Picture this—you’ve worked hard to get to where you are in your career. You’re talented and successful at what you do. Your work is financially rewarding. You love your clients.
One day you wake up and something’s shifted. You’re not passionate about your work anymore. You feel disconnected, unhappy and you’re unsure what’s missing.
So, what do you do?
I’ve coached many professionals through their career transitions and have identified some common signs it’s time for a change.
Here are six signs your company doesn’t align with your values—and you’re ready to find a new role.
We’ve all experienced those Sunday night blues. The weekend’s almost over and we’re not quite ready to go back to work on Monday.
But what happens when those Sunday blues become feelings of dread?
You struggle to find the energy to get up and go to work each morning. You’re bored or unhappy at work most of the time. The work no longer challenges or energizes you.
You’re dreading Monday and living for the weekend.
This feeling is the first unquestionable sign it’s time for a change. If you’re currently experiencing these feelings, don’t ignore them. They’re highlighting a real problem that needs addressing.
When an organization experiences major change, it’s common for the culture to shift, too. It could be a takeover, new leadership or merging of two company cultures. There might be an organizational restructure or even an exodus of key people or close colleagues.
What happens if you don’t agree with certain leadership decisions? What about when the company’s strategic direction and what your company stands for no longer feels aligned?
There’s clearly a clash between your employer’s values and your own. This is a big sign it’s time to make a change.
Have you ever looked at someone else’s job and thought, “I’m jealous. I wish I could do that.”
You may be interested in aspects of the work they do. Maybe you're interested in their industry, the organization they work for or the type of clients they work with.
Maybe you see someone working in a certain way and dream of doing the same. They may be working part-time or flexible hours or working from any location in the world.
Career envy or curiosity about another person’s work means you’re starting to dream bigger. And that could be a sign you’re ready for a new role.
Over the past 13 years, I’ve helped hundreds of professionals develop or transition their careers. Many have said a version of this to me:
“I look at my boss and know I don’t want their job one day. I need to make another plan.”
I’ve worked with lots of lawyers who’ve had successful careers leading tier-one firms. They’re promoted to their first leadership role, then look at their manager and realize they don’t want to become a partner in a major law firm—or partnership at all.
Plenty of these individuals transition into an in-house role. Others start their own practices. Some change careers completely.
Many professionals feel anxious about throwing away the time and energy invested into their current career path and organization. They struggle with the loyalty they feel towards their employer. They fear making the wrong move, failing and worry about what others may think.
If you decide your current company isn’t right for you, don’t feel guilty or deny your feelings. Embrace it and start planning your next move.
Imagine your job no longer exists and you need to find a new role. Are you devastated—or would it be a blessing in disguise?
Your immediate response is very telling. Remove all logic, get out of your head and tap into your body’s natural wisdom—your intuition. What would your answer be?
Are you angry, fired up and ready to fight for the job you care about? Or, do you feel lighter and even relieved—like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders? Are you excited to try something new?
If there’s a clear voice telling you it’s time to move on, don’t ignore it. It takes enormous courage to leave a comfortable, familiar job and make a change. But the alternative is to hide behind fear and become increasingly unmotivated, stressed out or miserable.
After attempting to address what’s making you unhappy at work, nothing’s changed. You’ve lost interest in your work. You’re counting down the hours until you go home. Perhaps you simply no longer care about your job.
These are all final, definitive signs your heart is no longer in it. If you’ve reached this point, accept it’s time to move on. You’re ready for a change.
It can be challenging to recognize when your company doesn’t align with your values. Some people go months, even years, without addressing the fact they’re ready for a change. These insights have helped my clients tell when it’s time to move on—I hope they support you too.
This article was written by an FGB Contributor.
Stacey Back is a career strategist, leadership coach and Founder of Profile Careers. She helps high-achieving women at a mid-career crossroads find the work that lights them up, increase their income, impact and create a career + life on their terms.
Stacey also supports leaders to transition from their corporate job into their own consulting businesses. She works virtually with individuals based across the globe.