Time to Change Careers: Here are your 6 Signs

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Time to Change Careers: Here are your 6 Signs

Both Times Magazine and Harvard Business Review recently published shocking numbers about people quitting their jobs and changing careers. In these crisis times, when many people are still in the unfortunate position of not having a job at all, millions are walking away from the one they have. If you are wondering whether you should stay or go, read on to see what the signs are that it’s time to change careers.
In August 2021 alone, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.3 million people had left their jobs, and this is after 6 consecutive months of record-breaking numbers since the start of tracking in 2000. But it got worse. About 50.5 million people quit their jobs in 2022, smashing the record set in 2021, according to the federal Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report. This pandemic-era trend of heightened voluntary resignations came to be known as the Great Resignation
Mid-2023, 5.8 million people left their jobs and there were around 8.8 million job openings across the United States (JOLTS).
Man with suitcase to change careers

Why change careers amidst economic uncertainty?

So why would people quit their jobs when there is still so much uncertainty in the labor market, not to mention the recent lay-offs in the tech industry? 

Part of the reason is a significant change in people’s mood and outlook on their future. Many people feel burnt out and they are tired of going back to draining, back-breaking jobs.  The COVID pandemic has triggered a widespread re-assessment of what people really want, what their values are, and how to use this pandemic to redesign their work-life balance. Even two years after things have been going back to ‘normal’, what people seem to want and need in their professional lives has changed.
With that, how do you feel about your current job? Is it time to do the same and figure out what your options are for more fulfilling and satisfying work? Let’s find out.
Unhappy man thinking about career change

Here are 6 signs that it could be time for you to consider changing careers:

1. Bad bosses.

Yup. It’s still the number one reason people leave their jobs. Having a bad boss usually coincides with feeling completely undervalued and unappreciated for your hard work. It’s never good enough. Whereas a bad boss will eventually lose good employees, a good boss with a healthy leadership style will not only gain a high-performing team but will also contribute to the employee’s feeling of work satisfaction and overall happiness. If you’re suffering under a boss with a toxic leadership style whether that is in the office or remotely, it may be time to make a move and change careers.

2. High workload and long hours.

Nothing burns you out as fast as a toxic boss or being overworked. Especially high-performing professionals tend to be perfectionists and will deliver quality work, which makes their bosses rely on them even more. A high workload – even in a remote role – will infringe on your quality time with family and friends and can lead to burnout and strained relationships. If you are feeling overworked and most of your waking hours are spent either working or thinking about work, it may be time to change jobs to protect your health.

3. Toxic company culture.

Sometimes the culture at the workplace is toxic. It may be incessant gossip, backstabbing, high competition, or other factors that prevent you from forging positive and productive relationships with your coworkers. However, research has shown that employees who have good relationships or even friendships with coworkers are also much more satisfied and happy in their jobs. If you find yourself in a workplace where you don’t feel safe and it’s hard to connect with coworkers, it may be time to change careers. Toxic company cultures are rarely found in 100% remote companies, so consider finding a remote position at a company that promotes and supports professional autonomy, accountability, and ownership of your results. 
I quit post it, time or a career change

5. No work flexibility.

To feel fulfilled and happy in your job, you need a certain level of flexibility in the work schedule. After all, we all need to be able to combine our personal and work lives in a way that both can thrive. If you’re in a position that does not allow any flexibility when it comes to, for example, picking up your kids from school, going to doctor’s appointments, taking vacation days as needed, or managing your own priorities and time at work, then this will contribute to high levels of stress and possibly burnout. After the pandemic, working from home has become more common, and finding a remote position may be just the solution for you – and in that case, you’re in the right place!

6. Insufficient compensation.

Last on the list, but certainly not least. Your compensation – salary, paid time off, sick days, equipment such as phones or laptops, and professional development opportunities – should align with your education and experience. If you feel like your compensation package does not commensurate with your level of expertise and qualifications, it will always be a thorn in your side and is a sign that you should either try to renegotiate your compensation or find greener pastures elsewhere.


Making a change in your professional life because something does not align with your goals and vision is always a good reason. Many people feel like they should be ‘grateful to have an income’ and not complain. Partly, yes, but there’s also nothing wrong with striving to achieve your life goals, especially if they include a more fulfilling career, more flexibility, or a higher income to facilitate your dream lifestyle.
Whatever your sign is that it’s time to change careers, I would encourage you to go after it, even when the path may be challenging. You’ve got this.

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