Help! Do I Need a Total Career Change or Just a New Employer?

1.  If I think about my current work, I feel bored and unmotivated at least 75% of the time. There are a few things that interest me but most of the time I dream of escaping, finding a new job or taking a leave of absence.

Yes    No

2. Recently, I have been far less inclined to read books and articles about my current profession. I find myself uninterested in reading about work topics I used to enjoy.Yes   No

3.  There has been a major change in my life (sickness, death, having children, potential to move, change in partner’s job) that has made me re-evaluate my interest in my current career path.

Yes   No

4. When I see jobs that are similar to mine posted by a different company, I can’t imagine myself applying for these kinds of jobs.

Yes    No

5.  Even if I could change all the people at my work who frustrate me, I still don’t think I’d like my current role/career or the work I do.

Yes    No

6.  I have started to do a broader job search than before on the career boards. For example, if before I would have searched within one category (such as Accounting), I am now looking around in other categories (such as Sales/Marketing).

Yes   No

7.  I have identified a strong interest or hobby that I’d like to start pursuing as a career.

Yes    No

8.  I frequently think about starting my own company so I can be my own boss, or I have skills that I want to use that are not being tapped in my profession.

Yes    No

9.  Even if I were offered a major pay increase to stay in my current career field, I would still question whether I would be interested in this career field long term.

Yes     No

10.  I frequently think about possibilities for new career paths for myself, and have seriously considered going back to school for more education.

Yes    No

Add up your total number of “Yes” answers.


If you answered Yes at least…

7-10 times: Get Going! You most likely are thinking of pursuing a whole new career. You should be actively investigating and planning for a new career path for yourself. If you’re finding it hard to get started, you will need to devote some time to understanding your unique values, interests, personality preferences, and life goals. By using this information about yourself as a foundation, you’ll be better able to focus your career direction. Much of this information can be gathered in career guides, conducting online research or working with a career consultant.

4-7 times: Start Experimenting! You are at a crossroads and may need further career exploration. You need to spice things up a little. This may involve pursuing an interest and discovering whether it can turn into a full-time career, or finding a new industry in which you can apply your current skillset. It’s highly possible you may need to start the process of investigating larger life goals and potentially a whole new career. At the very least, you need to convert your negative energy into positive action. Start reading career books or thinking about visiting a career consultant to explore potential options for yourself. Pursue some hobbies and start meeting new people in order to counteract the negative energy of your job. Make sure to address other issues in your life apart from the career issues- maybe there’s something else going on.

0-4 times: Polish that resume! You probably just need a change of scenery. You are most likely experiencing job burnout and would probably be happy within your current field if you found a new company or gained more responsibility. Job burnout is easy to get if you’ve been in a job for a long time, have a new boss or are in a company that’s downsizing. You should seriously think about pulling your resume together and finding yourself a new job. If during the interview process for new jobs you don’t find yourself interested in any of them, then it may be time to do some career soul-searching to determine your true path. Also, see if there are any positions within your current company that may interest you more, and start networking. You may also need to explore and resolve other areas of stress in your life that may be contributing to overall dissatisfaction.