Lack of fulfillment, boredom and other signs it's time to go back to work

According to reported government statistics, 90 million people over age 16 in the United States are not looking for work.

returning to work Is it time for you to go back to work? According to reported government statistics, 90 million people over age 16 in the United States are not looking for work. No matter why you left the workforce, Laura Lee Rose of Rose Consulting says just asking that question is probably a sign the time is nigh. “People that are not ready never ask themselves that question,” she says. If you’re still wondering, here are eight other indications it might be time to start looking.

  • “The first hint is boredom. Boredom can be subtle but when you find yourself watching dumb TV, caring about people who are famous for being famous and doing any of the above, it is usually a sign that you no longer know how to keep your mind stimulated and yourself growing.” — Denise P. Kalm, chief innovator at Kalm Kreative
  • “It's time to go back to work when the prospect of advancing a business or nonprofit excites you and brings you more joy and fulfillment than devoting all of your time to something at home.” — Mary Lee Gannon, president of
  • “When your family leaves you death threats it is time to return to work. On a more serious note: when the reason you left the workforce has ended it is time for you to return to work. Your reason could have been to take care of a child, be the caregiver for an aging parent, recovering from an injury or just to take the much needed mental break that we all need at some point and time in our career.” — Dethra U. Giles, vice president of consulting services at ExecuPrep
  • “If you are finding yourself passing judgment and criticizing others that are getting up and going to work you may need to stop and think about where the problem really lies. You may be harboring feelings of jealousy because deep down you want to go back to work but something is holding you back. Think about it and don't let it stand in your way.” — Carolyn R. Owens, Infinity Coaching
  • “A major sign that indicates it's time to go back to work is feeling unfulfilled. Going back into the workplace, regardless how minute your role, will recreate a feeling of purpose.” — George Athan, chief strategist at Mindstorm
  • “For parents of small children, it may be time to go back to work when your youngest is attending school full-day and you have large blocks of time available to yourself. If your family could benefit from more income or you personally could benefit from having some responsibility and ‘adult time’ outside of the house, it may be time to go back to work.” — Laurie Berenson, president of Sterling Career Concepts
  • “You need additional skills and experience to get that dream job. In order to get the job you want, schooling can only get you so far.” — Lida Citroen, owner and principal of LIDA360
  • “You have organized all the junk drawers and closets in your house, you bought a dog to keep you company while not working, and you have contacted your high-school boyfriend.” — Terri Lee Ryan, career transition coach