Suzie Dawes, caba head of people & culture advises on which aspect of your job is contributing to your unhappiness and would benefit from a change, including whether a job change is right for you.

According to a new study from the specialised consultancy Barnett Waddingham, over four million workers want to change jobs in the next six months, with 25% of respondents saying they are doing so because they are unhappy in their current position.

Firstly, we want to help you understand which parts of your current role have brought about these feelings of unhappiness and the need for change. Once you have isolated this aspect, you can then determine the appropriate next steps.  

Which aspect of your job needs to change  

Most jobs have four essential aspects which, if negatively impacted, can motivate us to seek a different career path or job:

  1. Colleagues

    Having people that you learn from or connect with is important for your mental health. If that is not the case, you might feel lonely and alienated, potentially leading to stress and unhappiness.

    The people you work with strongly affect your work quality, skill development, and attitudes towards work-life balance.
  2. Values & Objectives

    As we grow older, our motivations and interests evolve, so it is possible to feel yourself no longer enjoying one or more aspects of your job. Remember that you should not let this demotivate you but instead consider it as an opportunity for personal growth and acquiring new skills for a different path.

    If you frequently question the purpose and meaning of your tasks or your values clash with your current role, it may indicate that your work no longer aligns with your motivations. 
  3. Profession

    If you do not enjoy the core of your job, it can affect your confidence, lead to self-doubt and give you a heightened sense of imposter syndrome. You may feel that you are not trying hard enough, but that is rarely the case. It just means you have explored something and realised it is not suitable for you. 
  4. Growth

    If your current position is not helping you develop your professional objectives or bringing new experiences to learn from, it may be a sign that you are ready to move on to another position or career.  

If you have identified with any of these tell-tale signs, it might well be time to start thinking about your next move and what is best for your mental, physical, or financial health.

With your deep-dive knowledge of potential paths, the next step is to create an action plan to help you get there. 

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Creating your action plan for a job change   

  1. List the role requirements you would need 

    From your research, write down the skills needed for the specific roles you are focusing on. Next to this list, note down which areas you match with already, what transferable skills you have and which areas you may need additional training or qualifications for.  
  2. Connect with people within your network

    Make a list of the contacts you have in the field, whether you are thinking about changing careers or staying in the same industry. A fantastic way to get in touch and start a conversation with them is through LinkedIn or email (if you have it). 

    It may help to make a note of their contact information to get in touch with them later as you may not be ready to disclose that you’re exploring a new opportunity.
  3. Set simple and achievable goals

    As you progress towards a complete job transition, keep a record of your accomplishments and lessons learned to keep yourself motivated.

    It is important to keep moving forward in this process, even if it is small steps so go at a pace that works for you. Set manageable objectives to help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, such as “connecting with just one from your network each week” or “learning one new skill this month and making a weekly plan for it.” 

It is never too late to change your job or career if any aspect of it is causing issues or affecting your personal life, and we have more advice available online for handing in your resignation. Taking it one step at a time should help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, but we are here to help if you need any advice or support with your career.