10 signs you’re unhappy at work and need a career change

Ever wake up and think, “Not again, I don’t want to go to work”?

And the whole drive there feels like a chore?

If you nodded along, it might be time to admit your job’s got you down and you need to switch gears.

After all, we spend a lot of our lives working. It should be something we look forward to, not dread.

But sometimes, it’s tough to admit we’re stuck in a rut.

Here are 10 signs that signal you’re unhappy at work and might need a change:

1. You Hate Sunday Nights

We all love our weekends, right?

They’re a time to unwind, spend time with loved ones, and maybe even catch up on some much-needed sleep.

But if you’ve started to view Sunday evening as a countdown to the doom that is Monday morning, there’s something wrong.

Imagine this: it’s Sunday evening and you’ve just had a great weekend.

But the minute you remember you have to go to work the next day, your mood plummets.

You feel a knot in your stomach and a sense of dread washes over you.

The rest of your Sunday is spent stressing about the upcoming workweek rather than savoring the last few hours of your weekend.

This feeling is often referred to as the “Sunday Scaries” and it’s a clear sign that you’re not happy with your current job.

If the thought of going back to work is ruining your Sundays, it probably means you’re not looking forward to what awaits you at work.

This isn’t a feeling you should ignore.

Your job shouldn’t be something that scares you or makes you feel anxious.

It should be something that excites you and makes you feel fulfilled.

If Sunday nights are more scary than fun, it might be time to start thinking about looking for a new job where you’ll feel more excited and less anxious about starting your workweek.

2. You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything

Remember when you first started your job?

Things were exciting, you felt motivated, and you were ready to take on any task thrown your way.

Fast forward to now, and it’s a completely different story. Your to-do list feels like a mountain you can’t climb.

You can’t seem to find the energy or enthusiasm to start, much less complete your tasks.

Even the tasks that used to be easy or enjoyable now feel like a burden.

This lack of motivation isn’t just about being lazy or not wanting to work.

It’s actually a big red flag that you’re unhappy in your current job.

When we’re happy and satisfied at work, we feel motivated. We want to do our best and contribute positively to our workplace.

But when we’re unhappy, that motivation evaporates.

The feeling of not wanting to do anything at work can often be accompanied by a feeling of disinterest in the job itself.

If you find yourself not caring about your tasks, projects, or even the overall goals of your workplace, this is another sign that you might be unhappy.

3. You’re Always Tired

I remember a time when I used to wake up feeling ready to tackle the day.

But as time went on, I noticed a change.

No matter how much sleep I got, I always woke up feeling tired and drained.

My job wasn’t physically demanding, so it wasn’t like I was wearing myself out with hard labor.

Yet, every day, it felt like I had run a marathon.

I couldn’t understand why until I realized: it was my job that was wearing me down – emotionally.

The constant stress, the feeling of not being appreciated, and the lack of motivation had taken a toll on me.

It wasn’t physical exhaustion; it was emotional exhaustion.

I found myself needing coffee just to get through the day, and even then, I’d still feel worn out by mid-afternoon.

The worst part?

Even after leaving work, I was too tired to do anything else. My hobbies, spending time with family and friends, things I used to enjoy – all took a backseat because I just didn’t have the energy.

If you’re experiencing something similar, if you’re constantly feeling tired without any particular reason like overworking or physical labor, you might be dealing with emotional exhaustion from work.

It’s a sign that you’re not happy with your job and it might be time for a career change.

4. You Keep Looking at the Clock

Ever find yourself staring at the clock, willing the hands to move faster?

Or perhaps you’re constantly calculating how many hours, minutes, and seconds are left until you can finally leave?

This is a common sign of dissatisfaction with your job.

People who are engaged and enjoy their work experience a phenomenon known as ‘flow’. This is a state of being completely absorbed and focused on what you’re doing.

Time seems to fly by when you’re in this state.

Contrarily, when you’re unhappy or uninterested in your work, time seems to drag.

You become hyper-aware of each minute that ticks by.

This is because tasks you don’t enjoy require more effort and attention, which makes them seem longer.

So if you spend more time watching the clock than your work screen, it’s a clear sign you’re unhappy and might be in need of a career change.

It might be time to find a job where you’ll be too engrossed in your work to even glance at the clock!

5. Your Work Isn’t As Good As It Used To Be

There’s no denying that we all have off days or weeks when our work isn’t up to par.

But when it becomes a consistent pattern, it’s not something to brush off.

When the quality of your work starts to slip, deadlines are missed, and your productivity drops, it can be a painful realization.

