5 Signs That You’re Ready for a Career Change

Americans are leaving their jobs in record-breaking numbers. Career Change - 5 things to considerMore than 19 million workers have quit their jobs since April 2021, and the voluntary quit rate is 25% higher than before the pandemic. So, what’s the impetus behind this trend?

A survey of 1,000 consumers by edX found that Americans want to change careers for three reasons: 39% for a salary increase, 21% because they’re interested in a different field and 20% for upward mobility. Sound like you? You can explore pivoting your career trajectory with a career change into tech to achieve all three.

Careers in tech typically pay higher than the average role with flexible scheduling and better benefits packages–not to mention they’re in high demand with the potential for upward mobility.

As this year comes to a close and people are considering quitting their current role or changing careers, we’ve highlighted five ways to tell if it’s time for a career change. Do any of these resonate with you? If so, it may be time to make a change.

1. No Work-Life Balance

Whether you’re being overwhelmed by working long hours or your workload, we can all agree that neither is sustainable for prolonged periods of time nor is it conducive to good mental health. Routinely working long hours every week will ultimately hasten the aging-related decline in memory and thinking skills. Not to mention that it will significantly lower your productivity at work and impact your personal life.

If you’re in a position where this is standard for the industry, or an expectation set by your management team, perhaps it’s time for a new job or a career change where there’s a healthy work-life balance.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is critical to maintaining your physical and mental health. Look for ways to maintain that balance and see how it can be improved with new career opportunities.

2. Stagnation

Career stagnation is feeling you have under-utilized talent, leading to a lack of fulfillment and engagement in your career. Sometimes this can be a natural feeling if you’re working on a particular project that no longer excites you or allows you to be creative. However, take notice if this is a regular pattern as it could be a sign that you’re no longer feeling a sense of fulfillment in your role.

We’ve seen natural career stagnation from our students in their previous careers and some that were brought on by the pandemic; both instances led to the desire for more engaging work and creativity. Students with previous careers in the food service, healthcare and education industries all found that they were no longer engaged in their work and decided to transform their careers by making a career change into tech.

While this can be more common in certain industries, it could also be a naturally-occurring point in your life where you need to learn something new and pivot into a new role. If you’re no longer feeling fulfilled or challenged in your current career, look to see if other careers could reignite your creativity and excitement.

3. Lack of Growth Opportunities 

As mentioned above, 20% of workers stated they were looking to change careers because of the lack of growth opportunities or upward mobility at their current company. This is a large contributing factor to people wanting to change careers. If you’re unable to grow in your current role, there is always somewhere else to go and grow. If you reach the height of one role, look to another or even another industry to catapult your career.

Upward mobility can also be associated with salary increases and increased responsibilities to keep you more engaged. Without upward mobility, you are facing career stagnation and should consider your future in that role.

Find a career in an industry with plenty of opportunities. Careers in tech offer growth opportunities that will last, with roles in data science, cybersecurity and software development showing the highest job growth rate for the next 10 years.

4. Physically Demanding

Some industries are characterized by the physical labor aspect of their roles. They can be great starting points and ways to break into a desired field, but over time can prove too taxing on one’s body.

The construction, moving and even the hospitality industries are some examples of industries with physically demanding jobs. And while in some cases this can be seen as a perk, consider where the role will take you in the next decade or if there is a chance that it’ll become obsolete as automation increases.

Look at careers in industries where there is less physical labor and you can utilize your mind instead of just your body. There is a high demand for tech talent as the world continues to digitize and roles in tech are not as physically demanding as those in other industries. Think about a role you can grow into and one you can sustain for the duration of your professional career.

>> Related read: A Career-Changing Journey from Welder to Software Developer

5. Burnout

People often experience burnout from being overworked and overwhelmed by their hours at the office. While this can be experienced naturally in small doses, it becomes a problem when it’s consistently felt. When it becomes unavoidable through better management or work practices, it’s time to consider another opportunity.

One example of an industry currently experiencing high levels of burnout since the pandemic is the education industry. While teaching can be incredibly fulfilling, most teachers feel underappreciated, burnt out and lack growth opportunities–this was only exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic.

Find a career where you can express your creativity, feel engaged with your work and tap into your ability to solve complex problems. Look for ways to future-proof your career with continual education in an industry that is ever-evolving and adapting to new technology.

Ready to Make a Career Change and Become a Software Developer? 

Tech Elevator students are real, everyday people with incredible outcomes who have transformed their careers by pivoting into tech. Transform your career in 14 or 30 weeks with our full-time or part-time program at Tech Elevator.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your career-changing journey and think being a software developer is the path for you, take our Aptitude Test to get started.

Career Change - Kelly Brucker

Written by Kelly Brucker, Former Director of Pathway Program Curriculum & Instruction at Tech Elevator