You've probably felt it one time or another. You have a hard time waking up in the morning. You drag yourself to your car or to the train station. And when you get to your office building, you dread stepping off the elevator and into the door of your company's premises. You feel burned out, and you feel you don't belong there anymore.
This would be the same in other cases where you don't go to a traditional office. You dread going to work every day, and you eagerly watch the clock ticking, waiting for lunch break or the end of your shift. There are probably many reasons for this, some reasonable (like if you're feeling under the weather), and some juvenile (office politics, perhaps). But one good reason you're no longer excited to go to work is you've chosen the wrong career path.
There are many other symptoms, and here are a few indications that you are probably better off elsewhere.
It's not an enjoyable field anymore. A lot of people choose to get a college and even a post-graduate degree in a certain field only to realize later that the field is not for them. This is probably due to some pressure to get a high-paying job, or one that is in heavy demand. For instance, the demand for IT workers skyrocketed in the DotCom era. Some people have taken IT-related studies, even if they don't have a natural knack for computers and technology. If you took a job in your industry only because of necessity, then you're probably in the wrong career.
It's a dead-end job. A lot of people aspire to climb the corporate ladder. Many get stuck at one point or another, though. Perhaps it's stiff competition, or it's because you really don't have an aptitude in your current field. For instance, you could be in a sales job, but you're more of an HR person. Or maybe you're in accounting, but you really have a gift for marketing and public relations. Just like the above-mentioned situation where a job is no longer enjoyable, if you feel like you're facing a dead end in your career path, then it's probably time to move elsewhere.
It's a sunset industry. We mentioned earlier that a lot of people invested in IT education in the DotCom era. Today, the bubble has long burst, but IT-related jobs still abound. These are more focused on certain areas, like programming for web applications, design and the like. In short, the industry has adapted well to change. But how about industries that are at the end of the line? Many people say the print industry is in its sunset stages, meaning it will soon be overtaken by digital media. People working as layout artists or typesetters at printing presses will probably soon be out of jobs. If you've spent decades in that industry, that's well and good—you can probably expect a hefty retirement package. But if you're just starting out, maybe you should rethink your options. Perhaps you could move to fields that are still on the rise.
Entrepreneur-types know that change is inevitable and that change is good. If you think you've chosen the wrong career path, it's never too late to shift careers and start all over again. Chances are, it won't be a "starting all over again" situation, since you have mastered some skills and gained experience points from your previous career choices anyway. Remember, be smart about your career moves.