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6 Signs It's Time To Change Careers And Why It's So Scary

Written by: Jacqueline Neuwirth, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Jacqueline Neuwirth

Considering a career switch? When you’re at a crucial point in your career and pondering a shift, it can stir up both excitement and anxiety, testing your sense of stability and who you are. With more remote jobs available these days, a lot of people are reassessing their career goals. If you're thinking about making a career change, you're in good company. In this article, you will find six signs that suggest a career change could be a great next step for you, why it might feel so scary, and what to do when those fears arise.

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1. You feel undervalued

Feeling undervalued, where your skills and contributions are not fully recognized or utilized, is a significant indicator that a career change might be beneficial. When your talents are overlooked, it can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation, making your job feel unrewarding.

Overcome your fears

The idea of leaving a secure position for the uncertainty of a new career, especially when seeking acknowledgment and a role that values your unique skills, can be intimidating. It raises fears about whether you'll find a better fit elsewhere or face similar issues in a new environment.

Identify your key skills and strengths

Identify your key skills and strengths and consider careers where these are in high demand. Crafting a narrative that highlights your unique background and how it translates to other industries can make you an attractive candidate. Networking and informational interviews can also shed light on opportunities where your talents will be better appreciated and rewarded.

2. Constant stress and dissatisfaction

Ongoing stress or unhappiness stemming from your job is an unmistakable sign that change is necessary. Prolonged exposure to a negative work environment can take a toll on your physical and mental health, underscoring the need for a more fulfilling path.

Build confidence

Leaving a job, even an unsatisfying one, means venturing into uncertainty. The fear of not finding something better can keep many tethered to unhappy situations. It takes confidence and courage to make changes. Read my “10 Habits That Ruin Your Confidence” article to build your confidence as one of the first steps in taking steps that may feel scary to you.

Explore career options

Pinpoint the root causes of your dissatisfaction and explore career options that mitigate these stressors. Consulting a career coach can provide clarity and a strategy to move forward.

3. Wanting more freedom and flexibility

A significant motivator for a career change can be the desire for more freedom and flexibility in your work life. Whether it's the need for a more flexible schedule, autonomy in decision-making, or the option to work remotely, striving for a career that offers more personal freedom reflects a deep-seated yearning for control over how you spend your time and manage your work.

Steer away from traditional job structure

Seeking greater freedom and flexibility means venturing away from the traditional job structure, embracing a level of uncertainty and risk. It's a step that requires confidence in your ability to manage your time and productivity outside the confines of a conventional work environment.

Identify careers

Identify careers or roles that align with your desire for more freedom. Many fields now offer remote work opportunities or flexible schedules that can meet your need for a better work-life balance. Freelancing, consulting, or entrepreneurship are avenues that could provide the autonomy you're seeking. Careful planning and networking are crucial in making a transition that allows for greater freedom in your professional life.

4. Envy of others' careers

If you find yourself envious of others’ professional endeavors, it’s a signal that your current path might not be fulfilling your aspirations. This envy is a mirror reflecting your unmet desires and potential paths you could explore. People change careers at every age. You are never too young or too old to change careers.

Acknowledging envy

Acknowledging envy means confronting the reality that a change is needed, which can be a sobering realization fraught with fears of inadequacy and the unknown.

Use this feeling as motivation

Use this feeling as motivation to research and reach out to individuals in the fields you admire. This can provide insight and inspiration for your own career pivot. Reach out to individuals in the fields you admire. This can provide insight and inspiration for your own career pivot.

5. Stagnation in professional growth

The quest for knowledge and advancement is intrinsic to job satisfaction and personal fulfillment. If days blend into one another with no new skills learned or milestones achieved, it's a signal that your professional life is in a rut. A glaring sign that you’re ready for a career switch is when your current role stops to challenge you or contribute to your growth.

Focus on growth

Venturing into the unknown to seek growth is daunting because it often involves leaving behind a familiar environment and facing the risk of failure. However, growth lies just outside our comfort zone.

Pinpoint your strengths and interests

Begin with introspection to pinpoint your strengths and interests. Investigate fields that promise growth, considering your unique skill set. Acquiring new qualifications or skills can also equip you for a smooth transition.

6. Feeling out of sync with values

Feeling out of sync with your workplace culture is a strong indicator that a change is due. Whether it's differing views on work-life balance, team collaboration, or ethical practices, such a misalignment can lead to job dissatisfaction and a sense of not belonging.

Find the right culture

The thought of leaving a stable job to find a culture that aligns with your values can be intimidating, as it involves stepping into the unknown and starting anew.

Reflect on what you value

Reflect on what you value most in a job and seek out companies that mirror these ideals. Networking and thorough research can uncover opportunities where you'll likely find a more compatible cultural fit.

Feeling stuck about changing careers?

Set up a free chat with me to brainstorm and create a strategy for your career change to help you feel more fulfilled and happier with your professional life. With over 25 years of industry experience, I have made several successful smaller pivots in my career, as well as some more significant moves into new fields. My goal is to help you pull of radical career changes as well as make smaller changes to help you feel more fullfilled and happy with your professional life.

Click on the Book a free chat button.

Jacqueline Neuwirth Brainz Magazine

Jacqueline Neuwirth, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jacqueline is dedicated to helping individuals transform challenges, confusion, and doubt into clarity, confidence, and success in their personal and professional lives.

With twenty-five years of consulting experience, she combines a holistic and strategic approach to help clients in the full spectrum of love and relationships, including dating, recovery from breakups, enhancing current relationships, or evaluating if it’s right to stay or leave. She also has extensive experience helping clients in their careers to create more fulfillment, higher impact, or make a career change for greater life satisfaction.

Her coaching incorporates a lifelong study of Eastern and Western philosophy and her 10-year journey of working one-on-one with a Zen monk. Jacqueline provides tailored guidance designed to meet each client’s unique needs. She includes theories and practices such as Attachment Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Mindfulness, and the Law of Attraction philosophy. Jacqueline is currently furthering her expertise as a Marriage and Family Therapist and MFT Candidate in Counseling Psychology.

For those ready to make transformative change Jacqueline Neuwirth offers a free consultation through her website:



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