Zzz. Zzz. Your phone vibrates on your desk, shaking you back to the present moment. You glance at the clock on your computer screen wondering how long you’ve been lost in thought. As you snag your phone, your heart starts beating faster. This is the call you’ve been waiting for—the reason you were daydreaming in the first place. It’s been so long since you were excited about your job. Life’s too short to pour everything into an unfulfilling career. You’re tired of showing up, putting in the effort, and working for the weekend. You’ve decided it’s time to change careers so that you can look forward to Monday. And this phone call could give you that: a job that you enjoy, with a purpose you respect, and an opportunity to use more of your skills. You take a deep breath and swipe to answer the call…
Do you plan to join millions of people in a phenomenon known as “The Great Reshuffle?” You’re on the hunt for a job that’s fulfilling, a company with a mission statement you’re proud of, or a product you’re passionate about. Maybe you want more flexible hours, greater opportunities for promotions, or the chance to use a different skill set. The point is, you’re willing to change careers or even industries to find a job that makes you come alive…or at least one you don’t dread. But before you jump ship, you might want to slow down and consider a few questions to determine what’s influencing your decision to take another job. That way, you won’t regret a career change down the road.
Question 1: “Why am I unhappy with my current career?”
It’s crucial to determine what’s causing you to be unhappy where you are and whether or not a career change will fix the issue. Try to isolate the problem by asking yourself if you are unhappy with the culture of your current company, the work you are currently doing, or the mission of your company. If the culture is the issue, you may need to move organizations while staying in your current field. If it’s the day-to-day work or the mission of your company that makes you unhappy, then you may need to consider a major shift in your career. Knowing what makes you feel unsatisfied will also help you ask better questions in interviews so that you can learn whether or not this new company, job, or industry will actually solve your problem.
Question 2: “If I could do anything, what would I do?”
It’s okay to think about you. Your giftings, your goals, your desires for your life. So, if you want to make a career move—where do you see yourself going? Try to quiet the voices of those around you, and the expectations others hold you to. It might be a natural next step to move into a leadership role, but if you know you won’t thrive or don’t possess the skill set to be successful in directing and coaching, then you can confidently look for another position that excites you. If you can pinpoint what you really want to do next, then you can narrow your search and go after the jobs you’ve dreamt about.
Question 3: “Where do I want to be this time next year?”
When you’re discontent in your current job, you can easily become short-sighted. You may be tempted to apply for jobs that seem appealing only because your current job isn’t. Then, you might accept a job only to feel frustrated and discontent months down the road. As you prepare to change careers, slow down long enough to ensure you’re making the right moves at the right time. Imagine your future: the responsibilities and challenges you want to take on, the environment you want to work in, the people that surround you, and the personal and professional growth you hope to see. This will increase your likelihood of finding a job you enjoy, one that meets the criteria you took the time to establish.
At Front Line Leadership, we want to equip the team leaders, managers, and directors of your company to lead successfully. We know that effective leaders foster positive work environments and increase employee satisfaction. Learn how to retain your best employees or make your company desirable in “The Great Reshuffle” with our in-person or online leadership program. Contact us today to get started.