Whenever I look back at my previous work as an architectural technician, I still wonder how I lasted three years. Don’t get me wrong – I was not complaining about the salary. In fact, the perks (full medical benefit and a monthly stipend) were more than I could ever hope for an entry level job. It was only after three years that I realized that there was more to life than just earning money. I wanted to do something I was passionate about. I wanted to become a writer.
For me, it was quite clear that architecture was not my passion. Although it took me a long time to get to that conclusion, the signs were clear. I immediately quit the industry despite having a degree in the field and headed straight for open water. Fortunately, the transition for me was seamless. I landed a freelance job as a blogger and slowly built my clientele, proving Richard McMunn’s statement about making a career change.
“While things rarely go according to every detail of the plan, many employees grow into their career change nicely, take pride in their job, and are able to progress,” said McMunn, founder of How2Become.
Some are as lucky as me, but some remain clueless if they should remain building up a career in a particular industry. Below are my personal telltale signs that tell you when to clean up your desk, sign those quit claims, and leave.
1. You hate every waking moment of your workdays.
FlexJobs’ chief executive officer Sara Sutton affirms that there are general signs which tend to signify a certain incompatibility between career and employee.
“Others are unaware that it’s time to get out,” she said. If you are miserable every morning before going to work, whether triggered by the long commute, traffic, or your nagging kids, then it means that you dread what lies ahead in the office. Ultimately, this means that you have no motivation to excel at your job.
2. You don’t fit with the corporate environment.
There are many factors that may make someone uncomfortable with the corporate setup of many companies. For one, there are ethical and moral grey areas which might be against personal beliefs such as rules of operation, employee management, or even the nature of the business. Office politics are inevitable that most in the company plays, while some people do not put it on the same box withwork. Whichever it is, if you feel out of kilter, then the corporate culture might not be for you and a career change is needed.
3. Your performance bonus is not measured by your performance.
This was one of the most obvious signs for me. When I was working as an architectural technician, I was receiving a bonus package which is supposed to be equal to your performance for the month. If you feel like what you receive does not reflect the amount of work you put in, then the management is not acknowledging your efforts. If no matter how much research you do or how often you raise valid points during meetings and you get passed for a promotion, this is a sign that you should get out.
4. You are getting sick more often than usual.
Stress is not the best indicator of lack of passion as most jobs tend to be stressful no matter what industry. However, if you are experiencing regular attacks of migraines, exhaustion, and physical pain, then it might be time to think things through. Overworking causes stress, but what’s worse is being stressed due to hating the job. “Your body tells you what your lips cannot,” says Kathy Caprino in her article in Forbes.
5. You feel that your salary is merely a number.
It’s an obvious fact that we work so we can have that spending ability for us to get by. But if this basic need doesn’t seem very attractive anymore, then that means your passion for this particular job has run out. Here are two scenarios:
- a. You don’t care if your salary gets deducted from your absences or lates.
- b. You lower your salary expectations on your online job search profiles to include other more interesting jobs.
If you have been doing similar things to these two, then you should be changing your career soon.
When that time comes that you decide to get up and make a career U-turn, never ever close your gates to the people you have worked with. Burnt bridges might cause you harm in the future.