When should I not change jobs?
Is there ever a good time to change companies or move into a different career? Unfortunately, we can’t put other aspects of our life on hold and we can’t foresee what the future is going to bring. We can only act on what is happening right now and if your job is dragging you down, if it’s making you feel miserable, it’s stifling you and impacting your personal life and your health, then the benefits you will reap from taking control of your career and making changes will infiltrate all the other areas of your life.
However, I do recognise that there are a few occasions when it may not be ideal timing and you may want to temporarily hit the pause button before resigning and moving to your new career. I am also not suggesting you resign with no plan or another opportunity lined up, but I do think there are steps you can be taking in the background that will prepare you for when you can let the breaks off and go full throttle. You see with each of these scenarios that there is still action, still reflective work, still discussions to be had (perhaps they may be very secret ones!) enabling you to explore what aspects of a job will work for you, will make you happy, will enable you to perform at your best. Taking action behind the scene will help you feel more positive about your situation and will enable you to see a brighter future.
A Dog is Forever but a Job doesn’t have to be!
When thinking about changing your career we can place huge pressure on ourselves to find that perfect one, a career that we can see ourselves doing for the rest of our working lives, a job that doesn’t really feel as though you are working, that every day you are excited to roll up your selves and start your working day. These feelings can be exacerbated by the fact that we feel as though we have failed once already by not selecting the right career the first time around. You don’t want to avoid repeating the same mistakes and you definitely don’t want to experience these same feelings of despair or unfulfillment that you are trying to escape.
In my own career journey, there were three fundamental shifts I needed to make to enable me to let go of the forever job and move forward.
Thinking of a Career Change? Here are 5 Pitfalls to Avoid.
Having worked with individuals to help them kick start their career change I have identified five main pitfalls that people fall into when they are trying to shift careers. These are all common and easy mistakes trust me at some point I have fallen into each of these in my own journey. If you are contemplating a career change take a moment for yourself, sit down with a cuppa and read this blog, it could save you lots of time, energy and emotional turmoil and most importantly stop you from repeating the same mistakes over and over. Imagine if you still feel like you do in 12 months’ time, in 2 years’ time or even 5 years’ time.
Wave your magic wand and change your career!
If only you could wave a magic wand and know what that next career move looked like and that it would fulfil your needs. In this blog, we talk about the process of making a successful career change.
Whats story are you telling yourself? Its time to admit the truth!
You’ve contemplated what you would include in your resignation letter, maybe you have thought about how you would tell your boss, should you tell them the real reasons or keep it simple? You start to contemplate how much better you would feel and then you… STOP. You come to a grinding halt, the brakes are slammed on and you tell yourself to get back in the real world and to stop dreaming. You need to face reality, this is your life and those dreams are serving you no purpose. Instead, you start to tell yourself all the reasons why you won’t be resigning; you won’t be writing that letter or walking away from your job and you surrender yourself to the fact that things are just the way they are. But do they have to be like this?
This is a cycle I found myself continually faced with, having the same conversations over and over in my head until I really acknowledge what was happening, I was putting up barriers, reasons why I couldn’t take the leap because I was scared, I was getting in my own way.
To break the cycle and move forward you need to get honest with yourself, understand how you are holding yourself back and admit that actually, you are putting the barriers in place, preventing yourself from escaping.
You have dusted off and reviewed your CV, you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile and you are feeling positive, already you can feel your shoulders relaxing and feel your mood lifting. This weekend you have cleared the diary so you can get down to some serious job searching and online networking. Well done you’ve made the commitment. This is the very first step needed in any career change process. ‘I’m going to do this and I’m serious about it!’ But are you ready to start your job search? Let me ask you a question. Do you know what you want for your future, do you know what you want from a job, and do you know what sort of job will make you thrive?
What if you can't find your passion?
When people talk about finding a career that they love you often hear the word passion, finding your passion. But what if you can’t find it? There isn’t anything you feel that strongly about and can imagine yourself doing for the rest of your working life.
For a middle-class conservative, risk-averse girl like me, the word passion was a bit out there, a tad extreme! I was putting huge pressure on myself to figure out what I had intense feelings for and I could envisage doing for the rest of my working life. There were two big shifts I needed to make which would enable me to move forward.
Are your career dreams your dirty secret?
Are you harbouring a dirty secret? You have this vision, this burning desire to do something else, something that will make your heart sing, that will give you the life you want, the flexibility you crave, the challenge and emotional connection you need… something different from your job now. But you are holding back from telling people as you are worried about their response? Involving others in your career journey is key to making a successful transition, let me explain why.
For years I had always dismissed the idea of working for myself as I considered that I didn’t have the skills and wasn’t brave enough to take the risk. I had grown up with a successful family business and saw firsthand the demands it can have on your life, but I also appreciated the many benefits it could bring. I am a proud farmer’s daughter, fresh creamy milk on tap, juicy sweetcorn picked straight from the field and a large garden to play with my friends (ok you did have to dodge the cow pats!).
About 15 years ago I started to have some conversations with a friend, who had his own marketing business about whether I should set up on my own as an independent Human Resources (HR) Consultant. Throughout the years we would rehash this conversation and each time it would last no more than 5 minutes before I would shut the idea down as I didn’t think I had the sales skills and couldn’t cope with the insecurity of not having a fixed income.
Reflecting back I can see exactly how I was getting in my own way and actually it was my fears and not my perceived lack of sales skills that was the root cause of my problem.
Is it just the January Blues or is it time to go?
It’s fine it’s just a temporary thing…. I just need to get back into my routine and all will be fine.’ Everybody feels like this in January….don’t they?’
The evenings are dark, temperatures have dropped and the weather forecasters start to mention the word snow. All the excitement of Christmas, the time off, giving yourself permission to eat and drink and be merry seems a distant past.
You seem to be carrying this extra weight around (and I’m not talking those few extra Christmas pounds!) a big black cloud descends whenever thoughts turn to work. Is it a bad patch? Will things get better? Is it just the time of year? We all have times when we struggle to get motivated for work, how do we tell if it’s more than a blip and that its time to go? When is enough, enough?
In your heart, you probably already know the answer to this but maybe you don’t want to admit it as this would mean you would need to do something about it. Instead, you push it to the back of your mind and justify to yourself that the time is not now.
Am I describing you?