Is Your Career Killing You?

If your work takes too much out of you each day, it doesn’t mean your career is about to hit a dead end. It’s just a clue that a change of direction is needed.

When starting out in your career, you may have aspired to reach the top of the proverbial mountain, and perhaps you even reached it. It probably took a lot of time and effort to get there. And when someone finally achieves their goal, it can be hard to consider a change. But ask yourself, “Does it still feel like what I want?” If not, it’s time to think about what you might do next.

Signs You Might Be in the Wrong Role

As we move through various life stages, our priorities and passions tend to shift. So, it’s important to periodically re-evaluate whether your role is lining up with what you still want in life and facilitating good health. If your role is not in sync with that, you may experience:

  • Chronic stress

  • Lack of motivation

  • Physical exhaustion

  • Depression

Our health and well-being almost always suffer when work is overly demanding and not enjoyable anymore. Sometimes you need something completely different to get back to yourself. Often, however, there are new opportunities in your current organization you can explore.

At What Stage Is it Easiest to Change Your Career Path?

As you journey through the decades of adulthood, your career will likely be moving through the following stages at the same time:

  • Exploration

  • Establishment

  • Mid-Career – There is still time to change careers…

  • Late-Career – There is still time to change careers…

  • Retirement – There is still time to change careers…

While there is usually a natural progression in roles from career establishment onward, at some point that “big job” may start to diminish your quality of life. Maybe you need more time for your child. Perhaps you want to travel more. Or maybe you desire a little less to manage in a day. It’s at that moment of realization when you have the most motivation to change. It can be at any stage or all the stages, and that’s the time to act.

Balancing Strengths with Organizational Needs
So, how does one go about changing direction after they’ve established themselves in an industry? Well, remember that you are not defined by your role. You are defined by your skills, character, personality traits, and behavioral style. So, start here:

  • Self-assessment – What skills do you have? What are your goals and priorities?

  • Seeking feedback – Ask family, friends, and colleagues what they think you do best.

  • Professional development – Embrace opportunities to learn more about your area of interest and see how it “feels.”

Exploring Gig Economy Opportunities

Have you ever thought about being a gig worker? It can be a great way to utilize your skills in a new, less stressful environment. Some of the benefits include:

  • Independence – You can have unmatched autonomy.

  • Established infrastructure – Unlike typical contractors, they usually get assignments through online platforms with an established infrastructure. That means someone else is doing the marketing, advertising, and billing.

  • Flexibility – You can set your own schedule and work from anywhere. This allows room in your life for personal commitments, additional jobs, and other interests while still earning a living.

  • Leveraging existing skills – Everyone has translatable skills. You just have to open your mind to the possibilities!

  • Earning potential – There is no cap on your salary or hours. You work as little or as much as suits your needs.

Should You Give the Gig Economy a Try?

While there are many advantages to leaving the realm of traditional “employee” and joining the gig economy, there are a few important disadvantages to consider.

  • Lack of job security – Gigs are not like long-term contracts. You won’t be able to rely on having the same amount of work each week. Clients will change. Hours will change. And you may not know when the next gig will come around, so you’ll always have to be looking for new opportunities.

  • Inconsistent income – Along with the lack of job security comes inconsistent income which could, at times, create hardship.

  • Lack of employee perks – Gig workers typically don’t have perks like paid time off, healthcare, and retirement plans.

  • Tax status – As an independent contractor, you will no longer have taxes taken out of your paycheck. So, prepping for tax day is something you’ll need to do all year long.

While some people may be motivated and excited by the challenges of gig work, it can be anxiety-producing for others. If the disadvantages listed above are major concerns for you, maybe a shift in your role at work would be a better option.

Take the Next Step with DNA Behavior

We’ve all ridden in the back of an Uber or Lyft, but have you ever contemplated the personality traits that make a good driver? Well, we have! DNA Behavior has over 4,000 insights that can be used for everything, including finding the right role or gig match for you.

Not only have we benchmarked every Department of Labor job code, but our research team has also analyzed all of the gig economy professions. So, if you are thinking about switching jobs, we can help you find the right fit. There are thousands of jobs – but what will you be successful at and enjoy?

Our various tools and resources help individuals identify suitable gig jobs and potential encore careers. Behavioral insights can be used to help you connect what you do to your natural strengths. Take a look at the chart below for some ideas!

Translating Skills and Personality Traits to the Gig Economy

Career Satisfaction Is Obtainable at Any Stage

The bottom line is this… It is never too late to make a change in your career. Improved well-being and career satisfaction are worth it at any stage!

So, are you up for exploring your personal strengths and finding suitable gig economy jobs?

Related: Mapping Gender, Race, and Behavior in Life and Work