Several categories of clients approach me for a career consultation:
- The ones who know they would like to change their current company and need help to do it.
- The ones who have already dared and left their last employer and are now searching for the next professional challenge.
- Some who would like to change the company and the type of job they are doing, but they are not sure how to approach this process.
- Recent graduates who just enter the job market.
- The ones who feel something is not right (professionally), but they can’t identity what is it and how to face it.
The largest group of my clients know that they would like to change the employer and/or the profession and the next step is to clarify how I can help them. For the group who are not certain what’s wrong, the ones who feel they might need a change, but don’t know how to define it, I summarized a few of the most common reasons it might be time for a new career path.
1. Your values don’t match. As one of my lovely coaching clients excellently put it – “I feel this place is about to change who I am and that if I stay there a few more months, I will not be able to get in touch with my creative side and will become one of them.”
2. You don’t agree with the company strategy. In combination with a few other factors, this was the main reason I left my first job. If you believe the company needs to focus to become great and the decision makers keep diversifying, this can easily annoy and demotivate you. Which logically leads us to the next point.
3. You don’t enjoy going to work. If you feel sick at the thought of going to work, can’t wait for the end of the working day and day-dream about the weekend on Monday, something is wrong, professionally. You are either depleted and need a longer break to regain your strengths and motivation, or your body suggests this is not the place for you. If this is your situation, take a leave and, if, after you have been away from the office and have supposedly recuperated, you continue to feel the same way, it’s time to rethink your career choice.
4. You know more than your boss. Someone less competent making strategic decisions and decisions that affect your wellbeing in the company can definitely ruin your relationship with even the most suitable organization and position. Besides being frustrating and annoying, this is an important sign of the strategic course the company is taking, which, in the long run, will most probably lead to the situation described in point 2.
5. No opportunities for growth. If the organization is fairly small, managed by its owners, or the structure is relatively flat, and you would like to lead a big team, chances are you would start building up stress and frustration. That’s why the job interview cliché “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” is helpful for the candidates as well – it will assist you in clarifying your goals and if the company you are interviewed for, or are working with currently, can’t help you achieve them, you should start looking for a more suitable place.
6. Responsibilities’ growth is not related to pay raise. If your company is going through a tough financial phase and your loyalty level is where it should be, you can try swallowing this and invest a couple of months into the bright future. If, however, the bright future starts happening and your situation stays the same, it’s time for a serious conversation with your manager and possibly – time for a change.
7. Your ideas are not valued. Of course, your idea might be too risky, unconventional, expensive or the timing isn’t right for it. If this happens more often than not, there is probably a mismatch between your values and the organization’s vision. Which leads to the situation described in #1.
8. Your health suffers. The human body is a perfect mechanism and it’s always good to listen to its signals. If you have daily headaches, feel sick at the thought of an important meeting, or dizzy before a conversation with your manager – consider changing your professional situation before it’s too late. No salary or bonus, however impressive, are worth your health.
9. Your personal life suffers. Every night when you come home, you feel stressed out and exhausted, and you don’t have the time or the energy for your family. You haven’t played basketball and it used to be your favorite pastime for relax and unloading. Your friends are not calling anymore, because they are sick of your excuses that you lack the time, or the energy, or both, to go to a movie or dancing. If this your long term situation and it’s not likely to change, take the necessary steps to bring back joy and satisfaction in your life.
10. Early retirement. If you quite often fantasize about early retirement and enjoying the beach with a cocktail, there are two options – you are really fond of beaches and cocktails, or it’s time to rethink your professional choices and target a field, in which your work dreams are related to career advancement and not to a desktop image.
Recognized yourself? In one or more of the signs? Short or long term situation? If you need to talk to a professional about your career direction and need the support of a career coach or a career consultant, get in touch with me to discuss how can I be of service.