From time to time, we all consider making a job change. We also hear other people discussing their potential interest in making a career change. Our reasons for wanting to change jobs are varied. Here are some…
- Bob, who had to be assigned to the cubicle next to you, rolls his eyes every time you say anything. In meetings, in the hallways, even in the restroom. You can hear him rolling his eyes every time you’re on the phone.
- Your boss, Kevin, hasn’t let go of his “glory years” when he played 2nd string on his high school football team. He could’ve been great, if only his growth spurt would’ve hit a little earlier. Just ask him. He has a propensity toward making imaginary football passes any time he’s not seated. He pretends to be listening to you while he’s throwing the game winning Hail Mary, but he’s not. He may not actually know your name.
- You’ve been doing your job for a bazillion years, and while you’re good at it, you’re feeling stifled. (But you’re worried that if you leave, no one else will figure out how to access and manipulate that one weird old Excel file that needs to be referenced twice a year and you’re the only one whose been around long enough to know how to do it. This Excel file is probably why you haven’t actually moved on. Probably.)
- You heard that some companies have free coffee and free lunch.
- You finished your degree and are ready to get your first job in your field, or new job in a different field.
- Your company is downsizing, laying off, or closing. (But they’re keeping Travis? Of all people, Travis???)
- You need more money ASAP and this gig isn’t cutting it.
- If you spend one more minute in a gray-beige-taupe-brown-plastic-pressed wood cubicle of depression and loathing, answering the phone 100 times a day, wondering if you have a chance to win “The Voice”, praying for 5:00 that never seems to come – you’re going to lose your ever-loving mind.
These are mostly legitimate reasons to start looking for a new job. We can’t always choose who our boss is, and we can’t choose our coworkers. We can’t control down-sizing and layoffs, and when we’ve been working hard toward a degree, heck yes, it’s time to put that education to use!
Sometimes, though, we’re looking to make a job change, and we haven’t fulled vetted our own reasons for why. Before you jump ship, consider these things:
- Do you love your job but hate your boss? Can you have a candid, professional conversation with him/her about the things that bother you? If that’s not possible, can you have a confidential conversation with their boss? If it’s “no” to both of these, consider speaking to your HR representative. If the answer is still “no” or you’re sure that you just can’t stay because the environment is unhealthy/toxic, then it may be time to move on.
- Do you truly not fit into your team culture, or is it just that one coworker who gets under your skin? What can you do to affect your relationship with that person? Can you speak to your boss about them?
- Does your job give you a feeling of contentment and security that you’re afraid you won’t find somewhere else? Is being bored at your current job worth giving up several years of your life for? Why do you feel that you won’t have security in a new company or position? Is that actually true?
- Why have you wasted weeks, months, or even years in a job you absolutely cannot stand? You dread Monday morning, you dread your commute, you hate the work you do, the days drag on painfully slow and by the time you get home, you’re mentally and physically exhausted. You live for Friday nights and Saturdays, and by Sunday the dread of Monday morning is ruining you. Why have you stayed? You have a reason. Most likely the fear of making a change. If this is you, you’re not alone, a lot of people feel this way. But you don’t have to stay stuck.
- Will things really be better at another company? Free lunch is probably great, but if the work you do is horrible, how do those sandwiches taste?
- If everything else is in line but your finances, are there things you can do to get your money in order without getting a new job? Is there room in your budget to cut back? Do you have some spending habits that need to be looked at?
I think that the first step in making a career change is getting at the root of why you’re ready for a change. Sometimes it’s healthy and you’re ready to advance, sometimes it’s toxic and you need to get out. For whatever reasons you’re leaving, it can feel like a major change, and making the change seems overwhelming and sometimes difficult.
It doesn’t have to be.
Start small. Start by just searching which jobs are out there. Start just thinking about what you might like to do. Start thinking about what experience and skills you have that could transfer to other opportunities.
Put your resume together. You don’t even need to send it out yet. I know that seems like a big, complicated step, and it can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t write one very often,or haven’t had to update yours in years. It can be an important step in getting your wheels in motion, however, and writing your resume is simpler than you may realize.
I wrote a short eBook about how. You can check it out here on Amazon.
Let me know if you’re considering a new career path. What is holding you back from actually taking the steps to do something about it?