Are you thinking about a career change?
Chances are you’re not alone. According to new research, 1 in 5 of us are in the wrong job.
While that may seem like a lot of unhappy people going off to work each day, it’s also not that surprising, given that a good portion of our clients are career changers, often on their 2nd, 3rd and sometimes 4th career. How do you feel about your job? Want to see what others might be suited to you? Check out our career assessment tool by clicking here, or read on for the full story below.
ONE in five Australian workers are in the wrong job — and with the average person dedicating 40.9 hours to work each week, this is a problem.
It is not only bad for the worker but for the employer too, Right Management principal Ian Till says.
“At the end of the day, if someone is in the right job they are more engaged in what they do and that drives increased business results and decreases absenteeism,” he says.
Employees who are bored or burned out lose interest in their job and can become a performance issue for the organisation.
New research from Right Management finds that not only do one in five workers change job out of desire rather than necessity, but those that change for such reasons increase engagement in their new role by 15.4 per cent.
Mr Till urges workers to consider: Have I lost passion and drive? Am I still excited to go to work on Monday morning? Am I in a different stage of my life? Do I have different commitments besides my job? What do I want to move towards and move away from?
“It may just be that self reflection reignites that passion, or they can think ‘no, I actually want to go a different way’,” he says.
Ahead Psychology principal psychologist Michelle McBride says workers who are bored, uninspired or resentful of their job have three options:
Stay with the company but change or develop your role
“If the person feels aligned and engaged with their current employer, then a new job in the same company is a good option, if such a job exists,” Ms McBride says.
“It strengthens the relationship with the employer as the person feels that their skills and abilities are recognised and rewarded.”
Mr Till advises workers in this situation to talk with their immediate manager.
“Have a solid career discussion about where (you) can go with the organisation,” he says.
“There is opportunity to move laterally and the organisation wants to retain that knowledge.”
Look for a job in a different area of work that suits you better
Ms McBride says this is the best decision if you don’t enjoy your work and regularly think about another job you would prefer.
It is also recommended if you want to make more money and this isn’t possible in your current line of work, or if your current area of work is too demanding.
“Whether it’s long working hours, long commutes, or missing out on time with family and friends, this may be enough for you to decide that a change is needed,” she says.
“Sometimes there are barriers that prevent you from moving into a new career immediately such as the need to study or retrain, and the lack of experience.
“It may also mean a drop in income as you are starting from the bottom.”
Chase Scales left his job as a barista to manage a team of cleaners with Uber-style home cleaning service Whizz.
He says he felt limited in his previous role.
“I needed to build a company I was proud of and I am now one of the directors here,” he says.
Scales’ staff also made a change when they started working with him.
“(Before) Whizz, they were underemployed. Now, some of them are working 12 hour days and earning up to $2500 per week,” he says.
“If you don’t love your job, do something about it because when you do find something you love, it doesn’t even feel like work.”
For motoring enthusiast Matthew Simmons, he didn’t leave his job because he disliked it but because he had the chance to live out a dream.
The courier-turned-race car driver earned a spot with the Nissan Motorsport Team after winning an international video gaming tournament — but the journey wasn’t that easy.
“I’ve always wanted to be a racing car driver,” Mr Simmons says.
“Ever since I was a kid, anything with four wheels that was fast I was into.”
Simmons hired a driving instructor and spent time in simulators, preparing for GT Academy.
As the winner, he will drive in the Dubai 24 Hours endurance race in early 2016 with Nissan judging his potential from there.
“(Changing career) is not an easy step, it’s going to be scary,” he says.
“You’ve got to be positive and have a good support network.”
Stay in your job and try to make the best of it
“This is probably the least attractive option,” Ms McBride says.
“To make this work you need to have a good work/life balance that allows for other opportunities to experience creativity, inspiration and meaning that help to offset some of the frustrations you have with your job.”
She advises workers to also look for higher purpose in their role by identifying how it makes a contribution beyond the practical task they are doing.
“How does your work make life easier or safer for someone else? Perhaps your goal is to see how many customers or work colleagues you can make smile today,” she says.
“Try to identify three good things about the work you do.
“There is good evidence to show that regularly practising gratitude helps to reduce our negative bias and add to our sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.”
Marion Bunnik, founder of Bunnik Tours, has been working in the same industry for almost 50 years and never felt the need for a career change.
She had lined up her first job, with an airline, before finishing high school and started her travel business in Adelaide in 1994.
At 66, she is now product director, travelling for months at a time meeting with guides, inspecting accommodation and travelling with group tours.
“For me, I do something that I like doing,” she says.
“I still get very excited.”
SIGNS IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON
1. You get no enjoyment from your job and feel flat and uninspired.
It’s normal to have the occasional day where you are “over it” but if this goes on too long, look at what else is available.
2. You regularly feel sick or stressed and see your job as the cause.
This may also be a sign that you are experiencing burnout. It’s important to speak to someone about this.
3. You have lost all respect for your manager or other work colleagues.
This maybe because you feel disrespected, bullied by others, or are frustrated by other aspects of your work environment.
4. You don’t believe you can achieve what is expected of you, despite your efforts.
If the company has unrealistic expectations, and puts you in a position that sets you up to fail, it’s time to go.
5. Your family and friends see changes in your behaviour and mood that show you are unhappy at work.
Your loved ones know you well and care about you so stop and listen to what they have to say.
SOURCE: Michelle McBride, Ahead Psychology