Take your mind back to the early days of your first job outside of college, or back to those first few heady days at your current job. Where did you think you’d be five or ten years from then? Is the reality of the corporate world different to what you’d hoped for?
We know that life is tough for many of today’s graduates. 2.7% of those with degrees are unemployed, 44% are employed in jobs not requiring degrees, and the average hourly wage rose by a meager 2.8% earlier this year (source). At the same time, people who have been in the career game for a while, may find that their job starts to feel a bit stale after a few decades of doing the same thing. Has your career growth plan stalled? Do you feel like you’re coming across new challenges less often?
Now don’t get me wrong, we all know that the corporate world has its perks (company health plans, bonuses, a steady income), but when is it time to say enough is enough, step away from the rat race, and go it alone instead? Online entrepreneurship offers you the flexibility and freedom that many people in corporate roles could only dream of.
Not sure you’re ready for it yet? We’ve put together a list of six telltale signs that you need a career change – as well as what you can start to do in order to implement real change.
1. You’ve started getting the Sunday night blues
Did you know that 59% of people in the USA get the Sunday night blues “really bad” every week? If you get that feeling of dread on a Sunday evening when you know you have to go back to work tomorrow, your body is giving you a clear indicator that you’re in the wrong career.
If you are dreading going into work, you need to start to address the different elements of your current role that are making you feel dissatisfied. Is it the people and office politics that are getting you down? Is it the industry that is no longer offering you a sense of challenge? Are you in a role that is making you stressed and doesn’t play to your strengths? Or is it even the repetitive nature of the working week that’s giving you an uncomfortable feeling that it’s always Groundhog Day?
Imagine being able to timetable your own working week: work on Sunday mornings, then take Wednesdays off. When you work for yourself, you can follow your natural working patterns and rhythms a lot more.
It’s a great feeling, especially for creative people who may feel hemmed in by routines. Blogging is a great way to make the most of your creative impulses and skills, and you can monetize a blog within six months quite easily.
2. You always press the snooze button
According to sleep experts, by regularly hitting the snooze button you could be doing yourself more harm than good. If you’re doing it because you don’t enjoy your current job, then it’s a clear sign that you should switch to something you actually want to get up for. Equally, if you are going to bed under a cloud of stress or struggling to get to sleep because work things are keeping you up, you may be negatively impacting your physical and mental health.
Listen carefully to your body – maybe you need to revisit your daily routine to ensure that you have enough time to ‘decompress’ after work. A lack of energy in the mornings can be exhausting, and keep you from achieving your full potential as a person.
If you are thinking of a big career change, it’s worth trying to get your sleep patterns under control so that you can think as clearly as possible. Making big life decisions under a cloud of stress is never a good idea. And being an entrepreneur isn’t always a walk in the park either: there will be plenty of sleepless nights.
Online entrepreneurs often balance their intense screen work with plenty of exercise and breaks – this is definitely important. Delving into something new is exciting, but you want to maintain that balance.
3. Your commute to work has become beyond tedious
You might be surprised to learn that in 2014, Americans spent a total of 1.8 trillion minutes commuting. That’s an awful lot of wasted time, especially if you don’t enjoy your job. Your commute can often feel like ‘dead time’, during which it’s hard to get anything productive done, or relax.
Online work is awesome because it’s not tied to any location. You can work from home (not for everyone), in co-working spaces that are springing up all over the country, or from the road. If you build up enough passive income, or invest in an online business with watertight systems, you can become a fully nomadic individual, living the digital nomad dream.
4. You regularly feel bored
How many times at work recently have you felt like you’ve lost your spark? That you just don’t care anymore and that you’d rather be anywhere else than sat behind that desk? While it’s not uncommon to feel unmotivated at work from time to time, if you start to feel like this on a daily basis, week in week out, then you should seriously start to think about finding a new career challenge.
An exciting venture could be just about the corner: it doesn’t take long to get set up with a credible online brand, and you’ll be able to lay the groundwork by working on it part-time and during the weekends. The quickest way to running a boredom-busting online brand? Buy an already powerful social media account, scout out a profitable domain, or take over an ecommerce website and continue with what the previous owners had started. By buying a ready-made asset, you will be saving yourself months of hard work!
5. You’re only staying in your current job for the money
Be honest, how many times have you recently thought to yourself “I’ll stay in this job until I’ve had this year’s bonus”? And how often do you buy things to try and make yourself feel better after a hard day at work?
If this sounds familiar to you, then it’s a sign that you’ve lost job satisfaction and are sacrificing your happiness in order to pay the bills. Believe us when we say it doesn’t have to be this way! There are so many ways to make money online, where the key to success can lie in diversification, rather than repetitive tasks.
Don’t make any rash decisions, but don’t stay on somewhere because you think you’ll never be able to generate your own income. Got a great idea and need some help to get it off the ground? Consider whether crowdfunding and crowdsourcing could be the answer to your problems.
6. You daydream about being your own boss
Have you ever found yourself drifting off during a particularly boring meeting or presentation, imagining what it would be like to be your own boss? While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional thought, if you find yourself starting to think about going freelance or starting your own business more regularly, then perhaps it’s time to take your daydreams more seriously….
You can manage your own business even if you aren’t an outgoing self-starter: there are plenty of introverts who make it as entrepreneurs and business leaders. The main thing is to focus on developing yourself, seeking mentors and new opportunities wherever possible.
If any of the above points sound familiar to you, then perhaps it’s time to consider leaving the corporate world behind and setting up on your own in the digital world. One of the biggest benefits of online entrepreneurship? Your business stays open even while you’re asleep. So, will you take the plunge? We’d love to hear about your experiences of changing career and starting your own entrepreneurial ventures. Start a conversation in the comments.