As career consultants, we at Optimized Career Solutions know more than anyone what it’s like to be unhappy at your job. After all, that’s why we decided to fulfill our own purpose by helping people like you find the job that will truly satisfy your needs.
But today, we’re not here to talk about why you’re unhappy at your current job—if you’re reading this, chances are you have already identified what you don’t like about your current line of work. Even if you’re unhappy, you’re still most likely uncertain about taking the leap by making life-altering decisions like switching careers. Not only is the process of changing careers intimidating, but it requires a certain level of faith that things will work out and that it was a good decision to make. And, if we’re honest, nothing is truly guaranteed.
In today’s blog post, we’ll offer you the guidance you need to work through your fears and uncertainties, understand what it is you need, and help you potentially transform your life.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when considering a career change:
- Should I actually change my career?
You know we love to start with the obvious! Bear with us, because this is the most important question to ask yourself, and it’s the question with which you should always start. Sometimes, it is actually healthy to second-guess yourself! Having doubts is not only normal but oftentimes important to any decision-making process.
Take a moment now to weigh the pros and cons of your current career. Take the time to actually write out a list–just thinking about what you like and don’t like will help you see the bigger picture. By writing a list, you can organize your thoughts about your current job and see clearly all the disadvantages in one place.
You might find yourself realizing that there are a lot of pros about your current job that you aren’t willing to give up quite yet. But you’ll also probably come to a greater understanding of why it’s necessary to leave your job now.
- What is important to me in my life?
Yes, this is a big one and will require some soul-searching. While the other questions may be easier to answer, this one involves the most important person in this process: you. And being you isn’t easy… it’s downright confusing sometimes! Sometimes you can get so caught up at making it work at your current job, staying afloat, that you’ve lost sight of what your values in life truly are.
To start, try asking yourself this question outside the context of careers. Forget your job for a minute. What’s important to you in your life? Do you enjoy helping others? Is community involvement important to you? Are you creative? What do you want your purpose to be? Allow yourself some space and, for a moment, stop telling yourself to be realistic. If you were to imagine a happy, fulfilling life, what would that look like?
Take a big dream, and dare to make it bigger. If you don’t know yourself, how will you know how to find a fulfilling career?
- What kind of career will satisfy my purpose in life?
If you’re not already at a job that you find fulfilling, now is the time to think outside of the box. Perhaps you’ve been in the same field for a long, long time. Switching jobs in the same field may not always cut it! What other careers are out there, and will they allow you to make an impact?
Experiment with other things you can be doing with your time in regard to work. Even if you are committed to the same line of work, you may find that it’s helpful to brainstorm all the different jobs you can have within that field. What jobs will challenge you and allow you to grow? Which jobs sound exciting to you? What is it that you want to be doing with your life that you’re not doing now?
- What am I willing to risk?
Forgive us for being so blunt, but: how desperate are you? Be honest and realistic with yourself. Optimized Career Solutions wants you to find your dream job, but no matter how dreamy your next career is, there will always be compromises to be made.
For instance, ask yourself if switching careers is worth a decrease in pay. This may also involve thinking about what kind of lifestyle you want to maintain in a new career. Does less pay at your next job mean more time to pursue other things that are important to you? Are you willing to take a risk at a smaller company for the opportunity to grow and learn in your field?
Accept the fact that just like there are pros and cons to your current job, there are pros and cons to your dream job. Write those out as well. Find out what you’re willing to risk, and move forward.
- What are the challenges I might encounter?
Planning for any major transition should involve something like mapping, charting out your course and foreseeing any difficulties you might encounter along the way. We consider ourselves cheerleaders for all our clients. We know that you can overcome any challenge!
And you’ll be far more equipped to do so if you take time now to assess the barriers that stand between you and your dream job. Is your resume results-oriented and up to date? What will the competition be like? Have you had the proper training and experience to confidently land the job? And… is this a transition you can even afford?
Don’t worry—Optimized Career Solutions is here to help, but it does help to identify these barriers ahead of time. Write them all out and take a deep breath. You got this. Your next step is to give us a call! We’re here to help you answer all these questions and more. Optimized Career Solutions is a team of creative problem solvers who love what they do, so book your free consultation now! In the meantime, be sure to check our blog for more ways you can optimize your career and transform your life.