How do you know if you’re on the right career track? How can you tell if you’ve outgrown what you do? What are the signs that you have hit a professional plateau? I hear some version of these questions over and over, even from smart, ambitious professionals. If you find yourself doubting the career path you’re on, here are seven signs that your current career no longer suits you:
You’re asking the question
If you have to ask whether or not your current careeer is right for you, then it pobably isn’t. That doesn’t mean you quit on the spot, and it doesn’t mean that the issue is not fixable. However, your questioning means you’re onto something that needs exploration.
If you’re no longer losing track of time when working on a project or interested in what’s coming up for the company, then you’re bored. When your bored, your work quality, collaborations and productivity slide. You need to be careful that your lack of enthusiasm doesn’t lead to a lack of enthusiasm from colleagues, management and the market.
You get complacent
Similar to boredom, complacency can easily lead to underperformance. You coast, cling to the status quo and block out new ideas or corrective feedback. The market is constantly changing. If you are complacent, you aren’t changing with it and risk being left behind.
You pull rank
Even people who aren’t typically arrogant sometimes get a superiority complex when they’ve done the job for a long while. If you find yourself pulling rank – I know that already, or of course I know how to do this – then you are preventing new ideas and improvements from reaching you (and your career).
You are irritable
Sure, you like your colleagues, clients and even your boss, but you’re just annoyed, and you’re not sure why. Irritability is another sign you’re rejecting your current career. It was fine before, but no longer.
You long for something else
If you still manage to do a good job – you feign enthusiasm, you stay alert for new ideas, you remain collegial and collaborative – but you find yourself wondering if this is all there is, then that longing is a sign that No, this is not be all there is. You need to find what more is out there.
Finally, if you hit an inflection point – e.g., New Year, start of the school year, your annual performance review – and you worry that you’ll be at this same place a year from now, then that potential regret is a warning sign to make a change.
What should you do if you are experiencing regret, longing, irritability or any of these seven signs? If you’re seeking a change but not sure what, it may not even be your career at the root. It could be your current role and there’s something else within the company. It could be that your role is fine but the company doesn’t fit. It could be that your personal life is lacking. You need to pinpoint the restlessness more specifically, so your first order of business is to explore and experiment enough to find the cause of your dissatisfaction. Don’t worry yet about fixing what the problem turns out to be. Just resolve to make small changes that will help you get in a better mood, so you can do more exploring an experimenting and figure out once you’re clearer and happier where you need to make bigger changes.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Contributor: www.forbes.com. web 2-18-2018.