Do you find yourself wondering if you are steering your career down the wrong path? Sometimes a series of bad days, weeks, or even months on the job can make us feel like it is time to throw in the towel.  How can you tell if you need to just overcome some mild discontent, or if it is actually time to reroute your career path?  Here are some tips!

Pinpoint the source of your discontent.

Until you know exactly what makes you unhappy in your current position, you will have no way of knowing what can be done to fix it.  When you analyze the situation, do you realize that you do enjoy your line of work, but you are resentful or upset about the rate at which you’re advancing?  If so, a discussion with your supervisor about your goals is the answer, not a complete 180 on your career path.  If you honestly do not like what you do each day, and you find the nature of your work burdensome or boring, you may be in need of a career path reroute.

Consider other options within your line of work.

First, look in the positions and roles in your current field.  Are you bored with your duties currently, but positions further down your career path appeal to you?  Then stick it out.  Remember that most people have to pay their dues in order to get to the position that will make them truly happy, so just because you aren’t content today doesn’t mean you won’t be when you advance in the future.

Consider other options within your company.

The easiest way to start testing out if another career path is right for you is by seeing if there are any opportunities within your current company for you to see if those areas align more with what you are looking for. Are you currently working in HR but feel you would be happier utilizing your talents and creativity in marketing?  See if there are any positions open or opportunities to shadow in your company.  It can often times be easier to cross over to other fields within your current company where you already have established yourself rather than start from square one.

Research the line of work you are thinking of.

Make sure before you take the plunge and dive into a completely different line of work that you have thoroughly researched it first. What is hiring climate like?  You won’t want to drop your current position cold turkey if it means you will be unemployed for a year!   Is the average compensation in that field in line with what you are expecting?  Are there positions available in your area, or would you have to move?  What kind of training is needed?  Will you need to go back to school?  Not only will researching the line of work help you determine if it is worth it, if you do decide to take the plunge, you can get a head start on picking up classes, joining groups, etc. to get you started down the right path.

Talk to trusted mentors.

A complete career change is a big enough decision to recruit the advice and expertise of people you trust and your mentors.  Talk with your loved ones who know you best to see if they have advice on what will make you truly happy.  Discuss with the career advisers and mentors you have in your life to make sure you understand the necessary steps it will take and can accurately weigh the costs and benefits.  It’s alright to recruit a little help on this; it’s a big decision!

If you are unhappy or don’t feel like you are using your skills or maximizing your potential in your current job, it can be a draining and disheartening experience.  By taking a hard look at your situation, discussing with mentors and researching what it would take to reroute your path, you can determine if a career change is right for you!