No matter how exciting a DIY career approach may look, changing careers isn鈥檛 easy for anyone. Unfortunately, the quarter-life crisis exists for a reason: A lot of people in their 20s and 30s (and even beyond) find that the career path they chose after high school just hasn鈥檛 lived up to their expectations. Of course, work is work, and no one should expect to feel enthralled by their job 100 percent of the time. But if you鈥檙e starting to wonder whether sticking with your present path might be a major mistake, here are some signs that a career change is definitely in order.

A bored woman blows bubblegum at her desk in an office

1. You get defensive about work. The reason you鈥檙e at work is, well, to work. If you start noticing that you鈥檙e constantly on the defensive when team members ask you to contribute, it鈥檚 a good sign that 鈥 whether you know it or not 鈥 you actually hate the nature of your work. 鈥淒o you easily get overwhelmed or excited over even the most minimal tasks or questions?鈥 asks entrepreneur John Rampton in a piece for Inc. 鈥淚 once had a job that I couldn鈥檛 stand, and every time my boss assigned me a simple task, such as emailing a question to [a] client, my blood would boil.鈥

2. You鈥檙e actively disengaged. If you鈥檙e extremely bored, constantly zoning out, and having more Slack conversations than productive meetings, you鈥檙e not only draining your company鈥檚 resources but also limiting your own potential. When you are disengaged from the work you鈥檙e doing, you don鈥檛 stand a chance of excelling at this career, and it鈥檚 probably time for a new one.

Colleagues surprise a woman with cake on her birthday at work

3. You look forward to office parties more than the work itself. Sure, you should enjoy being around your coworkers and socializing from time to time. If your friendship with your coworkers is the main attraction, though, it means you鈥檙e probably at your job for the wrong reasons. There鈥檚 nothing wrong with having a work wife, but you鈥檒l never grow professionally if you鈥檙e constantly focused on re-creating your college days at happy hour.

4. Your health is suffering. Stress can take a major toll on your mental and physical well-being. If you hate your job so much that you鈥檝e noticed health issues creeping up, it鈥檚 time to reexamine your career. One study linked workplace stress to numerous health issues, including cardiovascular disease and decreased mental health. The study goes on to say that the effect of workplace stressors 鈥 such as job insecurity, high job demands, and low job control 鈥 on your physical health is almost as great as exposure from secondhand smoke.

5. You have no interest in learning. Great careers are made by adopting a lifelong commitment to learning, and this is truer now than ever before. A Pew Research survey found that 87 percent of American workers say they will need to continuously study new subjects and expand their skill set throughout their lifetime in order to remain competitive in the job market. If you鈥檙e not interested enough in your field to commit to a lifetime of keeping up to date with its trends and developments, you probably won鈥檛 succeed.

Are you considering a career change? Tweet us at @BritandCo to tell us your story!

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