How do you know when it’s time to make the career switch? Vanessa Hallick, Mindset and Business Coach tells us the 7 key warning signs to look out for...
"If you had told me three years ago that I would have quit my Corporate HR Manager Job and be living in Bali with my fiancé, while running a global Coaching business that allows me to work from anywhere, I wouldn’t have believed you. The truth is, anything is possible when it comes to changing your career and doing work that lights you up. I didn’t always believe that though.
I learned the hard way, spending years in and out of jobs that weren't the right fit."
Here are seven tips on spotting when it's time to change your career.
Do any of these resonate? If so, it might be time to brush off that old CV…
You keep searching for alternatives
I spent my 20s hopping from one job to the next. The running joke in our family was “Ness can’t stay in a job longer than 6 months”. I would learn what I needed to, do the position and after that, I would get bored. I knew I loved variety, I loved a challenge and the work that I was doing didn’t provide that.
If you feel the same way or you have started new courses or projects outside of work in an attempt to make the change but don’t see them through to completion, you are not alone. There are countless women I speak to and work with, who have done the same. It is a clear sign that the work you are trying to do is not the path you are supposed to be on.
Your intuition is telling you that change is needed (but you are ignoring it)
I believe that we're born highly intuitive. Often suppressing this as we get older and instead, listening to others to try and advance our careers. I kept searching for something else, something outside of me and shut off that gut feeling that a change was needed.
I was allowing my life to be dictated by what other people wanted for me instead of being guided by what I wanted. I was so scared of making the wrong decision that I became consumed by fear. The questions I asked myself were “what is my gut telling me to do?” and “if I put fears aside what would be the work I would love to do in the world?
You feel unfulfilled
At the time my career was most successful, I felt like I was going through the motions every day. I felt drained from the long hours at work and doing tasks that no longer challenged me. I started to get consumed with work and had little time for those I loved and the activities that I used to enjoy. Even the simple pleasures of going for a walk or seeing a sunset, things I used to revel in prior to my career were devoid of pleasure. I clearly remember feeling numb and lifeless. Searching for meaning outside of me and looking to improve my appearance and lose weight in an attempt to mask what was really happening.
When I started helping other women by creating meaningful careers through coaching, I felt a new lease of life and energy. Every time I spoke to women and helped them move forward in their life, I immediately felt alive and energised. This is how it's meant to feel.
There are destructive patterns you can’t seem to shift
When I was ignoring the signs that I wasn’t on the career path that was meant for me, it started to show in my health and disposition. I struggled to lose weight and keep it off, my adult acne became unbearable and painful and binge eating in solitude on a Friday night after a long week at work became my coping mechanism.
For too long I kept this a secret, which created so much guilt and shame. Eventually, I realised, that a lot of my clients had similar patterns from binge eating to frivolous spending or over-consumption of alcohol. There was always an outlet from not finding fulfilment in their career and life.
For years, I tried to lose weight, hiring countless nutritionists and personal trainers. On the outside I was put together and “controlled” but behind closed doors, I was crying relentlessly and eating uncontrollably. Although I was acutely aware of what was happening, it wasn’t until I changed careers and started doing meaningful work that I stopped the destructive patterns, my acne healed, and I got a handle on my diet and fitness. These behaviours are not normal and not something you should “put up with”. They are clear signs that change is needed.
You wish your days away
Have you ever woken up on a Monday morning, thinking “I just wish this day would end?” In my corporate job, this used to be my morning mantra. As I crammed myself into the London tube, as I ate my breakfast and even when I got to work. All my mind could focus on was wishing the work week away so that I could have the weekend.
It's no longer about the money
The key reasons that most of the people I speak to don’t leave their existing careers is the fear of not making enough money, sacrificing their income or not being able to replace their corporate salary. I realised that there was a lot I would be willing to give up in my life, in terms of material things to be able to be happy. Fortunately, after returning back to a corporate HR job, I realised that it was possible to transition from one career to another without sacrificing the income I was used to.
One of the first questions I asked myself was, “If money is not an issue what would I truly love to do with my life?”
It wasn’t long after this realisation that I changed careers and started doing Mindset and Business Coaching. I knew that when I create and do everything from a place of happiness first, the money and lifestyle I always wanted, followed from that. I now ask myself every morning “What would I like to do today that would make me feel truly happy?”. Try it.
You don't crave promotions
All of my corporate career I was chasing the next promotion and salary increase. It kept me going for a long time as it gave me a challenge I thrived on. But eventually the excitement of chasing the next position ended and I realised that the only reason I kept wanting the next promotion and pay increase was because I was unhappy and unfulfilled in my current position. Once I had figured this out I had no desire to study further in HR and it didn’t matter how much I would be paid at the next level, I didn’t want any of it. I knew a change was needed if I wanted to be truly happy in my career.
The easiest way to change your career is to start now. Identify what you truly want in your career and then take small steps in the direction of your dreams. You don’t have to leap but take steps to move forward. Your future self will thank you. Take time to transition and set a date for the start of your new career. Allow yourself to go for it, in spite of your fears.
It may turn out to be the best decision you ever make.
Vanessa Hallick is a Mindset and Business Coach and founder of vanessahallick.com