By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

You wake up in the morning and give yourself the daily pep talk. There was a time when you looked forward to work, but now you dread it. Perhaps a drastic career change would be the perfect solution. 

Before you start making drastic life changes, take a moment for some self-reflection. This will help you figure out what’s making you unhappy and what changes will make you happy again. 

Life is short, and you spend a lot of time working. You deserve to have a career that you find fulfilling.

1. Why Do You Want a Change?

Delve deep into your current situation to figure out what is making you want to leave. If it’s your coworkers or boss, then you may not need an entire career change. You only need to change positions or companies. 

However, if your dissatisfaction runs deeper, you may need to take more drastic steps. Perhaps your current industry is no longer thriving the way it once was. Or you don’t find the industry as engaging or interesting as it once was. Maybe you no longer feel challenged, and no change in duties or company will change that. 

2. What Motivates You?

Some people work for the paycheck they will receive. Others work to gain prestige and notoriety. Others like setting goals for themselves and then achieving them. 

Figure out what your career does for you and why you go to work every day. This will help you find a new career that’s more fulfilling than your current one. For example, if your current career has a generous paycheck, but has you sitting alone in a corner all day, then it may lack the prestige you crave. Your career change could result in a smaller paycheck but still, be more fulfilling if you gain visibility. 

3. What Does Your New Career Have? 

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Before you decide to leave your current career, do your research on your new one. It should offer you benefits that your current career can’t. This ensures you’re leaving one situation for another that will improve your career. 

4. Am I Qualified? 

It’s great that you want to make a change and are willing to take the steps necessary to effect that change. Before you leave your current career, evaluate yourself against the required skill set. You should have the talent, knowledge, and skills to excel in your new career. 

Your future employers don’t want to hear about how you want to try something new. They want to know that you have the knowledge and experience to excel in your new position. Some career changes may require you to obtain an education or qualifications to be able to complete your career change. This can delay your plans as you secure these credentials. 

5. Is the Change Realistic? 

Combine all of your answers to one analysis for an overall yes or no answer. 

  • Will you gain your desired benefits?
  • Do you have the required skills? 
  • Do you have the required education?
  • Do you have the required experience?
  • Will the change address your current struggles?
  • Is the pay enough? 
  • Are the long-term prospects good? 

If the majority of these questions have a negative answer, then perhaps a career change isn’t the answer. Instead, you may need to do some preparation work before making the change. 

Pursue a New Career Today

Life is too short to be unhappy or unfulfilled in your career. If you find yourself stuck in your current career, then it’s time to consider making some changes. Perhaps you can look for a new position with a different company within your industry. 

However, this may not be enough and what you really need is a drastic career change. 

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at [email protected]