Do you dread Mondays? As the fun and relaxation of the weekend start to slip away and you realize that the new workweek will begin in not too many hours, do the Sunday Blues start to kick in?
If your answers are “yes” to these questions, then maybe it is time for a career change.
So, let me ask you a few more questions.
What do you do for a living?
How did you get into the career that you currently have? Did you choose with intention and actively pursue your career, or did you fall into it?
Does the work you do reflect who you want to be at this moment in your life?
These are all critical questions. According to Jessica Pryce-Jones in her book Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime. The job you do in those 90,000 hours can significantly impact your happiness and satisfaction with life overall.
Even if you DID choose your current career, and even if your choices made sense at the moment, you may have since outgrown the situation. The older you get, the wiser you are. At least, hopefully, this is true! Not to mention that change is, after all, the natural course of life.
Your longing for a career change may simply be that you have become bored with your current career path and feel a calling to do something different.
Or maybe you yearn for a fresh start because you sense there is more for you in the world, and you have embraced the old maxims that life is short, time is fleeting, and seizing the day is important.
Your inner spirit knows when you aren’t living life to your fullest potential and will often push you again and again until you remember who you’ve always wanted to be and what you’ve always wanted to do, and finally make the career change your spirit yearns for. The call for a fresh new career beginning is the call to become the YOU that you have always wanted to be.
If you are experiencing the pangs of what might have been in your career or longing for something you know will make your career more fulfilling, it may be time to think about making a change.
The first step in the right direction is realizing that you’re not where you want to be. A career choice is more than just paying the bills and putting food on the table. You deserve to spend your days doing work you enjoy, and your career should align with your values and goals. You owe it to yourself to find within you the courage to change your career direction!
Here are 5 tips for taking those first steps.
When you are thinking about making a career change, you have the perfect opportunity to think deeply about your values and determine what matters most to you. This takes time. Be patient and permit yourself to take the time you need to determine what’s most important to you in your career.
Your change doesn’t need to be a giant leap. Give yourself permission to take baby steps if that feels more comfortable. While you might wish to change your current career as fast as possible, a hurried approach may backfire. Instead, if you take the time to think through your decisions and make the best decision possible, you’ll experience greater joy and fulfillment in the long run.
Reflect thoughtfully and consider journaling your answers to some essential questions:
Why did you choose your career in the first place? What did you like about this line of work? Have those elements of your job disappeared through changes that have taken place, or have you simply forgotten what drew you to this line of work in the first place?
What do you wish you were doing instead? Is there a job within your current company that can better utilize your talents in a more interesting position?
Set Goals and Milestones
The most effective way to pursue your big career dreams is by breaking them down into small, manageable action steps. Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
Believe in Yourself
Trust your instincts and your ability to succeed. With proper planning and a hunger to succeed, you can achieve any goal you set out to accomplish. Write down your career change goals and refer to them every day. Believe you can achieve the career you desire and begin today to take the first steps toward your new career.
Don’t Burn Bridges
When it’s time to resign, do so gracefully. Then, as you move closer to leaping into your new career, continue to perform your current job to the best of your ability. You may need your current employer as a reference, and an attitude of service will increase your self-confidence as you prepare for a dramatic change in your life.