As a mom, professional, and a human being in general, I often feel that my biggest struggle is making sure all the time I devote into my career is meaningful. I've been through a huge journey finding the right career and company, and I know that I'm not alone in that struggle. Too often, women feel they have to roll with the punches to stay afloat financially, even if that means throwing career goals out the window. But it's important to note signs you're on the wrong career path and work toward adjusting your potential life-long occupation as a result.
Although some people have the outlook that work is just a necessity to pay the bills, I beg to differ. Work can be something you're passionate about, and it should also allow you to feel like you're doing something meaningful. Additionally, it can be an positive source of challenge in climbing your respective career ladder.
If you have a nagging feeling in the back of your mind that continues to nudge you at work, it may be time to read through these signs that you're on the wrong career path and do some soul searching ... or job searching.
1. You're Relying On Substances After Work
In Bustle's interview with life coach Gemma McCrae, she stated that if you're relying on alcohol, drugs, or even cigarettes as an excuse to escape from work, sabotage yourself, or feel happy, there's something awry. Correlating substance usage with your job shows it's time for a different career path.
2. You're Constantly Uninspired & Unmotivated
I am more than willing to admit I suffer from phases of not being motivated or inspired. It happens to the best of us. It might be worth noting, however, if you feel your motivation levels have totally tanked in your current field and stayed there, you may be on the wrong career path, according to the aforementioned Bustle article.
3. You're Always Tired & Drained
Personally, I experienced this trait with a previous job and career path. During the work week (and really anything that surrounded work), I was exhausted. I was tired, sore, and always wanted to throw in the towel. Eventually, I figured out it wasn't because there was an endless virus flowing through my home, but actually I was just totally unsatisfied and stressed with my career path. More importantly, I had nothing good to say about the company I'd chosen. After I made positive changes in my field and with my job, that fatigue finally lifted.
4. You Rely On "Extras" To Get You Through Work
Although looking forward to future goals, trips, or perks is fairly normal, The Financial Diet (TFD) noted that if you're totally relying on them to get you through your job, it says something about your day-to-day happiness. "Work perks aren't the only reason to hold down a job," according to TFD.
5. It Takes Every Ounce Of Your Being To Not Call In
At some point, I'm confident most people have dreaded something so much that searching for any excuse to get out of it was their number-one priority. Whether it be the wrong education path, career field, or otherwise, if you're constantly looking for excuses to not show up, there's an issue in my experience.
6. You're Constantly Complaining Or Upset About Your Job
According to the aforementioned TFD article, consistently complaining about your job after you've left the office is (surprise!) a telltale sign that you're unsatisfied with your career or current company. If you’re complaining because you don't like the work or because you’re working hard but don’t have an end goal in sight, that shows an overarching career issue.
7. You Have Job-Envy
Forbes noted that if you find yourself highly charged or jealous at the mention of specific career paths outside of your own, it may be time to seek out why. Assess what aspects of another career path amp you up. If you feel you can't incorporate those desirable qualities into your current job, it might be time for a change.
8. You Don't Feel You're Fulfilling Purpose
According to Work It Daily, the most vital factor of all is your happiness. Even though you can tough through a career for years without being truly happy about it, a sense of fulfillment will never be present. So consider what career would bring you joy and purpose instead.
9. You're Constantly Phoning It In
Although this may sound familiar to literally calling in, it's not quite the same. When getting it done replaces taking pride in your work, it's likely you're unsatisfied with your career and "phoning in" your work ethic, according to the aforementioned TFD article. Ask yourself why and search for a job where you value your work instead.
10. The Thought Of Work Makes You Anxious
Not everyone who suffers from anxiety is on the wrong career path, but many people who are deal with anxiety because of the stress that comes with their career or not leading a job they're satisfied with, according to the aforementioned Bustle article. If you notice your work triggers anxiety or that anxiety dissipates when you don't have to deal with work, it could mean your current career is causing a lot of unhealthy stress.
11. You Don't Feel Like You're Going Anywhere
If you have certain capacities that aren't being used or maximized by your current profession, it may be time to find a career path that allows you to use your skills and grow, according to the aforementioned Work It Daily article. Additionally, if you feel your career is a dead end at every turn, the same idea applies. You should be able to stretch your wings and go places.
12. You're Always Job Hopping
It's not a good sign when job searching becomes a daily hobby, according to the aforementioned Work It Daily article. Consistently looking elsewhere often means you're currently on the incorrect career path. If you find a career you're satisfied with, it should help you exert that job-searching energy elsewhere.