Changing careers can be daunting. Even just changing jobs can be inconvenient. Notice the difference between career changes and job changes. Daunting versus inconvenient. That’s a substantial difference! The difference is changing jobs is basically doing the same function in a different organization. A career change is entering a new job function and industry.
Let’s start with if you might be ready for a job change. There are a few reasons why people change jobs. This is when you enjoy your job function, but you aren’t happy with your current team or organization. If you love what you do but not where you are doing it, then you are ready for a job change. Among the majority of reasons are:
- to make more money
- to work with different people
- for deeper or more exciting experiences
Changing careers, however, is a whole new ball game! It’s not only learning a new expertise and/or industry but also how to best position yourself (i.e. knowing the right network to tap into, having the resources to successfully transition, etc.) to get in the door.
How do you know if you need a career change? To help you, check out the top three reasons you may be ready for a career change. These are three areas to can help you assess if you are ready for a career change. In other words, when you are ready to not only apply for the same role in a new organization, but when you are ready to change your career direction altogether. Maybe from accounts payable to marketing analyst, for example.
- You can’t STOP. I call this the “double negative”. When you are taking actions towards the new change and it seems like you can’t NOT take those actions. For example, you find yourself continuously researching marketing trends or you find yourself knee deep in analyst job postings when you originally went online to check Facebook. You couldn’t help yourself!
- When you have the same un-challenging day for too many days in a row. A good indicator that it may be time to make a change is when your job doesn’t present new and exciting opportunities each day. They say “variety is the spice of life”. Well, no variety can be a sign that it’s time to change your career.
- When other opportunities look too good to pass by. For example, when most of the job descriptions that you read or stories you hear sound like much better opportunities than your job today. I call it the “day dream” test, when you dream about how much better other opportunities could be.
Any type of change, even “good change” as they say, can be filled with anxiety, doubt and even sadness – even when you’ve already determined that changing careers is the right thing to do! So don’t be surprised if these emotions are brought to the surface. Connect with a close mentor, colleague or career coach to help you remember why the change was necessary and how fulfilling the right career can be.