There’s no shame in not knowing what you want to do with your life. It’s pretty normal. But there comes a time when you must decide and start moving down a path. How do you know if you’re heading in the right direction? Check out these five signs that you might be on the wrong career path.

You’re Not Passionate About It

Your career should be more than just a way to make money—it should be something you’re passionate about. If you’re not passionate about your work, it will be much harder to stick with it when things get tough. Do some soul-searching and ask yourself if your current career is really what you want to do with your life.

Even if you don’t feel motivated in your career, it doesn’t mean you’re bad at your job. It just means that there might be something else out there that would make you happier. Everything will be okay if you check in with yourself regularly. It wouldn’t also hurt to find a new job where you can fulfill that passion while enjoying your career.

It Doesn’t Align with Your Values

We all have different values, and our careers must align with those values. For example, if one of your values is family, you might want to look for a career that provides flexible hours or work from home to spend more time with your loved ones. Or, if your value is helping others, you might want to pursue a career in social work or medicine.

If you have spent some time in a company with values that do not align with yours, this might be one of the signs you need to change careers. Your value should not be compromised. If you compromise your values to match those of the company, it may be time to consider other employment. Make sure your career aligns with the important things to you—if not, it might be time to make a change.

You’re Not Good At It

This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because so many people stay in careers that they’re not good at simply because they don’t want to start over from scratch somewhere else. If you’re constantly struggling and feeling over your head, it might be time to admit that this isn’t the right career for you and move on to something else. After all, life is too short to spend days feeling stressed and unhappy at work.

If you still want to pursue this field and be better at it, why not enroll in some classes or get a mentor? Doing so can improve your skills and increase your chances of success. But if you’re just not cut out for it, that’s okay too. It’s better to find a career you’re good at and enjoy than to force yourself to stay somewhere you’re not happy.

It’s Not What You Expected

Sometimes, people end up in careers that are nothing like they expected—and that’s okay! But it might be time for a change if you find yourself consistently disappointed and wishing you were doing something else. Pursuing a career different from what you expected can be scary, but sometimes taking risks pays off big-time. Besides, what do you have to lose?

You might end up liking something you don’t expect. However, it’s time to change course if you feel like you’ve been chasing a dream that’s not meant for you. Life is too short to spend days doing something you don’t love.

Dejected fired office worker carrying a box full of belongings

You Don’t See a Future in It

When you picture yourself 10 or 20 years down the road, where do you see yourself? If the answer is “not in this career,” it might be time for a change. It’s important to think about the long-term when choosing a career because chances are, you’ll be doing this work for many years.

Make sure there’s potential for growth and advancement in your chosen field—if not, then maybe it’s time to start considering other options. Do you see yourself in the same position, happily doing the same job years from now? If not, it might be time for a change.

You’re Unhappy

Last but not least, one of the most obvious signs you need to change careers is simply that you’re unhappy. If you dread going to work every day, if you’re constantly stressed and anxious, or if you don’t feel fulfilled in your job, it might be time to consider other options.

Of course, there will always be days (and even weeks or months) when we’re not 100% happy with our jobs. But if you’re unhappy more often than not, it might be time for a change.

In the End

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a career, but these five signs are red flags that indicate you might be on the wrong track. If any of these resonate with you, then it’s time to explore other options and find something that better suits your passions, values, and skillset. After all, life is too short to spend every day feeling like we’ve made a mistake—so make sure your career makes YOU happy!

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