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How To Know When It’s Time to Change Careers

(PLUS a Recipe For Making a Personalized + Proactive Career Change)

If you’ve been considering making a career change, you might be feeling more than a little anxiety. And I get it. Making a career change can feel a bit like jumping into the deep end when you only know how to dog paddle. 

Before making my first career pivot (I was working in operations management and made the decision to transition into human resources), I remember thinking daily, “This cannot be what work is all about” and “There has to be something better.” But still, something held me back. Well, more than one something:

  1. I didn’t have the standard HR education. 
  2. I didn’t have the appropriate work experience.
  3. I didn’t have the right network. 

At least that’s how my manager put it when they flat-out told me NO. They told me I was good at being an operations manager and I should continue on that path. But still…I didn’t love it. 

So I identified what I did have:

  1. A positive and creative mindset.
  2. An understanding of our business from the ground up.
  3. The scrappiness to roll up my sleeves and do whatever it took to get the job done.

Knowing that union experience was critical to my company’s view of HR, I transitioned to a new role within the company as an operations manager leading a union team. This experience not only allowed me to understand how the business works with a union but also provided the opportunity to partner with HR leaders (one of which became my mentor and opened the door into HR). 

Then, a junior-level HR manager role opened at a location (in The-Middle-of-Nowhere) that no one wanted to move to. But I raised my hand and said, “Me!” Since I now had operational union experience and an HR mentor who was advocating for me, I was able to interview for the role. And that’s how I moved to the middle of nowhere, learned HR from the ground up, and took the first step toward changing the rest of my career outlook. 

If you’re wondering if it’s time for you to do the same, here are…

10 Signs That It May Be Time To Change Your Career 

  1. You’re bored at work. The excitement you may have felt in the beginning is long gone, and you now feel like you’re simply going through the motions each day.  
  2. You’re no longer learning new skills.
  3. You don’t like your coworkers, colleagues, clients, employers, etc. and they’ve begun to drain your energy.
  4. You’re starting to realize that your mental and/or physical health is suffering. 
  5. You’ve stopped caring about your work. Things that you were once passionate about doing well no longer seem to matter at all.  
  6. You don’t have a vision for your next best role within the company you’re currently in because you don’t admire the people/jobs above you. 
  7. You get a case of the Sunday Scaries every week, as anxiety for the coming workweek builds. 
  8. You’re stifled in your career growth. 
  9. You feel empty and unfulfilled, as though you have more to give but your job doesn’t allow it. 
  10. You’re exhausted at the end of each day, and spend your evenings trying to rest and recover before doing it all over again. 

If any of the above sounds like your current situation, it’s time to consider making a career change and discovering all the positive benefits you can experience from making one. But getting there often seems trickier than it actually is. 

3 Common Struggles You May Face While Job Searching in the Midst of a Career Change

Of all the clients I’ve worked with, I’ve noticed patterns that most of them experience when thinking about switching careers.

1. Lack of confidence or a fixed mindset

A lot of times people come to me and say, “Jenn, I just don’t have the confidence to make a change.” 

But the thing is: Confidence is the result of action. 

Contrary to what you may have been told before, confidence is not something we’re born with. It’s the result of making a commitment, taking action, getting good at what you’re doing, and building on your experience. Taking action (even when you don’t feel confident yet) will kickstart your confidence.

2. Fear of failure

Whew. This is a big one. Fear of failure holds more people back from making a career change than anything else. And it makes sense! Our brains are wired to protect us from hurt. And frankly, failure hurts. So it can be challenging to take a step toward something that may or may not work out in our favor.

But inaction breeds more fear, more doubt, more overthinking, more feeling stuck.

One way to move beyond thoughts of fear and failure is to notice and reframe it as an “experiment.” If you fail, you’re simply a scientist, and failure has taught you something new! Because the beautiful thing about failure is that it’s entirely up to us to decide how to look at it. Give yourself permission to try, to experiment, to learn—eventually, your fear will transform into the faith that you can do it after all.

3. Unfocused job-seeking

Lacking a clear sense of direction in your job search is a lot like trying to pack for vacation without knowing if you’re going to a chalet in the mountains or to the beach. So you just pack all the things. It’s a waste of time and energy.   

Before you jump into resume updates and “doom-scrolling” big job boards, it’s important to get clear on what’s next for you. That clarity will make a world of difference.

And that’s why, as a career coach specializing in career pivots, I’ve created a recipe for making personalized + proactive career change. 

Recipe for a Personalized + Proactive Career Change

Ingredients: 

  • 2 parts mindset
  • 1 part clarity
  • 1 part heart-based goals
  • A healthy dash of transferable skills

Directions: 

  1. Reset your mindset. A growth mindset is the most important part of a career change. Find the correct resources that will help you adopt a growth mindset, experience the magic of mindfulness, initiate daily rituals for consistent accountability, and take action. 
  2. Gain clarity on what is next. Take time to identify the industry in which you want to make an impact and what kind of role most generates your energy. 
  3. Reclaim your path with heart-based goals and plans. You can do this by reflecting on your core + lifestyle values and using them to map a new career path into one that fires you up and gets you excited.
  4. Refresh your professional brand to match where you want to go. Be sure to identify and highlight your transferable skills.
  5. Reinvigorate your confidence for a successful transition. Spend some time perfecting your elevator pitch, crafting a smart networking strategy, and learning how to conquer interviews with confidence. 
  6. Transition with grace. Leave your job without burning bridges and make a memorable first impression with your new company.  
  7. Mix thoroughly and remember to celebrate everything!

 

How Flourish Careers Can Help. If you’re ready to find your most fulfilling career by discovering your value and finding the place where you belong, I’m here to help.

Fried to Flourishing, my signature coaching experience is heart-based career planning designed specifically for those feeling stuck in their current role or company. 

When you join, you’ll get instant access to an online course, expertly curated resources, access to our private like-minded community for added accountability, weekly LIVE Q&A sessions with me, and so much more. 

Essentially, it’s the first step to finding your most fulfilling career. Let’s ignite the spark that will move you from fried to flourishing…together.

How To Know When It’s Time to Change Careers

How To Know When It’s Time to Change Careers

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