Do you feel dissatisfied, unsettled and like your potential is unfulfilled? Perhaps you suspect that the career you’ve put so much effort into cultivating might not be the right one for you, and thoughts of a career change are becoming more frequent. Life transformation coach Corinne Worsley says that while feeling unhappy at work and unsure of what to do can feel all-consuming, it’s a situation that can be remedied with a little soul searching.
Here are five questions that will help you decide if a new job, career change or something else is the best way forward.
What do I really want from life?
For anyone who is slightly addicted to achievement (you know who you are), it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of reaching a goal and lose sight of why you’re chasing that goal. That’s why it’s so important to know what you really want from life before you embark on a life-changing journey. What’s your goal in life? How do you want to feel? Knowing the answers to these questions is the key to living a life you love.
What is it that’s not working for me?
What is it about your current career that’s not working for you? Perhaps it’s not wanting to be in an office all day or feeling like the work you’re doing is draining your energy. Maybe it’s the company culture, the commute or a particularly annoying colleague (we’ve all been there!). Once you pinpoint the exact cause of your unhappiness at work, you’ll find it easier to decide if a complete career change is the way forward or if you simply need to find a new job or employer (this cheatsheet may also help you).
What do I love to do?
If you’ve decided that a career change is the answer, it’s important to identify the career path you want to go down and to make sure it’s a good fit for you before beginning a job search. But how can you do this?
Start by thinking about what you’re really good at AND what you really enjoy. What are you passionate about? It’s easy to be blind to your own gifts, so ask friends, family and even colleagues what qualities they see in you. Use the answers you get along with your answer to the earlier ‘what do I want from life’ question to start brainstorming potential career ideas.
Am I prepared to do what is needed to make this career change?
Changing careers takes time, energy and tenacity. You may have to study at the same time as working, which may mean sacrificing your evenings and weekends. It’s also well worth finding out what it REALLY takes to succeed in your chosen field. Make sure you get the real story from someone who’s travelled the path you want to go down. This will help you to make an informed decision about whether you’re willing to do what’s required.
Am I financially ready?
One of the main reasons people stay in jobs they hate is money or lack thereof. If you’ve decided it’s time to change career, start preparing yourself financially, and do so as soon as possible. Get clear on your financial reality and on how much risk you’re willing to take. It’s also important to talk to any significant others who will be impacted by your decision. And, if your new career requires a pay cut, you will need to consider if you can live on a reduced income. If the answer is yes, it’s worth starting to live on that lower amount right now… just to test the waters.
When we’re desperate to escape an unhappy work situation it’s all too tempting to make hasty decisions that might land us in a similar or worse situation. Taking the time to answer these five questions will put you in the driver’s seat of your life and your career.
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