As a career coach and regular writer on job search issues, I receive a lot of emails from job hunters with questions about every aspect of their professional lives and aspirations.
Some want to quit, or get feedback and advice to start their own businesses. Others want to be promoted, negotiate a pay raise, move to another country, tell their boss to take a hike, and more. Often these questions represent a dilemma that hundreds or thousands of other people are facing. Here, I’m going to focus on The Career Change Dilemma.
I’ve found that there are 5 critical ways to determine if you should change careers. Once you review these, you’ll be able to answer for yourself:
“Should I stay or should I go?”
You know you could make an impact on the world if only…
You believe that you should be making a positive mark on the world. What will your mark be? Thinking about the impact you want to make can help guide your career choice. While you can make a difference, even if it’s a small one, in many jobs just by being who you are and delivering results, some career paths will give you an avenue to fight for an important cause, or have a certain influence.
You’re feeling a bit edgy
Perhaps you’ve enjoyed your job for many years, and you appreciate your career so far, but now you crave something new. Life is short, and if you’re feeling edgy, restless or anxious, you may want to consider exploring other career avenues.
Start taking action, because clarity comes from taking action. Another way to deal with feeling restless is to consider how you could add value in your current career or field while changing your job duties. We spend many, many hours of our lives at work. If your current job is no longer satisfying and doesn’t allow you to be the best version of you, it’s time to consider making a switch.
What you do every day doesn’t feel right any longer.
It can be surprising for some people that you might have become very good at work that you hate. For example, I used to be really good at selling new marketing strategies and consulting products, but inside, continuing to do this became a struggle. Basically, my ‘care factor’ nose-dived making it clear to me that I needed a change.
The money doesn’t make up for the emptiness you feel
Most people in this situation are reluctant to change and I would say there’s an element of complacency as well as fear about walking away from the money that keeps them stuck.
I have worked alongside many people who are used to making AUD$150,000+ a year, and they often don’t want to rock that boat. But, at some point, many realised that they don’t like how they spend their life making this money that has become so comfortable. These people began to rethink their priorities and then they opened their eyes to new ways of making the money they need without risking the house or giving up their lives for it.
You cant escape the feeling that your work and talent are being wasted
I used to say to myself almost every day in my past corporate life, “I know I’m made for better things than this.” But, I didn’t listen to myself. If you find yourself thinking that there’s got to be more to my work life, then there IS more to your work life than what you’re currently doing – simple as that.
There’s always another way to live and work, even though you can’t see it yet. If you feel that you are ready to jump ship, just use this great e-book from Forbes below or read up on my top 5 Tips below to ensure that your career change actually works out.
Five Tips to Ensure that Your
Career Change Works Out:
#1 Move at the peak of your career Yes, funny as it sounds, the very best time to move is the hardest time to move. The point where everything is going great, when no-one wants you to leave and you’re at a career pinnacle. This, of course, is the time when your all-important self-confidence will be at its strongest, when you’re upbeat and ready to tackle new challenges.
#2 Just Do It! Move to go somewhere you want to be, not to get away from somewhere you don’t.
#3 Hunt wisely It’s very easy to believe that your career is limited to the four walls of your office. Make sure you always keep tabs on what is going on outside them and what new opportunities await you. (TJSC can show you how to do that)
#4 Do it , when it feels right So, when is it time? When you are 40, 50 or 60? The answer is possibly all and none of these. It’s the day when you can’t answer the question: What did I learn or accomplish today?
#5 Make the Change I did. And do I have any regrets? Just the one. I wish I’d gone earlier!
So, if you feel you are ready for a career change, don’t delay it. Get set, start the process and remember to hunt wisely
For more on the topic of Smart Job Hunting and Career Change or Recruiting & Outplacement including best practices that reduce bias in evaluations your applications read his blogs, in TheJobSearchCoach. You can also follow Ulrich on Twitter @ulrichschild