MASTERING CHANGE

When contemplating a career change, create a plan to organize the process. Change is never easy – yet improvement always requires change. Check out The Top 10 Steps to Mastering Change for tips on how to become more accepting of change. My favorite tip is the first one listed: Accept that change is inevitable.

No job remains static, no career lasts forever. How many job or career changes have you had? Would you believe that most of us will change jobs about every 3 years during our lives?

BURNED OUT? CHANGE CAREERS?

Are you one of the 70% of all U.S. employees unhappy at work? Does your job meet your employer’s needs but not yours?

From every career corner, I hear the roar of burned out workers – so many people want to quit but not sure how. Can you relate?

Before walking out, speak up. Perhaps your boss could help – is he really that bad? Of course, there was a Gallup poll done that showed 75% of employees left because of their manager, not the job. BUT,  "career development is a whole new topic in the boardrooms aroung the country." (Take This Job and Love It!).

Don’t quit on whim. Weigh the pros and cons carefully. Know what you want to do and where you want to go. Planning is the key for your choosing the career instead of letting the career choosing you.

DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR CAREER – OR DID IT CHOOSE YOU?

Many of us go through life working a job we really don’t like because we just kind of fell into it. Does that sound like you?

I know it was true for me for the first 12 years of my work life. Once I realized I wasn’t happy, it took me 3 years to figure out what I really wanted to do – and then get it! Luckily, I was able to identify my true calling and discover how to work my passion. Of course, if I’d had a career coach, it wouldn’t have taken nearly as long.

Picking a Career isn’t easy anytime, but when you take charge and invest the time and resources into choosing your career instead of letting it choose you, you will find more joy in your work. Take a look at 20 questions to ask before making a leap.

CAREERS IN WAITING

According to a December 2003 survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 38% of the directors, managers, supervisors and team leaders polled said that they were likely to change jobs in 2004. (Did that happen?)

"Warm chair attrition" is affecting Corporate America, said Joyce Gioia, co-author of the bestselling book on employment trends, "Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People." She added that 30-40% of the workforce is unhappy at work and only waiting for the first opportunity to "jump ship."

ExecuNet, an online career management and recruiting resource center for executives and recruiters, publishes an annual "Executive Job Market Intelligence" report based on January surveys of about 1000 executives and 150 search professionals.

Its 2004 report stated that despite the anticipated 2004 "hiring growth across the board" predicted by search professionals, "the new realities of the job market will likely require some executives to recreate or reposition themselves. That may mean changing functions or industries," said Dave Opton, CEO and Founder of ExecuNet.

The January 2005 data is being gathered as this is being written. What will the new results look like? If you join ExecuNet, you can be one of the first to receive the newest report.

Where does all this leave you? If you are an employer, perhaps a bit unsettled at the prospect of a mass exodus from your organization. If you are one of the unhappy-at-work employees, what are you doing to manage your own career? Are you ready to move forward when the opportunity arises, or are you hanging on to outdated skills and experience because you’re too stubborn or afraid to "recreate or reposition" yourself for the new world of work?

It’s a natural human tendency to resist change. However, we are living in a world that is changing so fast that no one can remain immune to its impact. The time for hunkering down has passed. If you don’t embrace change and make it your friend, it will bury you. Take that first step to a happier life!