It’s very common to ask yourself, every once in a while, if you’re content in your career path. After all, fleeting thoughts of a radical career change are natural. In fact, statistics show that three-quarters of Americans have done it at least once in their life.

The prospect of leaving a career that you’ve invested so much time and effort building can be scary. But the consequences of carrying on doing something that’s not right for you will be devastating. On the other hand, finding and following your passion can be immensely satisfying. So, how do you know it’s time? If you’re thinking you might be in the wrong career, consider these things.

Where Talent Meets Interests

For most people, there’s usually a difference between your talents, your work tasks, and what you’re interested in. In an ideal scenario, these three things should align in your career for it to be fulfilling and successful. 

Ask yourself if your current career meets these criteria, and if it doesn’t, ask yourself what is the reason. Consider what it is you enjoy doing, and what comes easily to you. Consider what you don’t like too. This kind of self-awareness will help you understand what the problem in your current career is, and give you an idea of where to look next. 

Where Your Sense of Accomplishment Is

Feeling like your work is making an impact is very important to feel motivated. In a general sense, it comes from being driven by a set of challenges and seeing results. However, in practice, it looks different for everyone. To some people, accomplishment comes from creating something new and seeing it grow. To others, it means putting in work towards a communal project. The feeling of having an impact comes from a very personal place. Ask yourself what triggers it in you, and why your current career is not delivering it.  

What Makes You Proud

Being part of something that makes you proud is very important to your happiness at work. This means more than just being content with your specific results. You should be proud of what that work is going to produce in the grand scheme of things, and how your company impacts the world.

More and more, employees are understanding the importance of working in environments that go with their values. Finding a career that makes you feel like you’re contributing to the world you want makes you feel motivated. If your current job is not giving you that, analyze why that is and how you could change it. Sometimes, however, this is not possible. If your career goes against your values at the core, it’s time to find something that you believe in. 

Everyday Happiness

Think about how you feel doing your job every day. Is it really making you happy? Of course, work is work, and not everything is going to be perfect. But, does it actually bring you joy? Do you ever enjoy doing it? If the answer to these questions is no, then you’re definitely in for a career change. Your everyday life is your life, don’t forget it. 

Don’t feel like you’re obligated to stay in something because you went to school for it, because you’ve been doing it for a long time, because it seems safe. You have the power to change things around, don’t be discouraged.

Do some self-reflection, and find out who you want to be, what skills you have, and what makes you happy. Allow yourself to go beyond what is readily available, the practicalities. If you could do anything, what would it be? Once you have understood your own motivations, narrow down your options to fields of your interest. Find out how you can take your current strengths into a new career, and what you need to start.  


If you’re in the wrong career, you know how draining it can be. Not living up to your full potential can be soul-destroying. Thinking about changing careers can be a confusing prospect, but it’s completely possible to do. You have already built a career from nothing, so you can do it again now, this time with a lot more experience.