Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Current Career Path

Person walking through a city, heading to a job or job interview.In the not-so-distant past, it was fairly typical for someone to choose a career path and work in that field for years and decades without making a change. But it’s now far more common for people to change jobs, careers, and even industries.

A 2022 survey from CareerBuilder found that 70% of adults were engaged in a job search and nearly a quarter were actively looking for work. The survey also found that 62% of respondents had an interest in moving to an entirely different industry.

Additionally, an earlier study conducted by Fast Company and Harris Poll found that 59% of middle-income workers would welcome a career change – and as many as 44% had plans in place to make the shift.

So, if you’re thinking of making a career change, you’re certainly not alone!

But how can you tell if it’s the right time to do so? How can you know that you’ve outgrown your current job or career?

Everyone needs to make their own decisions based on a variety of factors, but in this article, we’re addressing five signs that you’ve likely outgrown your current career path and that you’re ready for something new.

5 Signs You Might Be Ready for a New Career Path

1. You’re Excited to Learn Something New

Does the thought of learning something new bring you excitement and energy? When we learn, we experience a sense of happiness and engagement, and there’s even a studied connection between lifelong learning and happiness, according to research from the University of Cambridge.

So it makes sense that if you’re no longer learning new things in your current role, you might not feel as engaged as you did back when the job was fresh and there was plenty to learn.

If you get excited about learning new things, but rarely experience the sensation in the workplace now, it may be time to shift careers – and perhaps shift to a field built on the idea of continuous learning.

2. You Have a Hard Time Finding the “Flow”

The “flow” – sometimes referred to as getting in the “zone” – is when you dive into your work and lose yourself in the task at hand. The task has your attention and can keep you engaged for hours.

Harvard Business Review defines flow as the “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” A briefer definition comes from researchers who simply define flow as “effortless attention.”

When was the last time you experienced flow? When were you last in the “zone” at work? If you can’t remember, it might be time to consider something new and different.

3. Other People’s Careers Seem Exciting!

When other people talk about their jobs, does it strike you as exciting and engaging? Does their work seem interesting and give you a spark?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it could be time to consider a new direction that might fill you with that same sort of excitement.

4. Your Job is Too Easy

Sometimes in life, the easy path is the one to take – but easy can get boring, especially in terms of a job you’re performing many hours per week.

The more we perform a task, the easier it becomes. This is inherently a good thing, but a research brief from UCLA says that when we do simple or easy tasks, “it leaves a lot (of) brain capacity idling, which is often a trigger for boredom.” And when boredom sets in, we’re less engaged, which certainly doesn’t help the quality of our work.

When things get too easy, we start to mentally check out. We all need at least a little challenge every day to keep us interested in our work over the long haul.

5. You Daydream About a Different Career

If you sit at your desk, and instead of focusing on work and getting into the “flow,” you daydream about a different job, a different industry, or a different work setting, it might be time for a shift. Maybe you’re daydreaming about better pay, or more creative work, or a way to engage with a team? Any of these could indicate the need for a new skill, new job, or new career.

Get the skills you need for an engaging career in tech.

Our more than 3,500 coding bootcamp graduates went through the process of determining that a new career was right for them, and they pursued software development as their best path forward. They took in-person or online courses, guided by instructors with industry experience and career counselors who helped them land roles that were exciting, challenging, and full of growth potential.

If you’re interested in a career in software development, getting started is easy! Complete our free aptitude test and see if you have the problem-solving skills to become a technology professional.


Kayln Breneman, Director of Admissions at Tech ElevatorWritten by Kalyn Breneman, Director of Admissions