There's a certain courage required to hear your gut. To really be true to how you are feeling. And that is never more important than in your career. Sometimes people feel that they are not completely happy. At other times they might have a sense of distance from the business or organisation they are in.
This lack of 'alignment' makes for discomfort - and many people listen to it for the whole of their careers (and lives) and yet never truly hear it.
So what are the clues that can help us realise that if change is in the air, it is a good thing, rather than something to fear? Here are 19 things to look out for:-
You feel bored
You actually yawn a lot
You get irritated easily
You find yourself daydreaming (maybe even looking out the window)
You get excited when something out of the ordinary happens
Each year feels repetitive
You get in late
You get sick a lot
Cynicism about your orgaisation starts to increase
You team up with your own people against the organisation
You have a sense of being 'locked in'
You see others progress and wonder why
Sunday evenings are filled with dread
Some jobs are really hard to bring yourself to
Cycles repeat themselves (about 5-yearly)
'Grumpy' is a description you overhear about yourself
You lose faith in 'head office' (often)
'Things ain't what they used to be'
You find yourself muttering to yourself a lot (though this might be an age thing too!)
So what to do about it.
Firstly - recognising that your career is in a rut is a big step - so consider yourself lucky that you spotted it and took stock.
Secondly - realise that you do have choices. You always have choices - and only you can make them - no-one else.
Thirdly - think through what options you have in your existing job or role - all may not be lost, you might have options which suit who you really want to be, in exactly the organisation you are in - just get thinking and above all, get creative about it.
Fourthly - consider what you love doing in your life; read the job sections and seek out jobs that truly appeal, however unlikely they might seem for you. Ask yourself what captures your imagination about them - tease it out (use the 'Why's' tactic in "Solve Problems Permanently - Ask WHY")
Fifthly - consider how you can leverage your existing role to enable you to reach a longer-term goal of a sort of job you like - what is already there that you can utilise.
Finally - create an escape plan, with timescales to get to where you really do want to be - it may have a couple of steps - but that's just great. It adds to the fun!
For a bit more help about changes of direction, try out What Color is Your Parachute?, especially the 'skills as verbs' section (aka values!) - details on the webpage in the clickthrough at the bottom.
Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com/career_development.html.
...helping you, to help your people, to help your business grow...