No matter how exciting a DIY career approach may look, changing careers isn’t 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’t 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’re 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’re at work is, well, to work. If you start noticing that you’re constantly on the defensive when team members ask you to contribute, it’s a good sign that — whether you know it or not — you actually hate the nature of your work. “Do you easily get overwhelmed or excited over even the most minimal tasks or questions?” asks entrepreneur John Rampton in a piece for Inc. “I once had a job that I couldn’t stand, and every time my boss assigned me a simple task, such as emailing a question to [a] client, my blood would boil.”

2. You’re actively disengaged. If you’re extremely bored, constantly zoning out, and having more Slack conversations than productive meetings, you’re not only draining your company’s resources but also limiting your own potential. When you are disengaged from the work you’re doing, you don’t stand a chance of excelling at this career, and it’s 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’re probably at your job for the wrong reasons. There’s nothing wrong with having a work wife, but you’ll never grow professionally if you’re 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’ve noticed health issues creeping up, it’s 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 — such as job insecurity, high job demands, and low job control — 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’re not interested enough in your field to commit to a lifetime of keeping up to date with its trends and developments, you probably won’t succeed.

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

(Photos via Getty)