Ready for a Career Change? Read This First

When you enter the workforce, most of us have the impression we’ll be working our dream jobs for the rest of our lives. In middle school and high school, parents and teachers push the idea that we should know exactly what we want to be when we grow up. But the decisions you make at 13 to 18 likely won’t reflect your wants and needs in your 30s, 40s and 50s. Even if you once loved your job, you may realize that it no longer fulfills you the way it should. No matter what you do to fix your lack of enthusiasm, nothing works. Deep down, you know it’s time to move on.

Are You Ready for a Career Change?

Sometimes, a new job with a different company isn’t enough to make you happy. Doing the same work for a slightly higher pay can be as equally unfulfilling if your heart simply isn’t in the work anymore. Days all blur into one another, and you may even wrestle with a sense of guilt that you can’t commit the way you used to. A career change can be bittersweet because it means letting go of an industry you’ve likely invested 10 or more years into. But it also means you are preparing for a brighter future filled with excitement, motivation and new potential.

Signs You Need to Change Your Field

The most obvious sign is that you are no longer happy with your job. You know that there isn’t an immediate problem in the workplace causing the issue, like poor management or catty coworkers. Instead, there is a deep-rooted sense of misplacement and dissatisfaction that no number of incentives or accolades could cure.

Another sign you need to change careers is always feeling exhausted. Amount of sleep is critical to brain function and getting too much sleep is just as worrisome as getting too little. If you get enough sleep, but it never feels like enough to make you want to get out of bed in the morning, that is another sign. Especially if at the end of the workday, you’re practically crawling home. 

Coffee, exercise and the like do nothing to shake the constant sense of fatigue that haunts you at work. Another warning sign is that you feel worthless at work. Your job is not just a place to go and earn a paycheck. It should bring you a sense of purpose, fulfillment and achievement in your day-to-day life. When everything you do at work feels like a dead-end, it’s time to look elsewhere.

How to Get Started

The first thing you should do is ask yourself what you’d be doing if you actually enjoyed work. Then, you should consider what industries are hiring, what qualifications you’ll need to change and how much you’re willing to train for a new career. This could be the perfect time to return to school and earn another degree. Whether it’s a master’s or second bachelor’s, going back to college can fuel your career move and help you rediscover your passions. While you explore potential degrees, be sure to look into financing options as well.

In addition to your everyday student loans, there are also thousands of college scholarships out there. Some are even designed for returning students and working professionals. This free scholarship search and application platform can help you find the right ones for your education. Now is also a great time to begin taking online classes. These will help you get into the groove of learning without taking away the income from your full-time job.