How to Make a Career Change Without Falling Prey to the "Great Regret"

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k

You’ve certainly heard of the Great Resignation by now — a massive, global departure from people’s jobs. But some, in search of greener pastures, have fallen victim to another phenomenon: the Great Regret.

Seventy-two percent of respondents to a Muse survey said they had experienced “shift shock,” a realization that a new job is very different from what they had initially been led to believe. For some, this is leading to regret over changing jobs or careers. 

How, then, do you know if it really is time to find a new career — rather than just a passing desire for change?

5 signs it’s time for a career change

1. You’re not excited about your work.

Perhaps there was a time when you felt energized and enthused about going into work. But now, you dread getting out of bed in the morning. You’re bored with your work, and every day is the same. You’re not learning anything new, and you’ve felt like you’re just going through the motions day after day. You’re simply not excited about your career anymore.

2. You’re envious of friends who love what they do.

You listen to your friends rave about their jobs. Their enthusiasm is palpable — and you wish you could feel the same about your job. But you just don’t. You, too, want to get real joy out of what you do. You’re not envious of the specific work your friends are doing, per se, but you want that feeling about a career, too — and it doesn’t seem like you’ll ever get that out of the one you’re in right now.

3. You dread going to work.

Your alarm clock goes off, and you just want to pull the covers over your head and hide. Maybe you can call in sick today — again?

Sunday night rolls around, and you start getting worried and anxious about the day to come. You can’t even enjoy the weekend because you’re so on edge about starting the workweek again, and it’s enough to zap the joy out of your free time.

4. You dream of a different work life.

Even when you’re working and trying to stay focused, you’re daydreaming about another life — another work life, that is. It’s making you less productive in your current job, of course, and eating up your free time, too, because you’re only fantasizing about a career that could truly make you happy, much happier than you are now. 

It’s possible, you believe. You’ve even started perusing job boards and LinkedIn profiles to see what’s out there.

5. You have a clear picture of what an engaging career would look like.

It’s gone beyond a fantasy: you actually know what it is you really want to do for work, and it’s definitely not what you’re doing right now. You have a clear picture of your dream career — the industry and your particular role within it. You really want to find your place within that landscape, not just get out of your current job.

If one or more of the items on this list applies to you, then the signs are there: it’s probably time to move on — onto something you’ll really love.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at:

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