Only you can know when it’s time for a career shift but there are some pretty clear signs to watch out for.
Depending on your personality type, you might experience workplace boredom and stress in different ways. If you’re someone who likes helping people, it might be time for a career shift when your job doesn’t help you do that. Or if you’re an ambitious personality type, you might realize a lack of career progression is the reason you need to jump ship.
Whatever your current career is, here are seven signs it’s time for a career shift, based on your personality.
1. Everything annoys you.
If you’re at the stage where every tiny thing in your workday is annoying you, it’s probably time for a career shift! Regardless of whether you’re a more patient or agitated personality type, when you feel like your nerves are constantly on edge, that’s too much. Work can be stressful, but it shouldn’t be all-consuming.
This isn’t just about feeling annoyed at work. If you find that workplace stress is spilling into your home life, too, and you’re getting easily irritated or annoyed at the smallest things, that’s a clear sign it’s time for a career shift. Don’t delay!
2. You dread going back to work after the weekend.
We all know the feeling on a Sunday night when you wish you could extend the weekend a little longer. While that’s pretty normal, if you’re getting that feeling every weekend, then take it as a sign you need a career shift.
If you’re a spontaneous and freedom-loving personality type like an ESFP, this feeling is going to be more extreme. But if you dread going back to work after the weekend so much that you’re even thinking about it on Friday night and Saturday morning, it’s an obvious sign that you’re not happy with your job.
Take stock of your current situation and evaluate whether it’s the role, the company, or the career that’s the problem. Maybe your personality isn’t the right fit for your current workplace. Maybe it’s your role, not your career, that’s the problem. No matter what your personality type is, know that your work life doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’re always dreading work, it’s time for a change.
3. Your friends are sick of you complaining about your boss.
If you’re a super sociable and outgoing personality type like an ESTP, you’re going to see some signs it’s time for a career shift from your social circle.
While friends can be a source of much-needed support after a tough work week, they shouldn’t be the only thing keeping you together. If you’re the type who likes to offload after a long day, the people closest to you are going to be the clearest indicator that you need to switch careers. Constant complaining is a clear sign that it’s time to move on, especially if your friends are missing the fun-loving you from the days before you got this job.
4. You’ve lost sight of the end goal.
For some people, the most obvious sign that you need a career shift is when you don’t see the point of your work anymore. If you’ve lost sight of why you’re doing this and what you want to get out of it, you need to make a change.
While not every personality type will have a clear vision for the future, you’ll probably have some idea of where you’re hoping to be in the next ten or more years. If you can’t see how your current career is contributing to that dream, consider a career shift. This is especially important for idealist personality types like INFJs and INFPs, who stand to lose a lot if they’re in a role that’s not fulfilling those needs.
5. You’re losing sleep.
Sometimes your body tells you things that your brain isn’t willing to admit. When it comes to your work life, accumulated stress and anxiety from the day can stop you from switching off and even from sleeping.
If your work is stopping you from falling asleep at night or making you wake up and stare at the ceiling at 3 am, this is a major red flag. This is especially true for personality types that like to push themselves to the limit at work, including ENTJs and ENFJs. Chronic stress can have an extreme impact on your health, so don’t ignore it. Your body is throwing out signs that it’s time for a career shift, and it’s a good idea to take them seriously.
6. There’s nothing you enjoy doing anymore.
For other personality types, signs that you need a career shift might simply come from the realization that there’s nothing you enjoy doing anymore. If you can’t find anything in your current role that you like (besides going home at the end of the day!), you really need to consider a career change.
Don’t hold on to traditional ideas that work is supposed to be a hard slog and that life is about sacrifice (looking at you ESTJs!). You can find a career path that gives you a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment without sacrificing your hard-working values.
7. You don’t get to use the best parts of yourself.
Are you an ISTP who dreams of having a practical, creative career rather than sitting at a desk? Or an ESFJ who wants to communicate and help people rather than being stuck working from home? Sometimes the signs that you need a career shift don’t come from anything big or dramatic. Sometimes it’s when you start to feel like you’re not using your very best traits and attributes in your work life.
The clearest sign that you need a career shift is when you realize that you want something different for yourself. Don’t be afraid to admit that you want a career shift simply so you can use different parts of your brain and your personality. That’s something to be proud of, not feel guilty about.
Time to make a career shift?
There are many reasons to make a career shift, but the biggest signs are when you’re not happy, fulfilled or seeing any path towards getting what you want. That goes for everyone, whatever your personality type. And when you're ready to make a career shift, make sure you're avoiding these six things.Not sure what career path is right for you? Take our career test!