5 Signs It's Time For A Job Title—Not A Career—Change
Workin' Girl

5 Signs It's Time For A Job Title—Not A Career—Change

Oftentimes, when we're in a rut, unhappy at work, or just overall dissatisfied in our professional lives, there are triggers. And many of us have very catastrophic thoughts in response to those triggers, from, "Every day is terrible at work, but I can't do any better than this," to "I'm totally stuck and need the money to pay my bills."

You might be two seconds from hitting send on that resignation notice you've had in your email drafts for months, ready to risk it all and just give up.

When you're feeling utterly annoyed, frustrated, disinterested, or just bored at work, here's a refreshing thing to consider: Your feelings might not have anything to do with your overall career choice. It's the actual job, sis. Here are a few signs you might need to rethink the job versus your career as a whole:

1. Your relationship with your direct manager or supervisor is simply not a good fit.

If you've tried all you can to perform, show up to work on time, and excel, it might not be the industry you're in but the manager you're directly reporting to. And sometimes, just like in love, a work relationship just might not be a good fit. While many aspects of our jobs are personal to us, leadership compatibility can have nothing to do with you or your manager and more to do with the fact that their style or way of doing things is just not conducive to you thriving in that position.

If one-on-ones and mediation meetings with your manager aren't helpful, but you love the company and the industry you're in, the best thing you can do in this case is ask for a transfer to another branch or location of your current company.

2. You're bored with the duties required for your job.

I experienced this as a copy editor. My mentor had advised that pursuing such a position was a great way to get my foot in the door, especially at a major global publication, and he was right. However, after a few years, my ambitions grew, and the role itself just became monotonous and isolating. I still loved journalism, the company I worked for, and the people I worked with, but I just couldn't shake those Sunday Scaries that would overcome my thoughts week after week.

I decided to volunteer to edit digital content at a time when digital media wasn't financially lucrative for publishers. Print content was king. It was experimental for many major publishers because they had not yet learned how to disrupt and monetize content on the Internet. It was the best decision of my life because I was a team member at the company who could lead once digital media really took off.

You don't have to necessarily quit altogether because you no longer have a passion for your job duties. Talk with your manager or HR department and apply or request to be placed in a different department that will really challenge you as a professional. If you can, volunteer for projects that allow you to work in other aspects of a business or for corporate volunteer opportunities that will put you on teams with upper-level executives.

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3. You've been in the same title position for more than three years.

Sis, advocate for yourself and ask for that promotion, especially if you're a mid-level professional managing anything (i.e., content, processes, people, or budgets). If there are clear success metrics attached to your contributions to the company, it's time to move on up. And be sure to ask for the salary that goes along with it. Y'all know these companies try to play us with title promotions, but no money behind the added duties and responsibilities.

I made the mistake of making lateral moves within a company for five years, so it didn't seem urgent for the company to promote me. It was as if I was content (and they certainly were content paying me the same for more and more work.) It wasn't until I requested a promotion that they knew my contributions and time had outgrown the title, and my experience reflected that of an associate, and I was indeed promoted with a pay raise.

If a promotion at your current company is just not an option, apply for higher positions at another company. Be sure you have the career receipts, reputation, and experience to do so, but don't shy away from a more advanced title within your industry. Again, you don't want to be stagnant in your career journey, so it's time to step it up and challenge yourself with a higher title and pay.

4. You have a new interest in a different aspect of your industry.

Say you started in children's education but now feel a pull to take your teaching skills to empower adults. Well, go for it. That's not necessarily a total change in career but a shift in the people you serve. If you're in fashion, focused solely on women, why not venture out into men's, children's, or another niche? If you're in tech marketing but find yourself to be a savvy inventor, project manager, legal expert, or process visionary, shift to jobs that light a fire under those skills.

Just because you have one job today that you love doesn't mean you can't shift to a different job within your industry (or even at the same company) that you love and are just as good at.

Also, growth in your career oftentimes means you lose interest in things you used to be super-excited about, and that's totally okay. Shift gears to apply a different skill set within the industry and keep those relationships you had before. You might even walk into a lucrative side hustle or business of your own.

5. Your mental and physical health is at stake.

I knew a woman who worked in emergency care in a role that really became draining for both her mental and physical health. Instead of quitting the medical industry altogether, she went into advocacy and administration, where she could work from an office, handle the more strategic parts of the job, and interact with people who made decisions on processes and protocols.

Sometimes, back-breaking, tedious, or high-stress jobs just have an expiration date, so if you can no longer take it, apply for a different role that fits your current mental and physical wellness goals. Some of us are called to very stressful, physically taxing jobs, and we love it, while others are meant to transition into other roles, and there's nothing wrong with that. You don't have to tough it out or feel guilty for wanting a role that affords you more ease. Make the best decision for you while contributing to the greater good in your industry.

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Featured image via Getty Images

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