hierarchical organization. Everyone knows their roles. Everyone buries their head in their cubicles. Everyone submits their TPS reports every 10 AM on a Monday.

A perfect bureaucracy is the perfect breeding ground for someone’s “shadow.” According to Jungian psychology, people develop personas to function in this world. We all wear different faces which suit the current social scenario. Hence, people act differently at work or at home or at a concert. We all adapt to the social setting. In a bureaucratic organization, a lot of people wear their corporate “masks” and bury who they really are.

When suppressed enough for a long time, the “shadow” or the opposite persona begins to develop and fester. If left buried for a long time, a shadow can be destructive. Hence, it’s important to eliminate cognitive dissonance. In other words, it’s best to find work that is consistent with who you really are.

Not using your skills

If you find yourself stuck in a job that does not allow you to utilize the advantages of your own skills, it is time to consider other options. When you find all of those years of training, experience, and skill building are untapped in your business, you find yourself feeling frustrated.

Your skill set is extremely important as it provides you with confidence and the ability to succeed in your career. So, if you do not use any of your skills or you are not capable of improving your business, this is the moment of truth to think about moving to another job that would maximize your ability to use your core skills.

The salary is too low

When you constantly worry about money, this is a sign you need to rethink your job situation. It is true that most of us often worry about money, but if that worry dominates your mind, it’s probably because you do not earn a high enough salary. It’s expensive raising a family in this day and age.

Also, it’s a matter of getting paid fairly. At a minimum, your salary should be close to the national average by geographical location and job function. With the Internet, it’s easy enough to check the salaries of other people working in your profession. It’s also free to research. Go to LinkedIn or sign up at Vested to see what companies are offering finance and accounting professionals.

So if you feel you’re being underpaid, it’s time to have a review with your manager to discuss fair compensation. If the answer is a “no” then it’s time to consider a career change.

Undervaluation of the human effort drops its determination. You’ll find yourself moping in your cubicle. Perhaps, you’ll even be vocal with your cubicle mates about poor pay. You’ll find it hard to be productive if you feel you’re being underpaid.

You expect that your skills and efforts to be rewarded with the right and suitable value. You may have to reassess yourself and your value if you see that you do not have the right means to fund your dreams.

You can’t climb the corporate ladder

career change

If you are one of the people who do not mind being monotonous and routine, continue with your current job. But if the idea of moving without progress frightens you, the time may come when you must consider a change. We all want the fancy title.

We all want a new challenge. We all want a bigger role in the company and the compensation and prestige that comes along with it. We expect natural progression through the ranks after many long hours spent at the workplace. If you feel, there is a “glass ceiling” in place or you’re being passed over by the company vice president’s younger nephew, then it’s time to assess your place in that company and seek a career change.

Your manager at work is the devil

Your boss not only affects your work, but also affects your life completely. Working under the direction of someone who doesn’t cheer you on and reduces your importance will frustrate you. You are more valuable than allowing yourself to stay in a job that offends you.

If you find that your life is no longer unbearable and your dealings with others wane because your boss is so bad, you need to get yourself out of this place and look for other options.

If you can’t trust the leaders around you, it will result in a loss of your confidence in work. If you no longer trust your boss or company for any reason, it is best to resign and go another way.

If work starts to affect your personal life

If your work life begins to affect your emotional and social life, it could lead to a chronic state of stress, insomnia, and exhaustion. This is definitely not a tenable situation.

This could be due to a poor work environment. It could be too much stress from competing with your co-workers. Or perhaps you’re working only to get that promotion and forgot why you joined this company in the first place.

If you find yourself under constant work-related stress including at times when you are off the clock like weekends and evenings, then you might not be in the right situation and should consider a job change.

Loss of motivation in your work

Although boredom at work is typical, if you constantly feel this way at the office it is a warning signs that you are not enjoying what you do. Signs of this mindset include spending all your time on social media, online shopping, playing games, etc. instead of doing your assigned work tasks.

If your conversations with friends, family, and co-workers about work become non-stop complaint sessions, it’s time to polish up that resume.

Always feeling lost

You should not ignore the feeling that you no longer win at work. Your job should be a source of inspiration, delight, and challenge, not a constant losing battle where you accomplish nothing.

If your job does not give you opportunities to advance and develop your skills, or requires you to travel more than you are comfortable with, don’t spend another moment in thinking about staying or resigning.

If your company no longer values your opinions or contributions, or your role in the company is redundant and no longer necessary, you should seize the opportunity to look for another company that values you. If you are returning from your vacation just to countdown the days to your next trip, it may be time to change.

Your company is not doing well

All businesses want to be the next Google or General Electric, but there’s a reason why there’s only one Google and one General Electric. Business is cutthroat and not every company can succeed in the long run. If you find that your company or your widget division is not profitable, then that will limit your opportunities within the company. There will be fewer promotion opportunities and at worst, the company could start a round of layoffs.

