Supply yourself with the right tools to make an informed decision about a career change.
Many business-industry journals report that a number of Americans wish they could change their jobs. Those who take the initiative and plan their job search are one step closer to finding the job they enjoy. But give your current employer the benefit of a doubt.
Ask if they can make changes that will satisfy your needs at your current job. If positioned correctly, you might be surprised that your employer could accommodate your request. It could be the difference between being happy at your current employer, or deciding to make a move to a new company or find a new opportunity.
Before you rush to revise your resume for that career change, do your due diligence and be fair to yourself. Take a moment to review these questions and answers and what they might reveal about you.
1.) What is it about my current position that I like?
2.) What is it about my current position that I dislike?
3.) What is it about my current company that I like?
4.) What is it about my current company that I dislike?
5.) What is it about my boss or reporting manger that I like?
6.) What is it about my boss or reporting manager that I dislike?
7.) Is there anything I can do to change or improve current working conditions?
8.) If I am able to make these changes or improve these conditions, do I still want to stay in this job and industry?
9.) Can you translate your skills into your job function?
10.) Are you in an industry or occupation that has limited growth opportunities or advancement?
11.) Is compensation for your type of occupation low or not competitive in the marketplace?
12.) Are you working in an environment that does not utilize your full potential?
13.) Are there any continuing education/training opportunities offered by your employer?
14.) Are there growth or advancement opportunities into a management role within the company, and has that been explained to you by current management?
Answering these questions will give you an idea whether you need to reassess your skills to move on to a new career or add additional skills to improve your current job and increase your compensation, value to your current employer, and overall happiness with your current role.
Here are a few scenarios that may help you decide one way or the other:
1.) I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything important at work, it’s because:
(a) There’s a big gap between what I feel I could be doing and the job description for a typical employee in my field.
(b) My current job doesn’t allow me the help/resources or flexibility to accomplish what I want.
2.) When I first started looking for a job:
(a) This type of work was hard to find in the specific field that I was trained for, and I had to settle for my current job because it paid reasonably well.
(b) I easily found work in my chosen field, but have since become unhappy with my current position.
3.) I look forward to time off because:
(a) I have a chance to spend time on things I enjoy.
(b) I get to relax and not think about e-mail and phone calls.
4.) The hardest part of my job is:
(a) Translating my skills into productive tasks that actually relate to my work.
(b) Coping with either too few or too many challenges.
5.) My field of work:
(a) Has drastically changed within the past few years. My role within the company when I was hired is very different than what I’m actually doing now.
(b) Is pretty much the same as it was when I first started; however, with some continuing education, I could update my skills and possibly get a promotion and a raise.
6.) The number of opportunities for continuing education at work are:
(a) Very limited. I’ve exhausted all options for upward growth and career advancement; although I wish I could do more, like attend workshops, training and conferences. This would definitely allow me professional growth.
What Your Answers Reveal
Mostly A’s: A change might be just what you need to rejuvenate your career. What you’re expressing is not just unhappiness with your environment, but a fundamental need to pursue opportunities that your current field cannot offer.
The next step is to assess what skills you want to utilize in another occupation. If you’ve made the mistake of settling once, don’t do it again.
Most importantly, don’t confuse your excitement of a newly discovered field as making it a fit for you. When the glitz wears off, you don’t want to find yourself in the same unhappy position you’re in now.
Mostly B’s: Your career isn’t the problem, but your current job might not be offering you what you need in terms of challenges and responsibilities. On the other hand, you might have too much on your plate and need to step back and take a break. If your financial situation allows you some time off, take it.
Chances are, you will return to work more relaxed and invigorated and ready to do your best. Additionally, you can attend some workshops and seminars that will provide you with the competitive edge you need to play a more proactive role in your workplace.
This approach will also allow you to gain more skills, confidence, and be better positioned for advancement in the near future.
There are so many continuing education options out there to choose from. You have free and paid online courses that cover just about every skill imaginable.
Many traditional Universities and Colleges have also transitioned part of their curriculum and degree programs to online classes to accommodate a broader adult student base to make taking classes more convenient and more affordable.
Here are some really good educational learning resources that I have recommended over the years.
~ Tom Dushaj