Thinking of changing career? Ask yourself these two key questions



Many people have approached Bravo career management consultants over the years to talk about a desire to change careers. Career change is a common thing and yes, it important for us all to be happy in our work. But when is the idea of a career change misguided? When is it warranted and how should you go about doing it?

The typical scenarios we see include:

“I’m nearly 30 and now that I have a few years’ experience in my industry, it isn’t what I thought it was going to be when I was at Uni.”

Or:

“I have over 20 years’ experience and I’ve had a successful career, but I have little work-life balance. I want to change careers, but I have a lot of expenses like school fees, I still have a mortgage and I need to do something fast”.

And:

“I have been working for the same company for years and I’m at a dead end, with no promotion for several years now and it seems as if I’m just passing time”.

These are some of the most common stories we hear. But curiously, when asked to characterize how they are feeling at the moment and why, people often tell us, “I actually love the industry and what I do; I just don’t like where I’m doing it.” Thus, the real issues are actually their need to change employers and achieve a better alignment of their personal values. A secondary issue is often developing better skills to manage the interview process, to mitigate the risk of ‘stepping into someone else’s nightmare’.

There are two key questions you need to ask yourself:

1) Do I need to have the proverbial “come to Jesus meeting”? Designed to clear the air of some internal management or communications issues, this can be a helpful process to avoid making an ill-informed decision that may take you ‘from the frying pan into the fire’. If you have communications, career progression or management issues that need to be addressed before pulling the pin on your current job, perhaps it’s best to seek some professional guidance on whether this is practical and if so, how to approach it. We’ve seen many examples of clients achieving great outcomes with their current employers simply by confronting their concerns head-on, and with a defined, personal strategy.

2) Are there ways I can buy myself time to properly execute a job search when I’m already too busy to network? Even if you feel a sense of urgency, too often people want to make hasty decisions to change jobs and careers with very unrealistic time expectations. This can lead to frustration, a waste of valuable time, or in the worst case, a disastrous career move. A qualified career management consultant can assist you with a properly developed career transition strategy and plan, complete with goals, as well as ways to deal with short-term stress caused by career imbalance.

At Bravo, we’ve seen many examples of successful career changes with clients. The common denominators are a clear career direction, a fundamental understanding of how to network, a transition plan, self-marketing skills and patience!

Posted by Scott Spaulding

BonnieSue Nevin

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