We all have an occasional “case of the Mondays”. We count down the days until Friday night and get that restless feeling on Sundays knowing that it’s back to the grind the following morning. We robotically go through the motions of the workweek and wonder why the weekend always seems so short.
Everyone feels this way, right?
Wrong. Actually, not everyone lives for the weekends (I swear!). Did you know that it is possible to wake up every day knowing that you are fulfilling your life’s work, embodying your passion and making the world a better, more loving or more productive place? It’s true!
So, how do we know when enough is enough? How do we know when it’s more than just a “case of the Mondays”? Are these feelings actually signs that your destined career is still out there, waiting for you to discover it? After going through this myself, I truly, truly know how you feel. If you’ve ever battled with these feelings or pondered a major change, here are 5 signs that the time is NOW:
1. The bad days outweigh the good. It’s normal to have a crappy day every now and then and to utter an “ugh! I hate my job!” here and there. You could be feeling hopeless, like you’re not making as much of a difference as you had hoped or you just can’t take anymore of the drama that comes from your work environment. Maybe your boss is overloading you with menial tasks, your co-worker is a grumpy pants or your clients change their minds more than you change your outfit on a Saturday night. These feelings are okay, as long as this is not the norm. If you are miserable because of your job more than a day or two each week, it is time to consider your options. Is the discontent stemming from the job itself? Or, is it rooted in something deeper? It’s time to explore where your discontent is coming from. Life is too short to let the events of each workday dampen your spirit, weigh on your mind or put you in a downright bad mood.
2. Your productivity has drastically declined. Maybe when you first started your job you were psyched at the opportunity, the cash flow or the sense of independence you gained from being employed. You went into work each day with the will power, the desire and the self-motivation it takes to get everything and more accomplished. You kicked some serious booty at your job and gained respect from the jump. As time went on though, you may have realized that something was not right. Your job has become too monotonous or maybe you are not able to utilize the skills and gifts that you had hoped would be the foundation of this career. Perhaps personal growth or family circumstances have changed and you are now realizing that the job you’ve been doing is no longer working for you and your family. When you are distracted and unmotivated on a daily basis, it is likely that your productivity will decline. You may be going through the motions and getting enough of your job done to not be called out by your boss, but you know deep down that you are not putting forth much effort and not getting as much done as you could. For your benefit and your workplace’s benefit it’s time that you make some changes.
3. Your body is responding physically to your current job. Are you knockdown, drag-out tired from your job? Has your doctor, therapist, friends or family advised you to seek stress-reducing activities in order to cope? Do you feel physically ill more often than before you began working this job? When we are not living our truth, it is very common to begin experiencing physical signs of this distress. These signs can show up in various ways. These reactions can show up via anxiety, depression, weight loss/gain, body aches and even sickness. You know yourself, you know your body and you would know if your body was physically reacting to your circumstances. Sometimes, our bodies may know before our minds that something is not right for us. If your body is reacting to the stress or unhappiness that stems from your workplace this is a surefire sign that you either need to change your mindset or change your career. Your body is the only one you’ve got; use it wisely.
4. Your body is responding physically to the potential change in careers. I remember when I realized that I wanted a career change. I knew that there was something else for me to do and I had been exploring career fields and working with my own life coach to navigate these scary waters. After a few months of research and exploration it dawned on me exactly what I wanted to do. I began talking about it and acting on my desires to create this dream job. I literally felt like the stars had aligned and I could finally relax because I knew where I was heading. My body was positively reacting to this realization. I was relieved and I was HAPPY. I woke up every day eager to work towards my goal and I had butterflies, lots of them.
5. You lose yourself in daydreams of a different career. If you ever stare into the distance imagining yourself in a role that is different from the one that you are in, you are not alone. If you imagine yourself living out this dream career daily then this is more than a daydream--it is a calling! I remember the first time I told my friends and family about my fantasy to quit my job and create my dream career. They gave me a million reasons why it was such a bad idea and how I should be more careful and so on. The thing was, I had already gone through these fear patterns and knew that I had been ignoring my daydream for far too long. I already went through years of telling myself I couldn’t do it, or loading myself up with excuses as to why my idea was insane. I was too old, too educated (in a totally different field), too poor and too crazy. The thing is, this daydream still surfaced every day. This daydream gave me life, it kept me up at night and it got me out of bed in the morning. When you are longing for your daydreams to become a reality, and you can feel it in your soul, it is time to make a plan and create this life. You are never too old, too crazy, too poor or too (un)educated to go for it—don’t let yourself or someone else talk you out of it.
You are the only one who knows if the time is right for a career change. If you’re satisfied where you are, rock on and be grateful! If you are unsatisfied, explore the root of this dissatisfaction and make a plan. In a lifetime you spend a great deal of time working and you deserve to have the career of your dreams and the happiness and fulfillment that comes from it.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” –Steve Jobs