How to Know When to Make a Career Change

Have you reached a point where you no longer enjoy your day job?  Maybe your interests have evolved, your job no longer suits you, or you’re just not feeling energized by your work any longer. Now what?

Although you may now realize you’re in wrong role or organization, moving on can be hard. Changing career paths can be incredibly disruptive, and no one likes the feeling of giving up. When you’re in a job you dislike, deciding whether to stick things out or call it quits is a tough call.

So how can you tell when enough is enough? Here are X signs that indicate the time has come to move on.

1) You feel drained

When you’re doing work you dislike, it quickly depletes your physical and emotional energy. You may feel exhausted all the time and spend your weekends recuperating from the week. Feeling low all the time is often a sign that the work you’re doing is a poor fit.

2) You dread Mondays

At the start of each work week, instead of feeling excited about the days ahead, you’re instead filled with dread. You may actually have to give yourself a mental pep talk to get yourself out of bed.

3) You don’t respect colleagues

Jim Rohn once said “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Being in an organization where you’re at odds with the culture can not only leave you feeling very conflicted, but also turn you into someone you’re not comfortable being.

4) You dislike talking about work

You may find yourself feeling rather unenthusiastic when discussing “what you do” for a living outside of work. Sharing the nature of your responsibilities or projects feels like a chore and an unwanted reminder of just how much you dislike your work.  

5) Feel inauthentic

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding if you’re in the right job is whether or not you feel like your work resonates with who you are. Do you feel like you can be yourself while doing your job? Are you utilizing your strengths? Does someone with your personality and talents naturally excel in your line of work? If your answer to these questions is “no,” it may be a sign you’re misplaced in the wrong organization or role.

If you’re experiencing any of these feelings, the temptation may be to simply shrug them off as par for the course. But remember, people who actually enjoy their work often feel energized, love Mondays, value colleagues, talk excitedly about their work, and feel true to themselves each and every day.

Ultimately, the choice to leave your job behind is a very personal one. Trust yourself, listen to your intuition, and when the time is right, give yourself permission to pursue more meaningful work that can leave you feeling engaged, fulfilled, and energized.

About the authorJoseph Liu helps professionals relaunch their careers by more powerfully marketing their personal brands. His work is informed by 10 years of global marketing experience in the US &UK managing brands including Glad, Liquid-Plumr, Gü Puds, and Häagen-Dazs, his involvement with four major brand relaunches, and 500+ hours of professional career coaching. Check out his podcast at