It’s common for employees to consider a career change at some point. Whether they feel overworked, underutilized, or just want to try something new, there are many reasons to consider changing careers. There can be plenty of benefits to switching industries, including increased pay, improved quality of life, and a renewed sense of purpose. Read on for key signs that an employee is ready for a career change and important factors to consider before officially changing careers.

Losing interest in work

When employees recognize they’re low-energy, lacking enthusiasm, or feeling detached from their role, these may be telltale signs that they’re losing interest in their work. Rather than taking pride in their contributions, employees might feel uninterested in their work. While it’s normal for employees to feel distracted or less energetic sometimes, persistent feelings of disinterest may be a sign that it’s time for a change.

Hitting a professional plateau

If employees feel they’re no longer learning from their role or growing in their career, they’ve likely hit a professional plateau. Career changers may notice they aren’t feeling challenged enough and their skills are underutilized. Employees might also feel that they’ve reached a professional plateau if they’re experiencing a lack of recognition (perhaps in the form of promotions and raises). When work feels like it’s at a standstill, employees may consider switching to a new job with more growth potential.

Feeling negatively impacted by work

Career changers may notice that work is taking a toll on their mental well-being, physical health, and self-esteem. Symptoms of burnout like exhaustion and illness can have a negative impact on an employee’s overall quality of life. Burnout can also contribute to feeling a lack of confidence and doubting one’s decision-making. When work negatively impacts an employee’s sense of self-worth, a new job can provide a much-needed positive change.

Discovering a new professional passion

Whether an employee feels like they’ve lost enthusiasm for their industry or have identified a newfound passion, this can mean it’s time for a career change. “Employees who realize they are passionate about a different industry may benefit from researching careers they can pivot to,” said Financial Advisor Shanna McCormick.

Being presented with a compelling job offer

Employees who are satisfied in their current role are sometimes approached with an attractive job offer. Even if they weren’t actively looking, this could be a good opportunity for a career change. If there’s a job offer on the table that presents the opportunity to take on a more interesting role, offload nonessential duties, or generally improve one’s professional position, it may be worth accepting the offer.

Deciding to make the transition

“For employees ready to take the leap and make a career change, there are a few practical considerations to keep in mind,” said McCormick. “Career changers should assess if their new professional path will require them to undergo training, enroll in school, or obtain a license.” They should also take into consideration how their salary will change (will they make more money, or will they need to scale down their budget?) as well as how their benefits will change (how will their 401k plans be impacted, or what will happen to their flexible spending accounts?). What will their other benefits look like, such as dental coverage or life insurance? (Remember, an employer’s group life insurance policy is different from an individual policy, like whole life insurance.) Beyond the job itself, a career change can significantly affect someone’s lifestyle. It’s important to take these practical items into consideration when deciding whether to make a switch.

Source: Northwestern Mutual

Contact: Don Klein, 1-800-323-7033

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