Skip to main content

7 Signs You Need A Career Change

WVU Online | Wednesday, June 26, 2024

At any age and any point in your career, it's common to find yourself questioning whether you're on the right career path.

The excitement you once had in your career may have died down, or maybe you feel stuck in your career, aren’t able to advance or you’re not being challenged.

You may be in a work environment that doesn’t match your values or you may be feeling burnt out and unable to enjoy your personal life anymore.

These are strong indicators that it may be time for a change in your career. Once you recognize these, you can start to take the first steps toward a more fulfilling work life.

Whether you're contemplating going back to school as an adult, starting over at 30, or exploring a second career after 50, these insights will guide you on your journey to professional happiness and success.

How To Decide If You Need A Career Change Or A New Job

Deciding between switching careers and switching jobs can be daunting. Knowing the difference between these two options can help you make the best choice.

When you switch jobs, you usually find a new position within your same field but in a different company or in a better environment.

It involves using your existing skills and experience in a new company that offers you greater job satisfaction, compensation, or work culture. The transition is usually quicker and involves minimal re-training.

However, when you switch careers, you will most likely be moving into a completely different field that requires new skills or qualifications.

This may require additional education or training and may mean that you will start at a lower level in your new career. This is a longer path and involves more significant changes, but it can lead to greater personal and professional fulfillment.

Signs That It’s Time For A Change

1. Your salary isn’t enough, and there’s little room for growth.

If you're working full-time and still struggling to make ends meet, it's a sign that your current job may not be enough to provide for you long-term.

According to a study by the Federal Reserve, nearly 40% of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected $400 expense. This financial instability shows that it's time to explore new opportunities that offer better pay and growth opportunities.

If your job lacks a clear path for promotion and growth or you’ve been stuck in the same position for years, you may just want to look into new employers that offer challenges and growth opportunities. According to a survey by LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.

However, if you’re interested in shifting to a brand new career, you may need to think about higher education. Let’s say you want to shift from Public Relations to a Data Marketing career. In this case, your undergraduate degree and professional experience may mean you can make the transition by pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Data Marketing.

2. You dread going to work every day.

If you’re faced with dread at the idea of going to work every morning, it may be time to look for a new path. Your job should be something you look forward to, or even something you don’t mind doing, but not make you anxious or stressed at clock-in time.

Job stress can even give you physical symptoms like headaches or insomnia. According to the American Psychological Association, job stress is a leading source of chronic stress for Americans.

For those considering a significant career change, going back to school as an adult can be an empowering step. It provides not only new skills but also a renewed sense of purpose.

3. You feel unfulfilled and disconnected from your work.

A lack of fulfillment at your job can be a strong motivator for change. If you no longer find meaning or purpose in what you do, it's a sign that you should reassess your career and what you want from it.

A Gallup poll found that only 34% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, which means the majority of workers are just going through the motions without feeling a strong connection to their tasks.

Consider exploring new fields that align more closely with your passions.

For instance, if you’re starting over at 30, many online programs can help you make a seamless transition into a more fulfilling career. To help determine the right program for you, use this resource to get a look into what you can do with different degrees and certificates. This way, you can better see the possibilities waiting for you.

4. You’ve lost passion for your industry.

Passion is a key driver of career satisfaction. If you no longer feel excited about developments in your industry or have stopped pursuing professional growth opportunities, it might be time to move on.

Consider fields that spark your interest and offer new challenges.

For example, enrolling in an online learning program can help you gain the skills needed to transition into a new career that excites you. To start, you can check out some of the fastest-growing careers in the U.S. and see if any fit what you’re looking for.

5. You daydream about a different career.

If you find yourself daydreaming about a different job, it’s a sign that your current role might not be fulfilling your aspirations. These daydreams can be an indicator of what you truly want to do.

Turning these dreams into reality can start with practical steps, like researching and enrolling in relevant degree or certificate programs that align with your career goals.

For example, shifting from a corporate role to a more creative field might start by getting a relevant certification or degree. You may want to try a career in the creative arts, or maybe you want to pursue a creative job in a business field, like creative strategy for a marketing agency.

Researching programs and seeing what is offered may help you narrow down a more specific direction that fits your greater dreams.

6. Your work environment is toxic.

A toxic work environment can significantly impact your mental and physical health. If you’re dealing with constant negativity, poor management, or workplace bullying, it’s crucial to consider leaving. The Workplace Bullying Institute reports that nearly one-third of adult Americans (30%) said they directly experienced abusive conduct at work and another 19% have witnessed it.

Finding a healthier work environment can start with gaining new skills or credentials that make you a more attractive candidate for better workplaces. Online learning can provide a pathway to these opportunities.

7. Your job is impacting your personal life.

When your job starts to negatively impact your personal life, it’s a clear sign that something needs to change.

Whether you are missing family events, feeling too exhausted to engage in hobbies, or constant stress is creeping into your home life, your career should not dominate your entire existence.

Balancing work and life is crucial for overall happiness, and you want to work for an organization that values and respects that. If you’re struggling with this balance, it might be time to seek a career that offers better work-life harmony.

Learn How WVU Online Can Support Your Career Change

Pursuing a new career path may require additional training or education. WVU Online offers a variety of degree and certificate programs designed to help you gain the skills you need to start your new journey and find success along the way. Our flexible programs are tailored to your schedule, providing a convenient way to further your education.

Get started by, connecting with an Academic Coach. They can help you explore your options and create a plan that fits your goals.

Learn more about how WVU Online can support your career change.

We're here for you.

Call us, write us, or fill out the request information form. Whichever communication style you prefer, there will be someone from WVU Online on the other end waiting to help.

(800) 253-2762 Email Us Submit a Contact Request Form

WVU Online

Be a decision maker. First, your degree. World-class academics at an exceptional value.

Occasionally a student will encounter an issue with an online course that he or she doesn’t know how to resolve. Should this occur, please visit the link below.

Internal Student Complaint Process

Contact Us

WVU Online
West Virginia University
PO Box 6800
Morgantown, WV 26506-6800

Phone: (800) 253-2762

Connect with WVU Online

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube TicToc Icon