I am one of those people who are fanatic about setting goals/resolutions; I share all of my goals (both personally and professionally) with my work team and life team aka family, friends, heck, my entire social engine. I like being held responsible for my goals and most importantly, I like looking back to see what I accomplished, what I didn’t, and learn from the why I didn’t. Hint: It’s about priorities. And also discipline. Oh and actual commitment.
Being in the human resources field, it shouldn’t be a shock that near the start of the year, I get bombarded with the most career questions:“How do I change careers?” “I want to get into X, can you help me?” “I hate my job. I’m ready for a career change. Where do I start?”
While I love the stake in the ground mentality and the resolve to find something new, I typically cringe at these questions. The truth is, you can find a new job, but starting in a whole new career without being prepared to take a sacrifice (specifically in stature or money) rarely happens.
So that’s step #1. If you want a new career, you first need to make sure you are ready to make the sacrifices, and that’s where most people get stuck. They get stuck on the dollar signs, the lifestyle, the fact that they may need to be older than their next manager in order to re-build an entire career, and this often leads to feeling discouraged, disappointed, and feeling the same old same old.
Instead, rather than focusing on a whole new career, perhaps there are things you can tweak here and there inside your role to find the passion you are looking for.
Also – it’s okay to not love your job. But make sure you really explore why you don’t. Be sure you’re not the victim to your own misery. In other words, are you giving what you could be getting? Are you looking for feedback and then actually acting on it. Are you having conversations that could lead to tweaks in your current job? And if you don’t love your job, have you considered that it may be the company you work for rather than the role? Maybe it’s time for a new company, not career.
Changing careers is highly rewarding, but also making small simple tweaks in your own work can be equally as rewarding, and may not be as big of a leap of faith or sacrifice (especially in the money department). My biggest piece of advice? Don’t run from something. Remember to run to something. That’s the key to making the ultimate career decision.