The average American full-time worker spends eight hours and eight minutes each day working or traveling to work, according to the American Time Use Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Work is a huge part of our lives, and while it does pay the bills, it’s also important to feel invested in your job. A recent Gallup poll found that less than a third of U.S. employees feel engaged at work, meaning they either feel uninterested or overwhelmed by stress. Not feeling invested in your work is one reason to consider switching jobs or even careers, but there are other reasons, as well.
Company Culture and Management
Do you dread walking into work every morning because you know your manager is going to micromanage every moment of your day? People often look to switch jobs or careers because they aren’t compatible with their supervisor’s management style.
If a company’s culture isn’t conducive to the creative process, or doesn’t encourage personal growth, employees may start to look elsewhere.
Whether it’s lack of recognition or feeling undervalued on a monetary basis, some choose to change a career because they don’t feel appreciated at their organizations. Many organizations don’t give employees recognition for a job well done, and some employees gain motivation from a recognition system.
If you’re looking to make more money in a different career, then getting an advanced degree like a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a good step toward advancing your career potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with advanced degrees earn about $15,000 more per year than those with bachelor’s degrees.
Sometimes, a job stresses us out if we have tasks piled on us all at once or a new process creates more work. That’s fairly normal. However, sometimes jobs create chronic stress based on the nature of the job or organization.
“There seem to be only two choices,” said Andrew Filev, CEO of Wrike, in an interview with U.S. News. “Either you are managing work, or work is managing you.”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and see no end in sight, it might be beneficial for you to consider a career change. Stress can weigh heavily on your body and overall health and safety, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC states that a quarter to one-third of U.S. workers are highly stressed at work, and that work organization can contribute to work-related musculoskeletal disorder, cardiovascular disease and “even may intensify other occupational health concerns.”
Lack of Satisfaction/Purpose
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes a job just doesn’t provide fulfillment.
“Boredom is far worse for the employee than good stress,” said Aoife Quinn, founder of Quinn HR Consulting Group in an interview with U.S. News. “In over 25 years of dealing with employees in corporations, I found that employees who are bored are unhappy and lack energy.”
Boredom can lead to feeling disengaged from your work and can affect the way you perceive yourself, according to The Guardian. Being stressed and being bored both can make you feel powerless at work. You can try to be proactive in stopping the boredom by volunteering to take on other tasks or shadowing someone else in the department. But if that still doesn’t help, it might be time to seek a job that utilizes your skill set more effectively.
Find Better Benefits
If your organization doesn’t offer the greatest medical insurance, that can make it more difficult for you to seek out healthcare when you need it. A job with flexibility is also important, especially for employees with children who may need to work from home a day or two per week.
Additionally, some employers offer benefits like paternity leave, a retirement account with a company match, or tuition assistance that can help you through some of the important milestones. Conduct your own research before moving companies to make sure that the company offers benefits that fit your short-term and long-term needs and goals.