If you’re feeling somewhat bored at your current job you’re not alone. In fact, research shows that 87% of people worldwide are disengaged from work and 68% of people in the U.S. feel the same way.
Feeling bored at work is the status quo. But it doesn’t have to be.
People change careers every day. Maybe you’ve even thought about it. You might imagine not having to go in to a job that feels stale, not having to do work that feels uninteresting, and not spending your life on something that makes you dead inside.
If you care about the work you’re doing, then you’re not putting in just time at work, but also passion, connection and a drive to solve the problems set before you.
If you don’t, you’re watching the clock, collecting the pay check, and living for the weekend.
You’d like to start a bright new career, doing something exciting and once again feeling like the intelligent, interesting and creative person you are. . .
But actually taking the steps between here and there sound so risky.
And when it comes down to it, the what seems like the biggest risk of all is financial.
Can you actually afford to make a career change to do something more interesting and chase a job you’d actually like?
You might be surprised to hear that the answer is not only “Yes, you can afford it,” but also “You really can’t afford not to.”
“Yes, you can afford it”
Now of course, I haven’t looked at your finances, and you should consult your financial advisor or coach before making any big life decisions that impact your economic life.
However, here’s what’s known about changing careers and making money. You are free to draw your own conclusions.
1. You make more money when you are happy
There is a popular belief that more money makes people happier, and then a research report confirmed it, finding that daily happiness is increased only until about $75,000, after which the impact is about how we feel about our lives overall. This impact in “life assessment” does increase the more money we make.
However, what about the opposite? Do people who are happy make more money than people who are unhappy? Can your attitude really change how money flows into our lives?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is yes.
People who are happier are more optimistic, show up to work on average 15 more days per year than people unhappy at their jobs, are more productive and get better performance reviews.
If all of that is true, then does it really make sense to work in a job that makes you miserable?
2. You can make even more after a career change than before
Next, research also shows that for people changing careers after age 45, 82% successfully made the switch and many of them earned even more than they did in their previous jobs.
We have a belief that pursing what we love means taking a drastic pay cut, but it’s just not true.
While some career changers do take an initial pay cut, there’s nothing about doing what you love that makes it inherently less valuable than doing what you don’t love.
In fact, by doing what you love and what you’re best at, you can sometimes find your way into a career that pays you the best salary you’ve ever earned.
The skill is in learning to monetize what you love and position your skills and interests so that you find the right career fit for you.
But even if you’re still feeling a little too comfortable in your discomfort at work, there’s one more piece of information you really should be armed with:
“You can’t afford not to”
People shouldn’t go around changing careers just for the fun of it.
Actually, I take that back.
The old way of doing business is changing, and what you and I used to think of as being a great employee – getting a job and staying there for as long as you possibly can manage it – is dead.
In fact, that thinking can damage your career today.
If you’re miserable in your career or you’re just ready for a new challenge, it’s time to move on.
You should change your career for the fun of it.
Today’s workplace sees changing jobs every three years or so as a good thing.
In fact, workers who do this have been shown to get paid 50% more and are believed to have a higher learning curve, be higher performers and be more loyal than others who just land a job and “check out” mentally, which is how many employers see long employment history at one employer these days.
Job hopping is essential to your career, because in the era of companies who are no longer loyal to you until you retire with your gold watch, you are essentially a freelancer managing your career even if you choose to be employed by a company.
Staying in a job for too long, especially a miserable one, will do nothing but leave you behind.
What You Can Do
Now that you know that you probably can and should change your career if you’re unhappy at work, it’s time to do something about it.
Start by taking a good look at your financial situation to see what steps you can afford right now.
A good financial plan when making a career change is invaluable.
Then it’s time to start thinking about what you want next in your career and what you’re suited to do.
You likely have many skills that will help you to land a new position doing something slightly or totally different.
You have every reason to pursue something you love. When you understand that you don’t have to take the financial risks you thought you did, change becomes a real possibility.
Jessica Sweet is a career coach and psychotherapist who works with people in midlife to help them find and change into new, meaningful careers. You can learn more about her and her upcoming online course The Meaningful Career Change Formula at http://www.wishingwellcoach.com