One of the greatest paradoxes of modern life is that, as much as we’ve improved technology to make life more convenient, we’re actually busier and more confused than ever.
Today’s world moves fast, and ever more unpredictably – meaning even the most intricately thought out plans sometimes demand seeking out help from a career counselor and considering a career change. A key motivator for switching jobs is the onset of burnout – but how do you know if you’re stressed, tired, or genuinely experiencing burnout for yourself?
A career switch is a big decision, so it’s best to go in with your eyes wide open. Read through some telltale signs of burnout below and remember – that your health is your most important asset. You can change your career path any time you want – but you only get one of you!
1. Your performance is taking a hit
It’s natural to have off days. Yet if it’s starting to feel more like an off few months – and moreover, you kind of just don’t care that much – chances are you’re experiencing early signs of burnout.
Career shifters often cite a feeling of malaise about their work performance as a reason to go for that job change. If career coaching hasn’t renewed that spark for your work, it might be time for a job switch.
2. You experience dread every time you go to work
This isn’t just the Sunday blues of Monday to come – it’s a feeling of unease and unhappiness deep in your heart, like a knot in the gut. No need to make a career change quiz for this one – you’re beyond bored at work and your job now actively makes you unhappy.
3. You despair at being stuck in a rut
Everyone’s bored at work sometimes – but feeling as though your career peaked decades ago is definitely a worry. A career change at 30 often spices things up, but what if it’s your industry at large that you secretly hate?
A job change alone won’t always solve burnout, and you might find that apathy resurfacing soon after a career change at 40 – even a career change at 50. With the right support, however, even a new career at 50 can feel like a new lease of life!
4. You’re always on edge
A step beyond stress, and definitely a sign that it’s time for a job change, is if you begin experiencing a sense of paranoia at work. What chaotic new last-minute project is coming up this time?
Or is it instead too quiet? Great – for how long? Or is that a sign that the company’s going under and everyone’s getting laid off? Burnout gets under your skin and puts you on edge about everything.
5. You’re always feeling negative
Related to the above point, if you find it difficult to celebrate your company’s wins – or simply don’t care about colleagues’ successes, the company’s incentives, or the impact of your work – you’re burnt out and ready for a career change.
This isn’t just a dose of healthy cynicism – deep down, part of you wants this whole company to fail, and you’re not sure why.
6. No career advice ever feels right
Sensibly, lots of us turn to career counseling to try and reconcile what often feels like a sudden malaise and exhaustion with our job. Yet if even the best career coach can’t motivate you, switching jobs might be the answer. It could well be that your current role has run its course.
7. The work just never stops
We all have days when we roll our eyes at yet another last-minute assignment. But if you’re always staying late, always picking up colleagues’ slack, and always up against the odds in terms of deadlines, workloads, and meetings, burnout is well on its way.
8. It’s taken over your personal life
Always working late? Too exhausted at home to talk to your family? Too strung out to socialize with your friends? It could well be time to change career path – a job is supposed to enhance our personal lives, not consume them.
9. Your emotions are shutting down
Your boss could say you’re the best she’s ever worked with, and it won’t spark a single flicker of pride inside you. While your coworkers are stressed about a sudden change in strategy, you’re like a blank slate – barely there.
Burnout eventually switches off your feelings and leaves you feeling detached – from your job, and life as a whole. A job change is strongly advised before this gets out of hand.
10. Always, always, always overtired
No matter how much rest you try and get at home, how many sleep-ins you treat yourself to at weekends, or how well you try and eat good meals and exercise – you’re always on the brink of nodding off.
Your mind is fuzzy, and you can barely focus. The deepest sleep simply doesn’t make you feel rested. Burnout like this is one of the strongest signs it’s time for a career switch – mistakes and lack of concentration will affect your work endlessly otherwise.
Burnout can feel scary, and it sneaks up on the best of us. Never feel ashamed of it, and rest assured there’s help to be had – switching jobs is just the start of putting this behind you.