I know how much you care about your work.

You’ve always been someone who puts in their best effort, who takes pride in their performance.

But lately, it seems like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t meet the standards you once set for yourself.

It’s not that you’ve become less capable or less talented. It’s a sign of a deeper issue – you’re unhappy with your job.

When we’re unhappy, it becomes harder to focus and put our best into what we do.

And when our work suffers, it can lead to even more stress and unhappiness.

It’s a difficult cycle to break.

But remember, acknowledging the problem is the first step towards fixing it. If this sign resonates with you, it may be time to consider a career change.

You deserve a job where you can thrive and produce work that you’re truly proud of.

6. You Feel Ignored

I’ll never forget the feeling of my ideas constantly being overlooked.

I would spend countless hours brainstorming, researching, and preparing to present my ideas to my team.

But every time I shared, it felt like my words fell on deaf ears. It was as if what I had to say didn’t matter.

When I completed a project successfully or went the extra mile, there was never any recognition. No “good job” or “we appreciate your hard work.”

It was like I was invisible. I began to question myself, my skills, and my worth in the company.

Feeling unappreciated and overlooked is disheartening. It can make you feel like you’re not valued or that your contributions don’t matter.

We all want our efforts to be recognized and appreciated – it’s human nature.

If you’re in a job where you feel ignored or undervalued, it’s a sign that you’re unhappy and might need a career change.

Everyone deserves to be in a job where their efforts are recognized and appreciated.

7. You’re Not Learning or Growing

Let’s cut the fluff and get real here. You’re stuck. It feels like you’re just going through the motions every day, doing the same things over and over again.

You’ve stopped learning new skills and there’s no room to grow in your current job.

It’s like you’re running on a hamster wheel, busting your guts out but not actually getting anywhere.

This isn’t just about promotions or raises, it’s about personal growth and development. You’re not being challenged anymore.

Every day is just a repeat of the one before. Your brain feels like it’s gathering cobwebs from the lack of stimulation.

This isn’t what you signed up for. You have ambitions, dreams, goals – but this job isn’t helping you reach any of them. It’s holding you back instead.

If this hits close to home, it’s a sign that you’re unhappy with your job and need a career change.

You deserve a job that helps you grow, challenges you, and allows you to constantly learn new things. Don’t sell yourself short.

8. You Don’t Fit into the Workplace Culture

Perhaps you’ve noticed that you just don’t seem to gel with your work environment.

Maybe it’s the office politics, the way things are done, or simply the vibe of the place.

You feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

A positive, inclusive culture can boost job satisfaction, productivity, and even health.

But when you don’t fit into your workplace culture, it can have the opposite effect.

It can make you feel disconnected, stressed, and unhappy.

You may feel like you have to put on a facade at work, which can be emotionally exhausting.

If you constantly feel out of place at work, it’s a sign that you’re not happy and might need a career change.

Remember, every workplace has its own unique culture, so there’s definitely one out there where you’ll feel right at home.

9. You’re Having Trouble with Your Boss or Colleagues

I’ve been there. I had a boss who, no matter what I did, was never satisfied.

Every conversation was a critique, every meeting was like walking on eggshells.

I started to dread even the smallest interactions because they were just so draining.

And then there were my colleagues. A couple of them were great, but the others? Let’s just say we didn’t see eye to eye.

Every project felt like a battleground, every discussion was a power struggle. It was exhausting.

This constant conflict made me dread going to work. It wasn’t just about the tasks anymore – the people I worked with were making me unhappy.

Poor relationships with your boss or colleagues can seriously affect your job satisfaction and overall happiness at work.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it might be a sign that you need a career change.

Because at the end of the day, you should feel supported and valued at work, not stressed and under constant criticism.

10. You Envy People with Different Jobs

You’re scrolling through social media, and every time you see someone talking about their job, you feel a pang of envy.

You see them thriving, learning new things, looking genuinely happy and you can’t help but wish it were you.

You start daydreaming about different careers–ones that seem more fulfilling, more exciting, more… you.

The thought of doing something different gives you a sense of hope and excitement; a stark contrast to how your current job makes you feel.

And it’s not just online.

You meet people at parties, during casual catch-ups, and when they talk about their jobs with passion in their eyes, it stings.

Mainly because you can’t remember the last time you felt that way about your own work.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to stop beating around the bush. You’re unhappy in your current job and it might be time for a career change.

There’s no shame in wanting better for yourself.

Life’s too short to be stuck in a job that makes you wish you were doing something else.

It’s time to chase after what makes you truly happy.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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