A career change (or your first real career-type job) can be intimidating. The journey is a road of unknowns with little guarantee. It can also be an extremely stressful time as well. This week we will look at some areas of your life and your current job to determine if you really need to make a career change or something else.

Should I stay or should I go?

Sometimes we live in denial that it is time to move on from relationships, but personal and professional. Here are some clues that you’ve may have been giving yourself that it is time to move on. 

  • You dread going to work daily. 
  • You are bored.
  • You feel trapped. 
  • You didn’t get the promotion that you wanted.
  • You don’t click with your boss. 
  • Your salary increases have fallen behind the cost of living increases. 
  • Your company is downsizing. 

It’s important to understand the whys behind wanting to make a change. The knowledge will help you avoid bad scenarios and land a more rewarding position at your next stop. 

Take a job satisfaction survey

Take a job satisfaction survey to get further confirmation that it’s time for a change. You can find many online and they will often help you identify what it is that you need to remedy in the next step in your career. 

  • Skills gap: Do you have skill gaps that need to be closed before making the change? It’s better to take care of these beforehand if possible. 
  • Culture fit: Do you not feel like you fit into the company culture anymore? Perhaps there has been a big leadership change and the direction of the company is no longer what it was. 
  • Boss fit: Have you been paired up with a boss that is just not a good fit for you? Stick it out for a while. If they are really that bad, their behavior will eventually catch up to them. If you see the scenario being a long-term, permanent placement. It may be time to move on. 
  • Ethics: We recently talked about the importance of your personal values. We’ll also cover the topic from a different perspective soon. The most solid signal you have that it’s time to go is if you have an issue here. 
  • Lack of growth opportunities. Satisfaction surveys will bring out the opportunity or lack thereof for continued advancement. You should be in a place that you can continue to grow in some way. 

Which to pick, industry or career?

Now that you’ve done the self-reflection and the satisfaction survey, you’ve decided that maybe you do need to look for something else. 

It’s a great time to dream and really figure out which direction to take. Do you just want to change jobs in the industry that you are currently in, or do you want to change industries as well? Learn about other industries that you may be interested in. Lean on your network to do information interviews. These are conversations where you learn about the person’s experience in that industry. What do they love and what do they not care for? Connect with organizations on Linkedin and other social platforms to see what they are up to. 

After you have spent some time gathering the information, you can make the decision clearly. Do you love your current industry and just not the job, or do you need a totally clean break to start a totally new adventure?

Use these three steps to determine if you need to make a change and where you should start looking. Next week we will discover the things that are holding you back and how to prepare financially for the leap of a lifetime. 

Make a better tomorrow.