Many people suffer, from what I call the “Sunday night blues”. You may know the feeling, it seems like a year ago since it was Friday evening and now you are staring down the barrel of Monday morning and the start of another work week. I have friends and acquaintances who wake up on a daily or semi habitual basis not feeling engaged or passionate about their job. They have not truly found their vocation. In the Lutheran sense of the word – to find one’s true calling. In more pragmatic language- turning your passion into a career.
I can relate to this feeling. I was in this position for multiple years while working for large financial companies in the private sector. I was good at my job but did not always feel passionate about the work I was doing. That all changed when I became a Professor and now in my consulting work. I love engaging with people and helping them connect their purpose to their career.
Here are some ways to assess if it’s time for a career change:
Take the time to ask friends and loved ones how much you talk about your current work situation in a negative manner. Disliking your job can lead to low energy, irritability, stress, envy and not feeling motivated to get out of bed in the morning. Ask for unvarnished truth from them, as they can provide a more objective barometer of your professional happiness.
Discuss with co-workers or a supervisor how the context of your daily tasks impacts the greater good. According to John Engel, President of Knowledge Capital Consulting, “You need to define how what you do impacts the lives of other people in a meaningful way. What does your work mean to other people? What is your why? What drives you? “Forcing yourself to have these tough conversations can provide a fresh set of eyes on the impact of your current job. You may be making more of a difference than you suspect.
Create a professional SWOT analysis. Many business professionals are familiar with the Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) tool, but it may actually have some applicability to your professional success. Sometimes the easiest way to determine your future career path is to put it down on paper. This process will help you map out your internal strengths and weaknesses as well as the external factors impacting your job. List the items that are most important to you like, pay, work-life balance, work culture etc. This ensures a better alignment between your career pursuits and your personal values and priorities.