Let’s face it, you want to make the world a better place. Or at least you want to make someone’s world a better place. Sure, you could throw yourself into human rights activism, become a humanitarian aid worker, rescue baby sea turtles, or become a hostage negotiator. Or you could take an honest look at your career and your transferable skills to ride the wave of change and make a positive impact at the same time.
Leadership expert John C. Maxwell said “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” So, when change comes, you have the choice to embrace it or risk being overcome by it. If you are looking for a change and you have considered making a dramatic shift in your career you’re not alone.
Maybe you are experiencing the effects of a reorganization and have had the decision made for you. Or perhaps you are currently employed, but are emotionally, physically, or mentally exhausted by your job and are motivated by reasons of personal fulfillment to make a jump. Regardless of how you arrive at the decision to make a shift, seeking a second career can be one of the most rewarding ways to change your own life and truly be an agent of change for the world around you.
When it’s Time for a Career Shift
The answer to the question “Should I make a career change?” is “It depends!” There are countless reasons more and more professionals change their careers but there are a few common themes among those making significant shifts. Sometimes, a career that is in a rut can be salvaged with solid mentoring, continuing education, or new opportunities for growth within your organization. But often, if you’re daydreaming about a new gig, it’s probably time to think about what’s next.
Sunday nights are not for dreading Monday mornings. Burnout, fatigue, and boredom are important signs that it’s time to start looking for your new path. For some, a good job can feel like “golden handcuffs.” They don’t want to stay, but the money is too good to risk walking away for a more rewarding but less lucrative opportunity. Some people who are really good at their jobs realize that even though they are successful, they do not want to be stuck doing this line of work until they can retire.
Embrace Your Transferable Skills
If you are mid-career, you have probably refined more talents and abilities than you give yourself credit for. Knowing how to do things like manage budgets, lead a cross-functional team, provide excellent customer service, or improve business processes can be useful in a completely new field or role. Fear of not having relevant experience is a key reason most people hold off on seeking a career change. But many jobs allow you to use the skills you have developed in another way. If you don’t want to go back to school for more specialized or formal training, you can focus on finding a career in which you can pull from the experience you already have.
The Opportunity Cost of Staying in a Dead-End Career
If you’re staying at your job because you think it’s too late, try shifting your perspective to realize that everyone deserves success regardless of their age. Fear is a very real obstacle between getting someone who is unhappy at their job into a new environment or role where they are passionate and excited to get things done. No one is suggesting that you approach a career transition with reckless abandon, disregarding financial obligations, or other responsibilities. But, if you can get through the fear and all of the “what ifs” that accompany the idea of making a significant change, you can iron out all of the details.
Just imagine what your life would look like if you could do something you were really good at, that you also really loved. What if you could do something more rewarding, something that goes beyond helping improve someone else’s bottom line? What would that look like? What would you REALLY want to do? Balancing the risk of staying on a despondent path with the risk of starting anew is another step toward career transition clarity and your next steps.
It’s not too late, push through the fear, you deserve to be happy in your career!
Did you know Work Opportunities Unlimited has positions available? Check out our Careers page to see if the next step in your career is with us.