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3 Steps to Know If Your Time For a Career Change Has Come

At a certain stage of our career it is common to be faced with doubts and uncertainties about our professional future: am I on the right track? What is it that motivates me to continue in this profession or in this company? Does it make sense for me to stay where I am? What am I getting at? Why am I dissatisfied? What profession would make me feel like I am fully exerting my potential? What are my career goals? What are my personal goals? The answers are not always clear to all these questions. You know something is bothering you, but you’re not able to identify what it is. At some point, we perceive that personal and professional goals are not aligned, or most of the time we find that neither our personal or professional goals are well defined.

This process tend to be triggered by the following factors:

  1. Experienced professionals with more than 10 years of career or working with the same employer;
  2. Stagnation in current position;
  3. There are no prospects for new challenges;
  4. Changes in goals and career interests;
  5. Misalignment between personal values and company values;
  6. Changes in the direction of the company leading to an unexpected shutdown.

When customers approach me to get advice on how to face these situations, I try to have an in-depth conversation to discover their strengths in the career they are pursuing. The aim of this conversation is to develop a greater clarity about what clients would like to do professionally.

Are you considering a career transition? Then evaluate your current situation. Here are three scenarios to help you decide if this is the right time for you.

  1. Dissatisfaction or short term boredom: a project you are working on is stuck, you are out of sync with your manager, or stressful situations out of work are leading to frustration in the office. If this is your situation, maybe it’s not the time for a career transition. However, it may be a great time to assess your career goals in relationship to your current role and responsibilities, and possibly rediscover your strengths to boost them in your current position/job.
  2. Clear evidence of paralyzed progression: you have been approved for a promotion-more than once-and you have not obtained assertive feedback about your work or you feel burnout. In this case, it’s time to make a change.
  3. A prolonged sense of “stagnation”: changes in management have led to the feeling that you are no longer needed. You are no longer involved in critical decisions, you are not invited to attend important meetings anymore, or you usually see yourself wanting more and more satisfaction from your work. It’s definitely time to start a career transition.

As an example, I worked with a client, who was a leader in the Marketing area of a renowned international financial institution, working in a company that its culture had drifted apart of their values and work style. A demanding working hours and a bad cultural adjustment led to the burnout. We have worked together updating her curriculum, practicing interview skills and elaborating a plan. Equally important, I had conversations to help her identify her personal values and strengths based on the success of her past career, so that she could look for roles that maximize her opportunity to work in these areas.  Now, she is thriving on a new role as an international researcher and fashion designer. As a result, she feels empowered and confident in her new endeavor.

In sum, making a career transition can be profoundly rewarding and somewhat daunting at the same time. Get ready for a successful transition, knowing the areas where you stand out, the ideal workplace and areas where you want to grow professionally. You don’t have to figure it out yourself alone.

Want to have clarity to find out the best opportunity for your career and thus make a safe, fast and effective change? Connect yourself with an experienced coach with whom you feel comfortable to share your story.

Naomi Wernli – Toronto, Canada

Finance Specialist – Master in Economics and Career Coach

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