Feeling unhappy at work and dealing with an unmanageable workload, routine work that doesn’t change, and difficult deadlines may be prompting you to ask, ‘Will a career change improve my wellbeing?’
Saying goodbye to something you have been doing for many years is always a little scary, but even more fearful is the thought of spending eight hours or more of every day doing something that lacks meaning. How can taking a leap of faith lead to a healthier, happier, and even longer life?
Unhappiness at Work Seeps into Your Physical Health
Companies in the U.S. are facing an employee crisis, with a Gallup poll showing that in a survey of 7,500 full-time employees, 23% feel burned out. According to the research, unhappiness at work is linked to a host of ailments, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, gastrointestinal upset, and even high cholesterol — and this is just for people in the under-45 age group! If you seem consistently tired, you have difficulty sleeping, you have gained or lost considerable weight with no detectable reason, or you are falling ill frequently and missing days of work, it could be time to first obtain treatment then slowly look for other options.
Anxiety and Depression
You should also watch out for the signs of anxiety and depression — the two most common mental conditions that happen to be closely related to stress and burnout. Depression usually involves a lack of motivation to do the things you used to love, a dread of going to the office, and/or a feeling that things will never get better professionally. With anxiety, you may have heart palpitations, cramps, a faint feeling, and/or a sensation that you are having a breakdown. If you feel stressed, see a professional and talk to them about how to keep stress hormone (cortisol) levels down. Natural supplements, meditation, and time spent in nature are just three methods you might consider. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor might prescribe a different treatment.
Stuck in an Unfulfilling Job
Sometimes, the biggest sign that a job has ‘had its day’ is a general feeling of being unfulfilled. If you are affected when you see someone who is truly passionate about they do, or you have a strong leaning in a realm that is totally unrelated to your job, why not find a new one? Most people spend a large number of their waking hours at work, so it is important to spend your life doing something that gives your life meaning.
It Never is Too Late to Change
People are most likely to change jobs when they are younger. However, as indicated by research undertaken at the University of East Anglia, a good education is the vital consideration when it comes to changing into another industry. It is vital for longstanding employees keen on a new career to embrace further training. The first place to start is in job listings for the companies they wish to work for or the post they wish to fulfill. They should ensure they have the educational requirements listed, since they will probably already be quite solid on experience.
Finding a Clearer Path
One of the biggest obstacles to changing jobs is the fear of stepping into a void. There are many ways to help make a decision. One is by seeing a renowned, personally recommended life coach. Another is to talk to a mentor who may be aware of opportunities in your sector. Talk to people in your network as well — your associates might need someone on a freelance or even full-time basis but you need to get the word out that you are looking or something else. While you look for a new job, you can also consider studying part-time or online.
Even if you cannot make an immediate change, knowing you are taking small steps toward your goal can help you buffer the effect of employee burnout. From taking a new course to engaging in stress-busting pursuits (like meditation or yoga), it is important to take proactive steps so you feel like you are getting somewhere. If you are a senior employee, know that your vital experience will heighten your value to many companies; make sure your training is up to scratch so you will be ready to join a new team when the timing is right.