It’s a familiar story: job seeker finds job, falls madly in love, and thinks they’ll be happy together forever. But then, slowly, things start to change. They aren’t as passionate about the job as when they first met. It might happen after a few years or after just one month, but eventually the honeymoon period ends and it becomes obvious this may not be the right employment relationship after all.
It happens to the best of us: A job doesn’t turn out like we’d hoped or a position fails to keep up with our personal development, yet we don’t leave. Maybe it’s insecurity, fear, or just finding comfort in the monotony that’s holding us back. Or maybe we’re just worried that there’s nothing better out there.
But you’ve got to be willing to put yourself out there. Here are three signs it’s time to break up with your job and go after the career you really want.
1. Time is not your friend.
Depending on how badly your mother wants grandkids, you’ve probably already begun to feel some pressure about your biological clock. But have you ever thought about your professional career clock?
Now let me be clear: it’s never too late to make a career change. It takes some people decades of trying out different jobs before they find the right one for them. However, staying in an unfulfilling job is a waste of time. Period.
If your daily duties and responsibilities bore you today, they won’t suddenly be your life’s passion next year. Instead of going into work every morning waiting for things to get better, your time would be better spent exploring new opportunities.
That’s not to say you need to jump into a new job right away. You could spend your time taking a class or freelancing in order to further develop your skills. There are countless options that will help your long-term career more than sticking with a dead-end job.
2. You’re stuck in your comfort zone.
As underwhelming as it can be, being stuck in a professional rut does provide a sense of comfort. Sure, there may be nothing challenging or exciting about your job, but there’s also little chance of failure. And as long as that safety net is there, you’ll never step out of your comfort zone and find what you really were meant to do.
It’s scary to suddenly give up a steady paycheck in order to find something better, something you’re not even positive is out there. But fear can be a great motivator. Without the crutch you’re used to, you’ll have to get creative about deciding what to do next. And you might be surprised where your instincts take you.
Not to mention, once the initial shock wears off after you quit your job, you’ll feel an incredible sense of liberty. That will let you examine your career choices with fresh eyes so you can figure out what went wrong and what type of path will lead you to the success you want.
3. You’ve got a wandering eye.
One of the biggest signs that a relationship is over is when one of the parties starts to check out what other options are out there. If you perk up when you hear about your friends’ jobs or catch yourself daydreaming about an entirely different industry, it’s time to admit the truth: you and your job just aren’t meant to be.
Once you face that fact, you’ll be free to truly examine all the options that are available to you. You can peruse job boards or go out on informational interviews without feeling guilty.
Your perfect career path is out there. You just have to know what resources are also out there and how you can best use them.
Don’t be afraid to take the time to get to know yourself a little better. Take an online personality quiz or try out the free career assessment available on my app, PathSource. After all, you’ll never know what job will bring you long-term happiness unless you know what it is that you really want.
Breakups are never easy. Especially when you’ve invested as much time and energy as many of us do in our careers. But, hey, you and your job aren’t married and there are plenty of other careers out there. You’ve just got to be brave enough to go out and find them.
What are some other signs that it’s time to quit your job? Share in the comments below!
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