e all need change at some point; sometimes it’s urgent and obvious and other times, it isn’t. I’ve experienced both, so without further ado, here are 10 signs it might be time for a change:
1. There is no growth or learning.
Early in your career, the focus should be on growth and learning — not on job titles, not on salary or benefits and certainly not on overpaying your dues.
You should be working on problems so interesting to you that you’re thinking about them during your free time. You should be tinkering with them in your mind when you’re preparing for work in the morning and when you’re just driving down the road, running errands.
Going through the motions mindlessly is a sign you’re not growing or learning and you probably need a change.
2. The days blend together.
Time is funny concept. When you’re giving out to the world, time moves fast, like, “I can’t believe it’s already summer!”
When you’re waiting to receive, time slows down, as in, “I was supposed to get a phone call or email within two days. It’s been a week! What’s going on here?!”
When it’s time for a change, a weird phenomenon occurs in which days drag on individually, but time, as a whole, passes quickly. You look back and realize that a lot of time has passed but you are uncertain as to what filled said time. The days simply blend together.
3. You stop caring about appearance.
It’s normal to care about your personal appearance. You should care. It shows that you’re making an effort to present yourself well. When I first started my last job, I would show up each day in a nicely ironed dress shirt and slacks.
Then, I stopped ironing the clothes. Eventually, I began simply tucking a dress shirt into jeans. Then, the shirt un-tucked itself. Finally, I did away with the dress shirt and started to just wear Polo shirts and t-shirts.
I noticed this trend among coworkers and even a boss, too. It’s like people dress down, subconsciously daring some higher power to comment on the attire of choice.
This isn’t unique to the workplace, either. It happens in romantic relationships, too, as people get comfortable and stop caring. Caring is good. The absence of care is evidence that it might be time for a change.
4. You engage in excessive daydreaming.
A little daydreaming is good for the soul, but doing so excessively robs you of the present moment. You start to focus on what you don’t have and what could be rather than on what’s presently in front of you.
5. You dread doing harmless things.
People grow nervous and even dread big meetings or things like going to the dentist. This is normal.
What’s not normal is when you start dreading normal, everyday activities for no logical reason. You walk a certain route to avoid people. You delay opening emails from certain senders.
If you feel like you’re about to be fed to the lions before a normal activity, it’s probably a sign you need change.
6. You overindulge in unhealthy things.
There’s nothing wrong with the common phrase, “Work hard; play hard” and it’s a positive goal to strive for fun alongside hard work. However, when “work hard; play hard” means repeatedly drinking to the point of obliteration on Friday and Saturday nights to forget about the past week, it’s a bad sign.
This isn’t just about drinking, either. Overindulging in comfort foods or excessive consumerism is also a sign that you’re stressed and looking for immediate gratification because you’re lacking it in other areas of life.
7. You experience abuse in any way, shape or form.
Abuse comes in many forms: physical, emotional, verbal, economic, mental and sexual. You shouldn’t tolerate any of them.
8. You feel the need to justify where you are in light of some possible future reward.
You know you’re unhappy but you constantly find ways to justify your current situation. Maybe it’s a potential promotion or bonus or maybe it’s because you think two years in a role looks better on your résumé than one year. Maybe you feel like you have to pay your dues a little longer. Maybe it’s something else entirely.
There might be truth in your justification, but the reality is there will always be a carrot dangling in front of you that you can use to justify what you’re doing. However, in the future, those carrots will be brighter and possibly tastier, which will make it even more difficult to turn your back on them.
If you’re craving change, you’ll rarely have all of your ducks in a row. There will never be a better or easier time to start than right now. You’ll only become more risk averse with time.
9. You harbor jealousy or envy.
Social media platforms like Facebook are great for keeping in touch with old friends and acquaintances, but they can also be toxic. If you find yourself browsing people’s profiles, comparing yourself to old classmates and even feeling a slight tingle of jealousy or envy, it’s probably time for change.
You should be so occupied with what you’re doing that what’s happening for others isn’t of concern. If you’re not happy for others and for yourself, it might be time for a change.
10. You’re reading this.
If you had to read THIS for validation that you need change, then you absolutely need to change.
Change doesn’t have to be drastic and it doesn’t need to happen overnight. Start small. Write down something you’d like to do or a goal you’d like to achieve. Then, write down daily tasks you could do to get closer to that goal.
Do one task each day. After 30 days, you’ll have completed 30 tasks toward your goals. That’s good progress, but make sure to start today, not tomorrow.