Here are 5 easy tests to help you get clear on whether it’s the Company or a career change which will bring you a higher level of fulfilment in your work.

Changing companies and staying in the same profession can often appear an easier fix for when you fall out of love with your job, or when you hit that point when you are no longer willing to put up with feeling disillusioned with work. But changing companies may not be the answer; it doesn’t always solve the problems. If the real problem is the profession itself changing companies will initially give you a sense of relief as you are taking action to improve the situation but it’s not dealing with the cause. It’s like having a bad back, you may take pain relief to deal with the symptoms, but the medication isn’t tackling what’s causing the back problem, instead is a temporary relief.

So how do you know if it’s the Company or your career? In these 5 tests, I help you answer this question pointing you in the right direction to make your life better.

Understand the cause, not the effect. To begin to answer our question we need to be clear about what is causing you to feel this way. Not the effect it is having but the underlying problem. Maybe you feel overwhelmed, the sheer volume of work you have to do is not feasible in the eight hours you are at work and you are fed up with staying late or bringing work home. Feeling overwhelmed, however, is the effect. What is causing you to feel this way? Is it because you feel you don’t have the skills needed to do the work, or you don’t have the systems, or the work needs to be shared across a greater number of people? By all means, capture the effect how you are feeling, but ask yourself what is causing this and keep drilling down until you have identified the specific root cause. This will start to shine a light on whether it’s the Company or your career.

Get clarity on what needs to change. Now you understand the cause of your disillusionment ask what would you require to rectify the problem? If these needs could be met, would that be enough? Notice what your body, as well as your head, is telling you. When you think about these changes do you feel excited, happier or are you slumping more into your chair, your shoulders are feeling heavy? If you feel it is enough, then maybe changing companies or careers is not your answer but a conversation with your boss to bring about these changes is. If this resonates, you may find this blog useful.

Would it follow you? If the above test has made it clear staying put is not the answer, then consider if the problems would also exist if you changed companies. This will require an element of exploring, of talking to people in the same career across different industries to ascertain if your needs would be met elsewhere or if it would be a case of same problems just different employer. Review your contacts on LinkedIn and seek out people who have worked in your current organisation in the past and talk to them to understand if the grass is greener.

What works for you? Are you clear on what you actually enjoy about your current position? Start to build a list of the positives, the elements you would miss if you couldn’t do this job in this organisation any more. You may want to rank them or put them into high medium or low in terms of importance. When you review the higher items are there trends, do they focus on the job content or the organisation? You want to make sure that your decision is going to move you forward to a great sense of fulfilment which means not losing sight of what does work for you.

The future self-test. This last test is probably the most important. When you visualize yourself in 1 to 2 years’ time and life is exactly where you want is to be, you are living your ideal life, you are able to be who you want, you can spend your time and money doing the things and being with the people you want and you have what you need. When you conjure up this image in your mind, which would take you closer to your ideal company, changing company or changing careers?

To be honest, you probably knew in your heart the answer to the question but, these tests have helped you confirm the action you need to take, they have shown you that staying in the same profession but changing companies is enough or they have highlighted that a career change is what is really behind your feelings and although you may not yet know what that career change looks like, acknowledging that a change is what you want is the first step.

For more blogs on changing careers check these out:

If you would like to understand how I help women get clear on what careers will work for them and how to make their transition then take advantage of my free breakthrough call.