(Excerpt from "An Over 40 Career Plunge: Arctic Freeze or Tropic Breeze)
Still not sure if you should make a career change? OK, then it’s time for a little quiz. Ask yourself the following questions and answer true or false:
- There are are few opportunities for growth within your company?
- You find the work you are doing boring?
- Few jobs exist in your field?
- You want to earn more money than you ever will in your current field?
- You will need to upgrade your skills to stay in your current field, but you aren’t satisfied enough to even make the effort?
- You want to do something more with your life?
- You want to pursue a lifelong passion?
- There’s a new career you want to pursue. After doing your research, it seems to be a good fit for you?
- You want to work in a field that will utilize your talents, skills, and education and your current occupation doesn’t do this?
- Your life has changed since you first got into this career and now the requirements of your job don’t mix well with your current situation (extensive travel when you now have children at home)?
- Your occupation is too stressful.?
Look at your answers to the above questions. Are you finding that you have more “True” answers? If so, then a career change is probably in order. But let’s look at why according to your answer to each question.
- If you want the opportunity to grow your career, it’s important to be in a company that will allow you to do that. Perhaps you want greater responsibilities or a position higher up on the corporate ladder — things you won't have if you stick with your current occupation.
- People can get bored with their work. Before you change careers, you may want to make sure it's your occupation in general that is boring you and not just your current job. If it is your occupation, you should consider a career change.
- When there are few jobs available in your field, a career change truly might be in order. Since opportunities are limited you may want to start exploring other occupations that have a better outlook.
- A lot of people want to earn more money. Keep in mind happiness does not come with higher earnings. However, if your career is fulfilling for other reasons, you might want to change careers.
- Upgrading your skills in order to stay in your current occupation will take some effort. If you aren't satisfied with your career anyway, you may want to start exploring other options rather than stress about what you need to do but don’t have the desire or motivation to do.
- In general, if you find your career fulfilling, that’s the number one reason to find a new career. Being happy with your job can contribute greatly to personal fulfillment which is something we all need, so definitely make a career change if you say “True” to this question.
- If you want to pursue your lifelong passion, by all means, go for it or at least consider it as an option. Make sure you do your homework first, though, to ascertain this career is the right choice.
- As long as you’ve researched a possible new career choice, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t go for it if it seems like something that will make you happy. In fact, this is a no-brainer – of course you should change your career here!
- There’s a reason why you got an education in the first place. Because you wanted to do a specific type of work. Maybe you just have a specific flair to perform certain tasks but your current job doesn’t use those talents. Why would you stick around?
- If your life has changed significantly since you first began your career and it is causing your personal life to be at odds with your business life, you’ll have to make a choice. Unless you want to do nothing but work, you really should choose personal happiness.
- There's enough stress in life without your work contributing to it. Before you decide to change careers, you should figure out whether it's your occupation that's stressful or just your particular place of employment. If it is your occupation, change careers.
Of course, making a job change is never easy. Having a regular paycheck and job security is important – there’s no doubt about that. But if you’re unhappy in your job and feeling unfulfilled, are you doing yourself a favor by staying there? We spend a lot of our time working, so it really is important that you do something with that time that is meaningful for you and will enhance your life rather than inhibit it.
Before you make the leap to change your career path, you will want to avoid some common mistakes that many people make. By knowing what those mistakes are, you’ll know what NOT to do when undertaking such a life-changing event such as exploring a new career.
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