You Know It’s Time For A Career Change When…

You know it’s time for a career change when… you clicked on this link.

You see, the little voice inside your head, the one that grumbles during your commute on Monday morning and complains that your talents and skills are wasted at your current job, made you click on this article.

Whenever we make a career decision, we weigh up the pros and cons and, hopefully, we end up with a job that gives back to us as much as we give to it. It used to be that people made that decision once in their whole lives, typically just after leaving college. But the “job for life” is a thing of the past and now we must actively pursue and shape our careers, over a period of decades.

This sounds scary, but it isn’t – it’s actually an amazing opportunity. Employers used to be suspicious of candidates that had moved around between different jobs; now they expect it, and may even prefer people who can demonstrate a breadth of experience and skills.

That’s where the little voice comes in. Each time you start a new job, you’re busy learning the ropes, getting to know your colleagues, and working your way up through the organization. You keep your head down, slowly build up your experience, and years might pass before you reassess your work situation. But your little voice has got your back. It tells you when it might be time to move on, when those factors you weighed-up before you took the job don’t make sense anymore.

This doesn’t always mean a complete change in career. It could mean a transfer within your company, or moving to another company within your industry. Sometimes it’s simply just a nudge to say you’ve outgrown your current responsibilities and should push for something a bit more challenging.

But sometimes we completely outgrow the career path we originally set for ourselves. This isn’t really that surprising — over 2, 5 or 10 years, we can change our minds about a lot of things, and our career choices can definitely be one of them.

 

People sometimes describe this sudden moment of realization that they’re in the wrong job as a “career crisis”, because, at first, that’s how it can feel. The little voice inside your head isn’t always calm, rational and measured. It may be screaming: “Get out! Get out! Before it’s too late!” You can end up feeling like continuing with the job you’re in is torture, and you start to regret ever taking the job in the first place.

But you took that job for a reason, and at some point in the not-so-distant past the pros stacked up in its favor. It was a good decision to make… at the time. It may be right to move on now, but that doesn’t mean that doing that job was a waste of time.

 

The people who can recognize this, and see the value in the skills that they’ve been developing in their current job, are in the best position to face their career change head-on. Even when you’re contemplating a complete pivot in your career, moving into a whole new profession or industry, you’re never starting from scratch. You come to it with all sorts of experiences and skills from your current job that you can leverage to your advantage.

So when the little voice starts telling you that it might be time for a change, don’t panic! Think about why you’re in the job that you’re currently in, what you like about it, what you don’t like, and where you’d like to go next. Life is way too short for regrets, and your experience is only wasted if you let it be.

 

About the Author

Michelle Meagher recently left her career as a corporate lawyer after 8 years with the best universities, law firms and regulatory agencies in the world.

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Career, job