One in ten people in the UK has the intention to change their career. An estimated figure of 2.5 million people considering a career change this year.
So how do you know it’s a career change you need rather than a job change? A career change is often very stressful and a decision that should not bet taken lightly.
Understandably, if you have been working a decade or more in the same industry, you would consider yourself an expert in your field. In such circumstances, you are likely to have climbed the career ladder and are potentially earning a reasonable income to maintain a lifestyle you are accustomed to. Therefore, taking a step, which may seem like off the edge of a cliff is nerve-wracking and stressful.
So you may want to ask these critical questions before you hand in your notice;
Do you dread getting up in the morning to go into work?
Morning anxiety can be the result of concerns such as work, finances, relationship issues or health problems. However, if you persistently worry about work and the inability to keep on top of it, then its time to take stock. Is work making you ill? For example, if you believe that work problems cannot be fixed or you believe being stressed is a by-product of your job, then chances are you need to move on.
However, to be sure, there a few more probes to consider.
Do you complain about work all the time?
You might not have noticed this personally, but maybe you can ask someone you know; a person that will give you an honest answer.
If you tend to moan about your unhappiness at work, those around you will quickly confirm your distaste for work. No one likes to listen to the groans of someone else, especially if they are not taking action to fix their problems.
If the answer is ‘Yes, you sound like you hate your job’. Then the next consideration is whether this is about the current job or that you can’t even see yourself doing the role in any other company?
Can you see yourself working for another company in the same role?
As this question suggests, is there the possibility that your current company culture or management style is not aligned with yours?
Quite simply, company culture motives us differently, and if there is some enjoyment in your job but not where you work, then there is hope yet.
The task here is to look at other companies in your industry and research their company culture. If possible, speak to someone who works for them to get a sense if you may fit into that culture better. There is also the possibility to review existing and past employees of companies you are interested in via online platforms such as Glassdoor. If while you are doing your research, there is some excitement in working elsewhere doing what you are good at, then you have your answer.
Does your job bore you?
If you find yourself counting down to home time, there is something wrong. Also, if you are stressed because you are bored and procrastinating about getting work, then this is also a sign that things are not right.
Image source: Corbis
Boredom at work can manifest itself in many forms from sabotaging yourself by doing as little as possible, leaving tasks to the last minute, and creating inefficient work timescales. In most cases, we blame others and the work environment for our stress when, in fact, we are using distraction tactics to mask our boredom. So, if work stops being engaging, fun or stimulating and an emphasis on challenging not stressful, then you need to take a rain check.
Is there something else you are passionate about, which can help pay the bill?
Often, people get stuck and use money worries as an excuse to stop them from making the leap. Yes, we would all like to find a passion that would reward us financially and emotionally. Quite rightly, our rational side takes over and prioritises earning an income, especially when you have a mortgage, bills and a family to support.
However, as the playwright, John Heywood famously remarked ‘Rome was not built in one day’. Identifying your next career path should take time in laying the foundation for achieving your next career aspirations.
Many strategies can be deployed to aid a smooth career change and help provide the safety net you may deem necessary.
An excellent place to start is not to do this alone. Remember your unhappiness at work often isn’t just affecting you, so speak and communicate to anyone which the change will affect at home. Their support for this journey is important. Also, you may find it useful to talk to a professional such as a Career or Life Coach to identify your goals and aspirations. Having a clear plan of action helps with motivation and accountability, and it reassures your loved ones and most importantly, you.
If you would like assistance to determine your next career path or discuss other wellbeing challenges, get in touch with me - Kemi Fadero.
Kemi Fadero is a Wellbeing Consultant and Coach based in Cambridge, UK. Kemi’s career encompassed working for multinationals in various continents. Her interest in wellbeing and coaching was a result of working in an increasingly challenging business landscape and juggling a household of three kids containing a set of twin boys. Over the years working in corporate life, she noticed the increased demands of modern life on her family, colleagues and friends. She decided to help others feeling the strain of modern life by leveraging her background in Psychology, Counselling and her passion for holistic wellbeing. She now coaches individuals seeking to overcome their wellbeing challenges and works with organisations to develop wellbeing programs.
Email: email@example.com Web:www.wellnesslink.co.uk