Counseling Corner: When is it time for a new job?

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Whether you’re a highly-paid executive or have a lower-level position, you still are headed to your job each day and try to do your best. But is that job doing its best for you?

While most of us need that regular paycheck in order to survive, it shouldn’t mean being miserable in order to earn a living. If your job isn’t making you happy, it’s time to ask some serious questions and to consider the possibility of a job, or even a career change.

The process starts with simply looking at how your current position is affecting you. Do you feel bored, unchallenged and unmotivated in the work you’re currently doing? If so, they’re clear signs that it might be worth considering an employment move.

There are other questions to ask yourself. Do you dread heading off to work most days? Are Sunday evenings depressing because you know you have to be back at work in the morning? Has the job simply become uninteresting and isn’t really making much use of your abilities and experience?

When you find yourself answering yes to questions like these it’s a good time to consider a change. When someone continues in a position where they’re bored and unhappy, it affects a lot more of their life than simply those hours at work. Personal mental and physical health can suffer, family life can be affected, and relationship issues with a spouse are not uncommon.

If you do believe it’s time for a major employment change, there’s a lot of help available. Start with a visit to your local library or bookstore and browse through the many books about making career changes that are available. A search online will also produce a variety of articles about the right and wrong ways of making a career change.

It can also be helpful to consider working with a professional counselor specializing in career and employment guidance. He or she can help you in defining your goals and interests, and in developing an action plan. The American Counseling Association website at www.counseling.org has a Find A Counselor link that can take you to a directory of counselors in your area.

Being unhappy and unsatisfied in your work isn’t something you should have to face. A good career change can help bring a sense of control over your life and excitement about future opportunities.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association. Send comments and questions to ACAcorner@counseling.org or visit www.counseling.org.

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