How Do You Know If a Career Change Is a Good Idea?

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careerIs your career at a standstill? Have you gotten everything possible out of your job and now you've stopped moving forward? Maybe you're currently unemployed and the outlook for your specific job market is dismal. Whatever the reason, most people consider a career change at least once during their lifetime. For all the reasons why you want to change careers, you probably have a list of reasons that are holding you back, too. Find out if the grass really is greener on the other side by exploring these topics.

Justifiable Reasons for Making the Change

Life Changes

If you started your current career when you were a fresh faced college graduate, chances are that your life has changed drastically since then. Whether you're now married with two kids or you've moved to another part of the country, your career may not be fulfilling you the way it used to. Even changes in personal interests or cultural trends can have a big impact on your career.

Job Outlook

What once was a promising field now has a pretty glum outlook for the future. Not only is it discouraging to stay in a job market that's not going anywhere, but it's not very smart, either. Changes in the economy or just in your industry can effect a job's outlook. Unless you're close to retirement, you may want to get off the ride before it's too late.

Burnout

You used to look forward to Monday mornings at the office, but now you dread every second of work even if the weekend is getting closer. If you've tried changing employers, but you're still miserable, you may need a career that inspires you.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Switching Careers

"Why exactly do I want to change jobs?"

Being able to honestly answer this question will prevent you from jumping out of the frying pan and right into the fire. If you have unbearable boredom with or disinterest in your job, you'll likely benefit from a position that challenges you. If you know you won't make any progress in your current field or if you're young enough to seamlessly make a transition, it's probably a good idea to start the process of changing careers soon. However, if you feel that you're undervalued or you just don’t get along with your co-workers, starting from scratch in a new career may not be the fix you need. Many people who change careers start from the bottom, which means it could be awhile before you're valued by your co-workers and peers. If you don't get along with the people you work with, changing departments or looking at your own communication skills may be a better option than making a huge career overhaul.

"Do I want a career change? Or do I just want a different work setting, boss or title?"

What may feel like the thirst for a new career may actually just be an itch to switch things up a bit. If you actually feel challenged by your career and you don't have disdain for the field you're working in, other changes may be exactly what you need. Working for a new company or applying for a different type of job in the same field could do the trick.

"Will my skills transfer?"

It's important to take a good look at your own skills. While you may want a brand new job, you won't be able to automatically have the skills to succeed in an unfamiliar industry. Make sure you have the business savvy, people skills, marketing know-how or whatever it is you'll absolutely need in your new field.

Michael Nain is a professional blogger that provides news and information on trucking companies, local truck driver jobs trucking jobs and owner operator trucking jobs. He writes for BestDriverJobs.com, a leading source to find CDL Trucking Companies and trucking jobs.

1 Comment

  • In commenting on the questions, “How do you know career change is a good idea,” or, “When is the right time to change careers,” I would reframe the questions. Research shows consistently that most of us don’t know why we do things; we’re influenced in very subtle, non-obvious ways.

    After people have been working five or ten years, I’ve found they really have a good idea of what they want to do. They know that their own mindset influences their career satisfaction.

    Rather than ask, “Why do you want a change?” I would ask my own clients, “What would you like to be different? In an ideal world, what would your life look like? What kinds of activities appeal to you?”

    As you research a series of possibilities, you’ll become more familiar with the market and with your own wants and needs. You really can’t decide *exactly* what you want till you’ve gone out and researched some possibilities. It’s an organic process.

    I’d compare the process to looking for a house. If you look around and realize nothing out there can compare to what you have now, you come to appreciate what you have. But then the market changes and you change, and now you see properties that are appealing and available. Then you can run the numbers and identify the possible outcomes of staying or going.

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