This is why it’s good to check the financial health of your company every now and then. It’s also useful to call into investor calls, when the company announces its quarterly earnings and gets grilled by Wall Street analysts. This is a perfect time to assess the company’s health and your future in it.

If your company is not doing well, then it’s time to polish up that LinkedIn profile and resume in preparation of a new job search. There’s no point in dwelling in a company with no future, when there are dozens of companies (with brighter prospects) willing to offer more for your experience and expertise.

You’ve had a Jungian Break

We’ve already discussed what happens when you’ve worn a fake mask to work. You develop a fake persona to fit into a work culture that is not consistent with whom you are or who you want to be. This leads to a “subconscious revolution” and your suppressed side overwhelms your forced conscious mask. This is a Jungian Break.

The character of Lester Burnham in the film American Beauty experiences such a break. Burnham gets fed up with his suburban life and his cubicle world. He quits his job, and starts working at a fast food restaurant. He buys a 20 year old car that he’s always wanted as a teenager. He fantasizes about having a relationship with a teenager. It’s a classic mid-life crisis at the most extreme.

This Jungian break at work can also be seen in the movies Office Space and Fight Club. In Office Space, the main character gets fed up with his TPS reports and stops caring about work. It leads to a lot of comical scenes like the one with the printer.

In Fight Club, the main character gets fed up with corporate life and American consumerism. The psychological revolution manifests itself in the physical world literally. Without giving away the plot twist, the main character starts a fight club in response to living a fake life for so long.

These are extreme situations and most people won’t get to that point. However, there will be a time when you’ve “had it.” You might find yourself taking more vacations, or buying a Harley Davidson. You’re playing a guitar again in your forties when you’ve given it up as a teenager. These are signs that your shadow is starting to emerge from years of conscious suppression. If left untreated or ignored, the shadow will gain strength and could lead to harmful behavior – the most extreme scenarios can be seen in Fight Club or American Beauty.

If you’ve had a Jungian break, then it’s definitely time to assess your career. Perhaps, you’ve worked too long crunching Excel at a boring corporate job for the past ten years. You want to explore a place where it’s less “stuffy” and less “formal”. Then take a look at working at a startup.

Whatever it is you’re yearning, it’s important to identify the root of this “shadow.” Explore what’s causing it – what you’re yearning. Then take action.

Summary – Career Change is normal

Gone are the days when workers are expected to work forty years at one particular place. Back in the day, a worker could work at IBM and expect a forty year career and a pension at the end of it.

In today’s world, there is no such thing as a pension. In fact, most millennials can’t expect to survive on social security. Hence, changing careers is a natural progression for all workers in today’s age. It’s important to know when and how to do it. The right career change can lead to better pay and more satisfying work.

Don’t Get Married to Your First Job Out of College

college grad

Even before your final year of college, you need to start preparing yourself for life after graduation. This includes working on your CV, researching your options, and gaining potential network connections. Although getting your first job may seem like a scary process, with preparation it will become easier.

By being efficient in your job search and following a few basic steps, it will increase your chances of landing a job, even if it isn’t a job you stay in. The important thing to remember is that not many people get hired for their dream job immediately—and it is okay not to know which career path you want to take—your experiences and life skills will help you to map out your future. You never know, your dream job may not be what you thought it was either.

Today, there are numerous sites such as LinkedIn and Vested which can be beneficial to those looking for a job. These sites are dedicated to professionals and can help connect you to endless networking opportunities. They can also be used as a digital CV or portfolio tool, which is accessed by potential employers.

However, be mindful that social media can also have its downfalls. Do not assume that your online presence is private because it is not. So when posting those drunken party pictures to Facebook, keep in mind who may be able to access them. Your new boss may not appreciate it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Be proactive and ask for any recommendations that you can put on your CV. Your college tutors or sporting coaches can provide potential employers with valuable insights into the way you work and think.

Although it may be tempting to apply for lots of jobs in different fields, this can have a negative effect and make you look uncommitted and unfocused. This is especially true if you are unsure about where you want to be in life. Be mindful of conveying such uncertainty in your application or interview.

It is important to remember not to  compare yourself to others. Everyone has different strengths, weakness, and goals in life. Don’t worry what your friends are doing; what job they are doing or path they are following may not be right for you.

Have courage and confidence to do what you feel is right, don’t settle for an average job in an industry you don’t want to be in, and don’t allow others to make you feel guilty about your choices. You have your whole life ahead of you and lots of wonderful experiences to have and interesting people to meet. Some that will shape your future; you never know which of these opportunities may be the right fit for you.

