It’s Sunday night, and that unmistakable knot in the pit of your stomach has already set in. You feel anxious, and your head is swimming with work worry, stopping you from enjoying your much-needed time off. If this sounds familiar, the you may be in need of a career change or pivot.

If you feel stuck in a career rut, are disengaged at work, or simply can’t stand your job any longer, you’re not alone, and the situation isn’t improving. According to Gallup’s 2023 reports on employee engagement, workplace dissatisfaction is increasing. Their data revealed that employee engagement in the U.S. saw its first annual decline in a decade, dropping from 36% in 2020 to 34% in 2021, then to 32% in 2022. What’s more, in addition to this decline, there was also an increase in active disengagement, rising from 16% in 2020 to 18% in 2022.

As we age, job dissatisfaction seems to grow, with many of us starting to dislike our jobs around age 35 and feeling that the prospect of career fulfillment or satisfaction appears bleak.

However, there’s a silver lining. If you’ve ever felt isolated in your feelings towards your job, take comfort in knowing that you’re part of the majority who dread Monday mornings. So, what can you do about it?

Enhancing Job Satisfaction and Considering Career Change

Job dissatisfaction can arise from various factors; sometimes, it’s not just about the job but the career path itself. Changing companies or roles may offer temporary relief, but this isn’t a lasting solution if your career lacks fulfillment.

Why Do We Stay in Unfulfilling Careers? The Role of Fear:

A career change is a significant step, so it’s not surprising that it can be intimidating. This fear keeps so many of us in unfulfilling careers despite the negative impact on our mental health and overall well-being. After all, there are plenty of things to be fearful of…

1. Fear of Financial Setback:

Worrying about taking a pay cut or stepping back in your career is reasonable. However, weighing the benefits of a career change against the discomfort of the status quo is crucial. Surprisingly, a recent LinkedIn survey (2022) found that 30% of professionals who took a career leap experienced no salary reduction, challenging the common fear of financial loss.

How to Tackle This Fear:

  • Do Your Research: Explore the new field thoroughly. You might find opportunities for lateral moves that don’t require a financial sacrifice.
  • Build a Runway: Start saving to create a financial buffer, easing the transition.
  • Simplify Your Life: Embrace frugality to save more, as recommended by T. Harv Eker in “Secrets of The Millionaire Mind.”
  • Plan & Budget: Create a budget based on potential new earnings to reduce fear caused by financial uncertainty.

2. Fear of Continued Unhappiness:

Jumping into a new career without proper research and self-reflection can lead to repeated dissatisfaction.

Overcoming This Fear:

  • Understand Yourself: Engage in self-reflection to identify your preferred working styles, values, and future goals.
  • Seek Guidance: Work with a coach or use personality assessments to gain deeper insights into suitable career paths.
  • Take a Holistic Approach: Ensure your career change is well-informed and aligns with your long-term objectives.

3. Fear of Inexperience in a New Industry:

Many fear they won’t find opportunities in a new field due to a lack of experience.

Confronting This Fear:

  • Networking and Skill-Building: Focus on expanding your network and acquiring relevant skills.
  • Be Open to Experiences: Seek opportunities for learning and growth, regardless of how they present themselves.

4. Fear of Slower Career Progression (FOMO):

Worrying about missing out on advancements in your current career can be daunting.

Addressing This Fear:

  • Focus on Gains, Not Losses: Consider the new experiences and benefits your new career path offers, which might outweigh any potential missed opportunities in your old career.

5. Uncertainty About What Career to Pursue:

Feeling lost about what career to switch to is common, especially after prolonged dissatisfaction.

Navigating This Uncertainty:

  • Explore and Experience: Engage in learning, volunteering, and work experiences in areas of interest.
  • Investigate and Reflect: For each potential career, delve deeper through research and practical experiences.

Making a career change is a journey filled with uncertainties, but it’s also an opportunity for growth and fulfillment. Embrace the process, confront your fears, and remember that the path to a satisfying career is rarely a straight line.

Take that first step today – your future self will thank you.

And remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Get in touch to find out how coaching could be your key to finally breaking free from those Sunday scaries and making a successful career change.