How to Tell if it's Time to Change Careers

If the thought of returning to work in the new year gives anyone the dry heaves or shakes, without the benefit of the night before, it's probably time to consider options to a new career path. Burn out and boredom from the present work load are both stress inducing; at least considering and researching other options gives a sense of doing something and taking control.

Is it Burn Out, Boredom, or Something Else?

The first step is to decide if it is the job, the employee, or something else that is causing those knots in the stomach and that panic feeling upon arriving at work. Is the work situation and/or environment a healthy one or one filled with put downs and anxiety? Is the job challenging or just stress inducing? Is the workload OK but the co-workers not? Is the stress from home life seeping into the job stress area and causing more harm?

It might be easier to decide what it is not. Eliminate external factors first. Loss or conflict within family may be the cause of added stress at the workplace rather than the workload or career itself. If the work itself is still comforting or provides a sense of accomplishment, then most likely a career change is NOT in order. Consider getting help for those problems outside of work.

Burn out and boredom both present their own challenges. Burn out is the body and mind's way of protecting itself; too much is going on and shut down is the mode of choice (unconsciously). The line of work may be too much for one now: for example, being a Paramedic may be great at first, but the hours and emotional roller coaster of trying to save lives will eventually catch up to these workers. Many move into other healthcare related areas to utilize their experience without the day to day stress.

Boredom means the worker is not putting forth his best effort. While not all jobs can be exhilarating at all times, see if there are ways to combat feelings of lethargy with new projects or a new attitude. Or starting thinking about the jobs that do raise anticipation levels.

By  Paym Bergson

Feature Writer - Career Advice
Suite 101

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