Following your heart and being happy in what you are doing is important, no-one wants to look back in later life and regret the choices they made. If you want to take off and travel the world, or flipping burgers makes you happy, it is your life to live the way you want to.

How to Change Careers at 30

Career change in your 30s

You are in your thirties and asking yourself: How to change careers at 30?

Professionally you have come a long way since you began your career. Gone are the days that you are the newbie with a supervisor looking over your shoulder and double checking your work. You now find yourself in a position of responsibility, perhaps with an impressive title and people reporting to you, or managing key accounts and clients. After years of study, training, sleepless nights, successes and failures, you have made it, or are at least on the path to making it.

But suddenly after all the hard work you put in to reach this point, you find that you no longer have the same hunger and passion for your career. Where has the love for the work, the ambition, your dreams, and plans gone? Is this the mythical midlife crisis? Just yesterday you thought that you were on the right path, but now the idea of your job leaves you empty on the inside.

Time has passed, and you might have discovered new talents, new interests, new hobbies, making you understand that you are not the person you wish to be. Everyone remembers that as kids they wanted to be veterinarians, astronauts, or the president. But as we grew up and experienced life, these dreams changed. Despite being an adult in your 30s, you are hopefully still growing, and just as you realized a career in space exploration was not right for you, so too might you realize you at age 36 your current career trajectory is not the right one.  

What should you do if you’re pondering a career change in your 30s?

First, answer this question: “is your life about your career or simply living the way you want?” Although you should follow the call of your heart, the cold reasoning of your mind is necessary for such responsible decision-making. If you know for sure that you need and want to start a new career, think about it very carefully. You need to be cautious, but overthinking is a not a good idea.

Suppose you are in a room, and you need to choose a door to move forward and maybe escape. Will thinking show you the right door? Of course not! You will never be able to account for every possible factor and every possible scenario. It is simply pointless to just stand there and think about the right choice. But you can act right there and then and choose a direction. You can return if you think your choice was wrong. The important thing is that you do not stay in one spot endlessly, and take steps towards your goal.

But do you know your desired career?

It is a very important thing to realize. You shouldn’t make hasty decisions, remember, just yesterday you thought everything was all good with your career. It doesn’t mean that you should stop acting altogether. The point is, you need to be flexible enough to realize your needs and capabilities at any point in time to be able to counter the tides you are swimming against.

You need to try new career opportunities and look for ones that suits your needs right here and now. If you are afraid for your financial stability, you should look for ways of doing trial and error without quitting your job. Alternatively, you can switch to a half-time job or look for other similar ways to create some free time for your search.

Be aware that you might not find your dream job on your first try. Try to utilize your passion for shaping your life to your advantage, let it push you forward. Learn about the profession that interests you, try to connect with people working in your dream job through friends, relatives, and networking. You need to gather as much data as possible to make the decision right for you.

While you should never abandon your dreams, be careful of setting unrealistic expectations and career goals. Such dreams are bound to fail, and the disappointment of such a failure might discourage you from making any changes. Be passionate, but cold-minded. There is no need to rush. Motivational quotes are a good thing, but overconfidence can be a serious weakness.

After gathering information, meeting people, conducting research, and studying, you need to act decisively. If you are sure about your decision, start slowly, but take active steps towards your dream job.

A very good way of confidently changing careers is working with people who, like you, are also looking for a new job. You will work together, share ideas, inspire and push each other, and move together towards your dream jobs. It doesn’t matter if their interests are different. Your combined spirit and desire to change is a strong stimulus to your activity.

Don’t think that your temporary uncertainty and desire to change your job is a shameful thing. Our whole life is about adaptation, and you don’t need to be afraid if you feel something is changing in you or around you. Meet the need to change with open arms. Be passionate about the future even if you don’t know how it will turn out to be tomorrow. Don’t let sudden variations put out the fire burning in your heart!

It’s never too late for a career change, especially as a thirty year old working professional. So instead of sitting around and asking yourself “how to change careers at 30,” take action and sign up with Vested.

Career Changing Options in Your 40s

Vested HR Tech Recruiting Solution

The big four-oh is not only a milestone personally but professionally. Around this age, people are usually well-established in their chosen field, with a title and salary commensurate with their experience.

However, many people reach this point in their career and aren’t where they want to be. Either they have reached a ceiling in their career they cannot crack, or the path they thought they wanted to be on as a 22 year old straight out of undergrad, is not the same one they want to be on as a forty something with a couple of kids at home.

Maybe the issue isn’t even about work, but general angst about getting older or regrets over past decisions. While we here at Vested cannot offer you much help dealing with your midlife crisiswe can offer you some practical advice if you are thinking of making a change mid-career.  

Develop the right mindset

First and foremost, you need to stop thinking about the desire to change as a bad thing. Life is not about staying still, and it is perfectly acceptable that you are changing and moving forward. You should never expect that things will remain unchanged over time.

