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5 Signs You're Ready to Step Up Your Career Game

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

Usually we know on some level when our job isn’t serving us as it should, but sometimes it can be difficult to recognise the signs in the midst of a fast-paced life.

The beginning of a new year can be a great time to reflect upon our lives and consider how we can implement positive changes. However, this healthy habit shouldn’t be limited to any specific time of year. There really is no time like the present to address our happiness and fulfilment at work!

Here are our top 5 signs you're ready to make some changes and take your career to the next level:

1. Your Authentic self is hidden at work

Having to hide our true selves – either to a greater or lesser extent – simply to get by in the workplace is not only damaging to our sense of worth, but will only serve to make us resentful in the long term. Adopting a false persona to feel accepted, going along with ideas we disagree with or even just faking interest in work we feel no passion for, are all examples of ways we can end up hiding our authentic selves in the workplace.

Not only should we feel free and able to express our thoughts and opinions at work, but we should feel confident that we are valued for who we are and what we have to offer. April McCabe, (interviewed for Thrivhers) who's work experience includes 18 years in government and the private sector in Australia, UK and Ireland, stresses the importance of finding your trusted tribe, “work with people who you can be your true self around… your job should feed your soul, not just pay your bills”.

Our careers should be in alignment with our authentic selves – if that’s not the case then it’s probably time to think again.

2. You've been stressed for too long

On an occasional basis, a little pressure at work can be beneficial, encouraging us to dig deep and pull out all the stops to meet a deadline or impress a client. However, when we start to find ourselves strung out at work on a daily basis, it’s a sure sign we need to start asking ourselves some serious questions.

Existing in a permanent state of stress, over a prolonged period, is no way to enjoy life – not to mention the havoc long-term stress can wreak on our physical, mental and emotional health. We spend a huge proportion of our lives at work, so it really is crucial to ensure we are happy there.

Your job should serve you and your life; if it doesn’t, then it could be time to reassess. There are countless brilliant companies out there who really understand the mutual importance of looking after their employees’ needs, financial and otherwise – don’t settle for anything less!

3. You think more about what to have for lunch than the work you carry out

There's nothing wrong with looking forward to lunch, we're all for taking time out to nourish the body and relax the mind but when it overrides any thoughts of creating brilliant work, then it’s probably time to step up or step out!

A large part of job satisfaction is feeling fulfilled by the work we do – just working for the pay cheque won't achieve full career satisfaction. Of course, being paid well for the work we do is certainly important and financial security is a key aspect to happiness in life. However, it is possible to be well paid without having to wish away the hours at work. After all, hours at work still count as hours of our lives!

We all have our own unique skills and qualities to offer and being in an environment that is encouraging of those – one where we really feel able to make a valuable contribution – is vital to our sense of worth and pride. Break free from limitations and embrace a life with meaningful and fulfilling work. Besides feeling happier at work, there are proven associated health benefits, if we needed any additional incentives!

We recently spoke to Dr Suzy Green, founder of The Positivity Institute about this very topic – check out her interview for more on the importance of feeling fulfilled at work.

4. The 5 people around you are crucial to your success

We’re familiar with this saying and there’s a lot of truth in it. Whether we consciously realise it or not, we are greatly influenced by those closest to us. If we take a minute to think about who we spend the most time with, more often than not it will be our colleagues.

We may have the most positive and supportive friends and family, but we cannot choose our colleagues, and their influence on our general outlook and future prospects should not be overlooked. If we find ourselves surrounded by negative people who are resentful and dislike their job, or who bring out the worst sides of us, then it could mean it’s time to jump ship.

By surrounding ourselves with a positive team of enthusiastic go-getters, we will elevate our outlook and increase our chances of success.

5. You have a constant feeling you were meant for more than this

This is an important feeling to be aware of and one that is so frequently swept aside. The pace and demands of modern life can sometimes leave us feeling like we are operating on autopilot, disconnected from our aspirations and true path in life.

Very often, we can be aware of a gnawing feeling, telling us there is something more for us and yet, uncertainty and a lack of clarity holds us back. It can be difficult to make a change when there is no obvious alternative!

The key is to listen to that inner voice and remain open to new possibilities. One way we can do this is by pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones and trying as many new things as possible - courses, workshops, different experiences - all of these things will help us tune into our intuition and gain clarity.

The first step to making a positive change is switching off the autopilot and paying attention to what is often right before our eyes. Itchy feet and a general feeling that something’s out of kilter, could indicate the time is right for a career overhaul. After all, feeling fulfilled at work is a key aspect to living the dynamic and thriving life we deserve!

By Gemma Coldwell - Contributing editor


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