If you’ve been considering a career change, your first question may be, “How do I make a career change?” Job seekers often want to identify their new career as soon as possible, but first think about why a career change is wanted (or even necessary). Here are a few things to consider while making your decision:
Has the job outlook worsened? The future in your career may have looked promising at first, but due to economic and technological changes, your job opportunities are not as abundant as they once were. Consider how a phone operator position from 25 years ago has been replaced with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System to route your call to the appropriate person/department automatically. Technological advancements have been instrumental in streamlining processes and procedures, but this can also result in a significantly reduced workforce in several industries.
Economic factors will also play a large role in the future of your current or new career. Job markets and industries are constantly changing! Consumer confidence is an economic indicator that measures overall consumer optimism about the state of the economy. Confident consumers tend to be more willing to spend money than consumers with low confidence, which means businesses are more likely to prosper when consumer confidence is high. The economy tends to follow a business cycle of economic booms followed by periods of stagnation or decline. During boom periods, jobs tend to be plentiful, since companies need workers to keep up with demand. When unemployment is low, consumer spending tends to be high because most people have extra income to spend, which is good for businesses and helps drive growth. When unemployment is high, consumer spending tends to be low. Jobs in the Retail Industry feel the effects of the economy tremendously!
Have you had a dramatic change in your life? When you initially chose your career, your life may have looked differently than it does now. You may have been single and in a position to work 12 hours a day to advance your career, but now you’re married with children and need more balance to coach your son’s soccer team during the evenings. Perhaps you need to relocate with your spouse and the salary for your current position isn’t going to pay the new bills. Regardless of your life’s circumstances, there is always a job out there that can offer different hours, pay, benefits, etc. to meet your needs. When considering all of these factors, the question is, “What will make you happiest in your next career move?”
Has your job become too stressful? At first, the stress encouraged you to work diligently. You knew from the beginning that your job was going to be full of nerve-wracking situations, however you have reached the point where this has become too much to handle. The high level of disagreeable situations has begun to hamper your mental, as well as, physical health. No matter how powerless you may feel in the face of stress, you still have control over your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions and the way you deal with problems.
Stress Management involves changing these disagreeable situations when you can and changing your reaction when you can’t. Taking care of yourself, and making time for rest and relaxation is the first step to recognize the true sources of stress in your life. Sure, you may know you’re constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands that is causing the unhappiness. It’s all too easy to overlook your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors that contribute to your stress levels.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitudes and excuses:
- Do you explain the situation as temporary?
- “I just have a million things going on right now,” even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
- Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life?
- “Things are always crazy around here,” or as a part of your personality, “I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”?
- Do you blame your unhappiness on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal? Until you accept a partial responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside of your control.
To determine where your unhappiness/stress is coming from, beginning a journal can help you identify these problem areas in your life and work. When you read through past entries, you will be able to see how you responded as well as identify what you did (or didn’t do) to make yourself feel and work better.
You would like to increase your income. Often, your dream of making more money does not increase the satisfaction of your job. Due to several variables, the way you want to live is no longer possible, and there is no way to get a raise without making a career change. Fortunately, you can choose to turn things around and start earning what you are truly worth, using these two simple steps:
- Monitor your thoughts. “Change your thoughts and you change your world,” said the Positive Thinking Guru and Author Norman Vincent Peale. In short: Thoughts are things. Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to actions, and actions lead to results.
- Never eat alone. “You can get everything you want in life, if you just help other people get what they want,” said the motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar. Oftentimes, getting that prime job or obtaining that desired referral comes down to building relationships. Indeed, relationships are today’s new currency. But you must be sincere. You must truly want to help someone get what he or she wants; then you will be able to get what you want. So, today, look to find what you can do to help others. Start building relationships, and you will see how quickly you will be able to network yourself to a new job opportunity.
Your work has become boring. You initially researched your occupation and chose one with many advancement opportunities. You have enjoyed climbing up the business ladder while happily facing all of the challenges. Now that you are at a higher level, work no longer provides you with challenges and the excitement you once had. Much is made in the business world about promotions, your title and stature within a given company’s hierarchy (otherwise known as a Vertical Movement). Taking a Horizontal Movement can help your career. For example, you may want to consider taking a management position in another company. While doing this, you will find additional challenges and excitement. Working with a Career Coach will help you identify the roles you should be targeting with your next career move!
Making a career change is hardly an easy transition. With these tips, our hope is you will feel more confident about the direction you choose to head in. Should you need any assistance, meeting with a Career Coach can be an asset when considering your options and identifying the best move to make. Our Evolution Coaches are certified career coaches and we are ready to help you at any point in your career transition! Check out our coaching packages here. Best of luck to you with your new endeavors!