Could you have known in your youth what would happen the next day? Not with certainty. How is it possible for you to foresee events decades in the future? So, don’t regret your past decisions. They might have been right back then, but now you have to take new steps in accordance with your current situation.

Experience is an asset

Changing careers, you may be anxious about competing with young employees that have skills you don’t and a willingness to work for less money and fewer benefits. But there is an attribute that young people are unlikely to have, but you do have in abundance: experience.

Your age might close some doors for you, but your experience is a powerful differentiator in the interview/hiring process. There are many jobs that a relatively inexperienced young people would struggle with while a seasoned professional could handle the responsibilities with relative ease.

For example, look at the job of teaching. In your forties, you have years of classroom experience and more life experience in general. You might be better suited for lecturing in a university or school than your younger colleagues. Your age is a trump card in such cases because you have simply had more time to experience the world than the newbies.

Consider other options

Perhaps after years of working 9 to 5, you have grown tired of the same routine and want a different, more flexible arrangement? One way to achieve this is to become a consultant in a field related to your specialization.

Consultancy is very much in demand as it is much easier to “buy” other people’s experience than invest money and create skills and knowledge among new workers.

Don’t think that your twenties are the only time to choose a career. It is never too late to develop new skills. You can gain go back to school or enroll in a training program.

Many online programs offer the flexibility of completing training at your own pace and schedule for little or no cost. Some employers are also willing to hire employees if they have a demonstrable skill (for instance, coding), without an actual degree or certification.

Rely on your network

Another advantage to mid-career switches is all the contacts you have made over the years. Ask them for advice, reference letters, introductions, and whatever other help they are willing to give. Go on LinkedIn.

Research, try to understand what you want to do. Maybe your contacts will give you a hand in your searches for a dream job. You might even discover people who want to switch jobs like you. They might be uncomfortable about their ideas at first, but your cooperation may boost the confidence of everyone.

Stay Motivated

Look for success stories of people who became successful after age 40. Stan Lee, the former executive vice president and publisher of Marvel Comics, created his first comic when he was 39. Actor Samuel L. Jackson’s career had a true rise at age 43 after taking an award-winning role in the film Jungle Fever. Henry Ford created the Model T car when he was 45. Barack Obama, the former president of the United States, became a millionaire after republishing his book Dreams from My Father at age 43. These and numerous other stories are about people discovering themselves not in their 20s or 30s. They just felt that their life needed to change.

Discover your desires, concentrate on them, meet new people and be connected with your friends, be decisive. Do not think about a possible failure. Will it be better if you do nothing out of anxiety? Certainly, you should be careful and realistic, but that doesn’t mean that you need to spend months thinking about changes without acting. In your forties, you should know that achieving anything is not easy. Just let your dreams drive you forward and reach for your new goals!

Sign up for Vested if you are ready to make a career move.

It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Dream Job

dream job

Getting older can make you feel like life is slowly passing you by and you’re living day-to-day in the same old job. We start adapting to lifestyle changes and this can have an impact on our working lives too. However this doesn’t have to mean that your career is over, there are still plenty of options and different career choices, which reduce the amount of physical labor, or number of working hours.

This can feel a little scary as society focuses more on the younger generation. Those who are older think that they are now past it and that their dreams and goals no longer matter. Thinking this way is outdated and it is never too late to follow your heart and find your dream job.

The older you get the more experience you gain and this is valuable to employers. With experience brings skill and knowledge, which is something that the younger generation has yet to gain. Your age is a plus point because it means they can leave you to get on with the job, you don’t require as much training as someone who is younger, and you can train others too.

An average person has approximately 10 jobs by the time they are 40 years old. This could be due to being fired, personal circumstances change, or you quit. So in the near future, you may be looking for a new job. If this happens, it will be scary, nerve racking, and in some cases devastating. But this is a chance to start fresh and do something new and exciting, these challenges should be embraced.

It may also be the opportunity to consider going back to college and gaining some new qualifications; you might amaze yourself and be able to turn that hobby into something profitable. As well as boosting your CV, you have also now opened up a whole load of new opportunities and experiences.

More people now have to work until their seventies and beyond because they are living longer than before. Does the prospect of being stuck in the same job for the next 10 or 20 years, maybe longer fill you with dread? The answer should be no, but for many, this is the case and it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is take the risk.

No matter how old you get, you can still achieve your goals and get that dream job you have always wanted, especially as we are now living longer you have nothing to lose by giving your dreams a shot. It probably won’t be the last thing you do, so there is no need to worry about your retirement.

Whether you are in your twenties or early sixties, failure is still painful. But what is more painful is waking up one day and realizing you didn’t take that chance and it slipped away. Have the courage to look fear in the face, follow your heart and your dreams will follow.