The seven-year itch. You’ve heard about it. Maybe you’ve experienced it. That point in time, usually between seven and 12 years, when you feel restless and in need of change. The struggle is that often this feeling comes on for no apparent reason other than the passage of time.
If you’ve been in a role or with an organization for a while, perhaps seven or more years, you might find yourself getting a bit restless. Before you decide to change for the sake of change or do something rash, work through the situation.
First, try to understand why you might be feeling this way. The seven-year itch happens for a reason – even if just a reminder to step back and evaluate. While it may be difficult to pinpoint the root cause of the situation, there is in fact a root cause. Think back through the last few months or even the last year, think about the type of work you’ve been doing, how the organization has changed, what you enjoy most about your role and what you like least. This should help identify where this feeling is coming from.
We often fail to realize that over time a job evolves and we change as well. It is possible that the role is no longer a good fit or you’ve outgrown the position. People also get curious and want to know what else is out there. There is a belief that the grass is greener elsewhere. Our values change and change again over time. Where we are in life and our career affects how we prioritize, what brings us joy and what we ultimately want.
Lastly, when you’ve been in a role or with an organization for an extended time, it’s easy to get nervous that the world is passing you by. Maybe you haven’t been paying attention or have had your head down, focused on your job. No matter the reasoning, the seven-year itch is real and natural. It might be a sign that it’s time to make a change or it might be an indication that things are changing. No matter what, it’s a natural opportunity for reflection and evaluation, to determine a path forward. For some, nothing will change. For others, it’s an opportunity to pursue something new and different.