How to Know When You’re Ready for A Career Change

Finding a fulfilling career can be a long journey, filled with many short-term stops at jobs along the way. But what about when you think you’re settled in a career, only to find yourself doubting? In this article, we’re talking about how to know when you’re ready for a career change, and four signs you should look out for.

How to Know When You’re Ready for A Career Change

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been thinking about making a career change.  Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Gone are the days where people work in one job or one career for 30 years before retiring.  By age 50, the average person has held 12 jobs.  And the average worker changes careers at least once in their lifetime. The move to a new career can be scary and should not be taken lightly.  But how do you know when it’s time to make that move? Understanding when it’s the right time to make a career change can save you from unnecessary stress and wasted time in the wrong career. It may feel intimidating, when you’re wondering how to know when you’re ready for a career change, but it’s really relatively straightforward.

Let’s look at the four signs to know when you’re ready to make a career change...

Sign #1: You no longer get excited about the work you do

Research shows that passion for what you do will make you happier and more productive at work.  Without passion for your career, it’s likely that you will become bored and resentful. You spend most of your hours during the day at work, so if you’re not passionate about how you spend most of your time, it will be hard for you to maintain.  If you are no longer excited about the work you do or the impact you make, it may be time to make a career change.

If This is, You:

Now is the time to figure out what does excite you.  Passion brings you excitement and energy around your work.  What makes you excited? What makes you energetic? What could you do all day without stopping?  Take some time to assess. Make a list of those things and start researching careers where you can marry your passion to work.  

Sign #2: You feel worn out in your career

We all have days where we’d rather be in the bed than to go into work, but if you feel this way every day, it can begin to affect you more than you know.  Dissatisfaction with your career can lead to sleepless nights, less energy, anxiety, stress, depression, and physical health issues. There is even some research to suggest being happy at work can lead to living a longer life.  If you feel you dread going into work more than you look forward to it, it may be time to make a career change.

If This is, You:

Listen to your body.  How do you feel when you are at work?  Do you stress out about your career when you’re not working?  Are you feeling sick more often than you feel well? Do you have the Sunday night blues most weeks?  Determine if it is your work environment or the work itself that is making you feel this way. If it is the actual work, consider making a career change.  

Sign #3: You aren’t fully utilising your skillset

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I was made for more than this,” or felt that you could be making a bigger contribution to your team?  It’s not wrong of you to want more! Feeling under-utilised can be a burden when you want to be challenged and stretched with your work. Underutilisation leads to boredom, loss of engagement, and distraction.  If you’re feeling like you’re not given the chance to fully utilise your skills and experience, it may be time to make a career change.

If This is, You:

First, become clear on how you want to use your skills.  Make a list of your transferable skills (those which can be carried from one role to the next) and determine how you want to use them.  For example, if you are innovative, think about what careers would allow you to create new solutions and use that innovative muscle.

Sign #4: You’ve lost your drive

Do you remember when you first started your career, how excited you were to dive in?  You were eager to learn and share your ideas. You stayed current in your industry to maintain relevance and knowledge.  You were motivated to advance your career. You took the initiative to get things done, volunteer, and create. But now, you feel complacent in your career and you no longer feel the need to stand out.  You find yourself doing things by rote without thinking about it anymore. If you find yourself simply meeting the requirements of your job and not reaching for more, it may be time to make a career change-up.

If This is, You:

Think about what would reenergise your drive.  Would it take a career where you learn new skills, take on additional responsibilities, or create something new?  Network with people in industries that interest you to learn more about them and determine if they would keep you engaged.


There is no real mystery when it comes to how to know when you’re ready for a career change. Your career should be a long-term and meaningful endeavour that fully utilises your skills, strengths, experiences, and passions.  You do not have to settle for work that no longer excites you, wears you out, doesn’t fully utilise your greatness, and no longer drives you.  It’s never too late to make a career change – one that excites you, energises you, drives you, and allows you to make an impact.  

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