Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Dilemma of Career Change
We all know that during a recession, or even at any time, moving to another job or changing career can be very daunting. I’ve worked with many clients who talk about wanting to leave their current jobs due to unacceptable stress levels, insufficient family time, and a lack of fulfilment. Some clients find that they are spending most of their lives sitting on motorways as they move from one business obligation to another, others are taking their laptops to bed to catch up; working mothers talk about being too exhausted to enjoy a bedtime story with their children.
So, what can help?
You can start by thinking about your choices: stay in your current job and look to improve things, or go somewhere else.
- Think about your current job and the things that are driving you crazy. Make a list. Now, look through the list and think about the things that are within your influence to change yourself, or with the help of someone else (e.g. your boss). For example: if you are taking your laptop to bed in order to keep on top of things, you may be able to change this yourself by using your time more wisely during the day, i.e. time management techniques. If you are an exhausted working mother, perhaps there are options for enlisting some help or even scheduling some “me” time to relax and regroup. There may also be options to ask your company for reduced hours or working from home.
- Now look at the list again, this time at the things that drive you crazy but where you have no influence. For example, you may feel totally at odds with the way the company treats people, perhaps you have no respect for the leaders of the organisation. There are two options here: if you absolutely can’t change these things, either accept them, or take a positive step to move elsewhere. Being miserable about the things you cannot change just drags you down (as well as your colleagues, family and friends).
- Think about moving on. One of things that stops us from leaving a job is that we are afraid of losing what we have. Make another list. This time, write down everything that you like about your current job. This may include: your location (e.g. close to home), colleagues, your salary and benefits, the type of work you do, and even...the building or staff restaurant. Now look through this list and prioritise it. When you look at your salary, what range are you looking for; thinking about location, how far would you be willing to travel. It’s like creating a tick box list for buying a house. If you are considering moving from a company to self-employment, think about how you could get the things you like in your current job another way. For example, if you like the community activity of the office environment, think about networking groups that you could join.
- You can research the market, go for interviews and still choose to stay in your current job. Looking at what else is out there will help you decide whether it is worth taking a chance and moving on, or staying put. It is also good practice.
- Be courageous about moving out of the old “comfort zone”. Experiencing new things leads to growth!
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." (Andre Gide)
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