Most of us spend an average of 40 hours per week at work. If you factor in additional time for commuting, that’s a lot of time we’re devoting to our jobs. If you’re not happy at work or you have designs on a dream job, it may be time to ask yourself if you should apply for a new job. If you’re thinking of switching career or you’re hoping to secure a better-paid job, here are some tips to help you along the way.

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Recognizing the signs: when it’s time to change job

Some people do the same job for 30 or 40 years, but others will leapfrog from one position to another. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a job. Sometimes, if you find a job you love, you want to stick with it for as long as possible, but it’s not always easy to find that dream job. Often, if you have doubts, it’s good to embrace change. Here are some surefire signs that may mean that it’s time to move on.

You dread going to work

Do you dread your alarm going off every morning? Is your Sunday ruined by the prospect of going back to work on Monday? We spend far too much time at work to do something that we hate. If you can’t wait to get out of the office, off site or away from the shop floor each day, it’s probably time you looked for another job.

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You want to be doing something else

What do you say when people ask you what your dream job is? If it’s not the job you’re doing now, why not try and take those first steps towards getting a job you love? It’s not always easy to climb up the ladder or get a foot in the door, but the sooner you try, the earlier you’ll reach your goal. Do some homework before you start applying for jobs. Inquire about internships, learn more about the qualifications you need, and look into vacancies. You may need to stick with your current job for the time being, but it’s always good to be moving in the right direction.

You feel undervalued

Do you feel like you give every day at work your all for nothing in return? Have you worked overtime for no reward or do you feel like your boss takes you for granted? It’s human nature to want to feel appreciated, especially if you’re sticking to your end of the bargain, and trying your best. Sometimes, you don’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone, and moving on may just show your boss how important you were.

You’re bored

Work is a means of earning money. But is should also interest and challenge you. If you find work boring or you’re tired of doing the same thing every day, you may wish to consider a change of scenery or a completely different job altogether.

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There’s no chance of career progression

Many of us are hungry to succeed in our careers, and that means climbing a ladder. If there are limited opportunities for career progression at your firm or it’s very hard to get ahead in the industry, you could think about moving to a different company or changing the type of job you do. Sometimes, it may be as simple as changing department or relocating to a different office. If you’re flexible and you don’t mind moving around, there may be more openings. However, not everyone wants to uproot their family and move away for work. If your employer can’t offer you the chances you want, it’s worth looking elsewhere.

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You want a different challenge

Even if love your job, there’s nothing wrong with thinking about different challenges and considering other options. Life can become stale if you do the same thing all the time, and it’s good to push the boundaries and explore your options. Perhaps you could study part-time to get the qualifications you need for a different role, or you could work abroad.

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Job application tips

If you’re thinking of applying for a new job, don’t rush into anything. You need to give yourself time to find the right vacancies and to ensure you submit an application that reflects your skills and attributes.

There are lots of different ways you can find information about vacancies and openings. It is still possible to find adverts in the local papers, but most people do their job hunting online. It’s also a good idea to register with some recruitment agencies. Look out for agencies that specialize in your area of expertise. If you’re looking for nursing jobs in your local area, for example, it’s a good idea to search websites that advertise healthcare vacancies. If you’re a builder, go with an agency that deals with construction work. If you work in PR, sign up for updates from websites that promote openings in media and communications.

Many employers will ask for a resume or a CV in addition to an application form. Don’t complete an application and send it off without checking your resume first. If you’ve been in the same job for a while, it’s likely that the information you’ve provided is out of date. Make sure you include details of any recent training programs and additional skills you’ve acquired in the meantime. Always tailor your resume to suit the job description. You want to show that you have the abilities they are looking for. Highlight and emphasize your best qualities, but don’t embellish the truth too much. If you say you can do things that you can’t, you’ll soon come unstuck if you are offered the job.

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Career choices are incredibly important to most of us. If you don’t love your job, you’re bored, or you wish you could be doing something else, it’s worth thinking about a change of direction. Change can be scary, but it can also be a really positive thing. There’s no harm in looking, and you may just find a job that is perfect for you.

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