by sonja thorsvik

Signs Of Career Anxiety And How To Pivot

Most of us know the feeling of being in the wrong place, and it’s never a good one—especially when it comes to your career. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re not where you’re supposed to be in your job, whether it’s because of a toxic work environment, a lack of growth, or simply the intuition that something needs to change or you’re meant for more.

If you aren’t in the right career, you probably have something deep-down telling you that it’s just not right. From feeling stuck in the mud or having that constant pang of dread in your gut to arguing constantly with your boss or leaving work every day feeling deeply unhappy, there are tons of signs that tend to be pointing toward the exit. 

Here are 5 of the most common signs you’re in the wrong job, and how to fight your way out.

Sign 01: You Feel Stagnant At Work

Regardless of whether or not you’re in a dead-end position or sitting at a desk in your dream job, you’ll go through phases where you feel like you’re stuck. From a project that you can’t seem to get on top of to a slow period in sales, it’s common to feel occasionally stagnant.

But, feeling like you’re never moving… ever? That’s not a good sign, and it’s not a healthy one, either.

A great job and career pushes you to be better, work harder, and consistently grow. If you’re never garnering new responsibilities, feeling excited about new projects, or being challenged to face new problems head-on, it may very well be a sign that it’s time to move on to the next thing. Advocate for yourself, ask your manager for new projects, and pursue new opportunities in the office. If they don’t start being presented, it’s time to go somewhere else. 

Sign 02: You Dread Going Into The Office

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who jumps up, rolls out of bed, gleefully bounds out the door, and drives to work ready to create magic every single day. It’s just not realistic, ya know? Plus, that’s what coffee’s for

But, if you never feel excited to go to work? If you feel that pit in your stomach when your building comes into view? If you immediately fight tears or nausea when you pull into your parking spot? You’re not in the right place, my friend. 

Just like in life, not every day at your job is going to be a cakewalk. But if your job is spurring literal feelings of dread on a consistent basis, whether it’s because of the work you’re doing or the people you’re working with, you need to get out sooner than later. 

Sign 03: You Don’t Get Along With Your Boss Or Coworkers

Frustration is part of having a job, and occasionally butting heads is, too. But, a healthy workplace and a key sign that you’re in the right job comes with a supportive environment for all involved—one where growth is encouraged and open discourse is practiced. If you’re constantly angry at your boss, striking out with your co-workers, feeling talked over at meetings, or feeling unable to work with your team, it’s probably time to hightail it out of there.

An otherwise good job can become quickly toxic when people aren’t getting along, and that toxic environment is a rocky path leading to HR nightmares, a lack of productivity, and a general air of no thank you. If you’ve tried to fix issues with your management or co-workers to no avail, it’s a sign that something’s not right.

Sign 04: You’re Seeing Key Indicators Of Depression Or Anxiety

When you realize you’re spending 40+ hours at your workplace each week, it becomes glaringly obvious as to how heavily it can impact the rest of your life. Typically, you’re spending almost as much time at work (or work-adjacent) as you are at home. Even more, if you don’t count the hours you’re asleep. If you have a feeling that your job is starting to spur depression or anxiety, it should raise a resounding alarm.

Whether you’re coming home from work to immediately fall asleep on the couch, self-medicating with a huge glass of wine the second you walk in the door, or feeling apathy towards everything involving your job, workplace-induced depression or anxiety can manifest in a variety of ways.

Life is too short to be in a job that makes you that deeply unhappy, and you should never feel the need to run away from the stressors of work. There’s too much hard stuff in life already. Don’t add work into the mix.

Related: How To Move On When You’re In A Life Funk

Sign 05: You Don’t Enjoy Any Of The Work You’re Doing

Are there parts of my business that I don’t enjoy working on? Sure. But do I love the bulk of the work I’m doing and believe my mission is what matters most? Absolutely. And that, my friend, is how you should feel, too. If you’re in a job or an industry that you generally can’t stand, you’re inviting unhappiness, comparison, and unnecessary weight into your day-to-day life. It’s not worth it.

While paying your dues and learning different aspects of the business is absolutely a part of career building, a genuine lack of enjoyment or excitement around your job isn’t. If you aren’t finding joy, feeling engaged 90% of the time, or being mostly interested in your own work, you’re not where you should be.

What Now? How Do You Switch Careers?

The process of looking for a new job, changing industries, or launching your own business entirely is a daunting one. On top of it, recognizing that you’re unhappy in your current situation is draining by itself. Here are some next steps and key tips for figuring out what’s next:

  • Network, network, network. From Facebook groups to LinkedIn, find community in your industry, meet people, and make connections.
  • Consider starting a side hustle that you’re passionate about and that excites you, and then consider making it a full-time hustle.
  • Check out an online program like Masterclass, or enroll in an online course that interests you and makes you feel challenged. Who knows? That skill might just result in a new job.
  • Explore other opportunities in your career field, and dip your toes into some deeper water.
  • Propose a new initiative or project at work.
  • Go to therapy, start journaling, and cultivate activities that connect you to yourself.

The realization that you’re not in the right job or career can be a scary one, and for good reason. But, my friend, your job is a huge part of your life. By staying in a job that’s crushing you, you’re doing yourself no favors. You owe it to yourself to know your worth, and then to go chase after it.

Related: How To Determine What Success Means To You




I started my own entrepreneurial career in 2012 scaling up from $0 a year to over $100,000 each and every year. I firmly and wholeheartedly believe there are ways for all of us self-employed entrepreneurs to reach six-figures and beyond and I'm unapologetically here to show you how I do it so you can make your next best move. Let's go.

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