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Tips to Help Determine If It’s Time for a Career Change

If a career change is just what the doctor ordered, here’s how to get the ball rolling. [TWEET]

If you are feeling unfulfilled at work, you may find the 9 to 5 treadmill of boredom, coffee, more boredom, and more coffee day in and day out to be exhausting. Fortunately, the desire to be a part of something great and interesting is natural, and no career needs to be a fixed path.

Below are a few pieces of career change advice to help you decide if it’s time to make the change, and how to use your time wisely to find a job using your current skills.

Is it time for a Career change?

If you don’t feel like you’re doing work you love, it could be time for a career change. However, take time to determine if this is the right choice for you and your family, and prepare yourself to make the transition as smooth as possible. Some important questions to ask yourself include:

  • Does my current company offer other positions that would stimulate me? Are those positions obtainable?

  • Will I lose more if I leave or if I stay? Does my family, if applicable, have the resources and ability to make the change?

  • What new job do I want? (Our career change advice is not to quit unless you have a clear idea where you are going)

  • What jobs are currently open? Is the market readily accessible?

Do you have the right kind of skills for switching careers?

Switching careers is difficult enough, but the main questions is “Can you perform the job?” The skills necessary in your current job may be different in the new job. For example, receptionists and office managers share similar traits and skills. They coordinate office affairs, communicate with clients, and optimize work schedules. But transitioning to executive assistant status requires more operational skills. Look for these indicators to help determine the best skill fit for your future career change:

  • Is this a soft of hard set of skills?

  • Can I transpose this skill into another job?

  • How is the new job different from my current position?

Look for a career coach

Career coaches are trained experts with knowledge of nearly all career choices. They guide job seekers with career change advice to new career paths, help them understand the change, and recommend alternatives. A career coach often sees aspects of the situation you may not. They have insider knowledge on required skills, the credentials particular companies search for, and proper etiquette for quitting your job. If you look for a career coach, remember these three recommendations:

  • Look for career coaches with at least four to six years of experience in your industry or desired career path.

  • Ask other friends about their experiences with career coaches and who they recommend.

  • Ask local employment agencies and colleges for advice. They often work with several coaches and know the best ones.

Use online career tools to figure out your interests

So you decided to change careers, but the solution still eludes you. Online tools are a great starting point for determining your likes, dislikes, pros, and cons. Take career inventory tests, either online or with a local job agency. These tests use your hobbies, interests, and skills to determine a good match. Other tests include skills assessments and practice scenarios. Use Google to find the best test for your situation.

The final decision

All the tools in the world can’t help you make the final decision on whether to stay or leave. This is a very personal decision. Look at your pros and cons for staying and compare them to the pros and cons for leaving. Here’s a simple career change advice exercise to help you determine what to do:

  • Take out a piece of paper.

  • Divide it into four vertical sections.

  • In the first two sections, label one cons for staying and the other pros for staying.

  • Do the same for the two right sections, but, instead of staying, these two are used for leaving.

  • Fill in the list and discuss it with a friend or career counselor.

This will help keep your priorities in perspective.

Ready to write the next chapter of your career? Hire a TopResume writer today!

Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!

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Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!