Have you heard? Career change is in vogue. Employment surveys range from 60-80% on how many employees are ready to jump ship and find a better job and/or career. Are you one of them? If so, then it's time to get into action!
As we creep out of this pesky economic recession, many workers are exhausted from overwork and overwhelm. For them, any job or career change is appealing just to get away from demanding managers who are focused with blinders on improving the company bottom line and not so focused on retaining their employees. Before you leave, though, it's important to plot your exit strategy. Make sure you are moving toward the right thing, and not just away from the wrong thing.
1) Values: Take the time to do a thorough self-evaluation. What's most important to you? Are you someone who likes public recognition? Or do you prefer a private pat on the back when you perform above expectations?
2) Work Environment: Know your best fit. Do you prefer a large, medium or small employer? Are you more productive on a team or do you prefer to work alone? What are your expectations regarding flex time, telecommunting, and other working arrangements?
3) Positive Feeling: Sometimes you just have to listen to your gut. Where will you feel most appreciated? Where will you derive the highest work satisfaction? Where will you feel you are making your best contribution?
By now you've probably noticed that I haven't mentioned one word about skills or experience. Why is that? When it comes to career change, skills and experience actually are the last things to consider. I know many people who are really good at what they do but truly hate their jobs. Instead, figure out where what you do best marries with what you most like to do.
Let me boil this down into simple terms:
4) Career change is more about who you are than what you do. Really! As soon you discover your life's purpose – you know, whatever makes you feel good about being alive – then how you express that in your work will easily follow. The whole discovery process can take a little bit of time, but it's very much worth the effort. Isn't it time to get off the gremlin's treadmill and figure it out once and for all?
Limited thinking can tie your hands and make you believe that there is no good solution for career change. Don't assume that! It's just your gremlin restricting your creative thinking and holding you back. Hire a career coach to challenge that belief so you can find your real truth of who you are as a happy, enthusiastic worker.
Wishing you career success in 2011!
SPECIAL NOTE: I am honored to be a member of the Career Collective, a group of careers experts who each month share their advice and tips to enhance the management of your career. Please link to their blog posts below. Your comments are invited and much appreciated. Please follow our hash-tag on Twitter – #careercollective - as well as follow each expert's individual tweet on this month's topic of "Best Advice for Career Changers." You'll be amazed at all the free career advice and knowledge that is available to you from these professionals in the careers field!
Are You Ready for a Career Change? @Debra Wheatman
Changing Careers? Ask yourself these questions. @erinkennedycprw
Changing Careers: Not for the Fainthearted, @GayleHoward
Career Change Isn't An Exact Science, @careersherpa
The 10-Step Plan to Career Change, @KatCareerGal
When it’s Time to Recycle Your Career, @WalterAkana
Best Career Change Advice: Target & Plan, @JobHuntOrg
How social media can help you change careers, @keppie_careers
Expat Careers: You Are Not Your Job Title, @expatcoachmegan
Changing The Direction Of Your Career, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland
Career Changer: Can You Quell Bottom-line Ache? @ValueIntoWords
Top 3 + 1 Tips for Making a Successful Career Change, @KCCareerCoach
Changing Careers: Look Before You Leap, @barbarasafani
10 Commandments for Career Changers, @LaurieBerenson
Is Career Change for You?, @workwithillness