In everyone’s work life, there comes a point when you ask yourself if you’re on the right path. Is what you’re doing what you want to be doing? Or is staying in it your way to play it safe and avoid change? The answer to these questions contains the key for what should be your next career move.
Maybe you have already considered changing careers, but have not gone further than that. You have probably imagined yourself pursuing a new interest, or perhaps you’re dominated by a burning need to change things. No matter the case, there are some definite signs that you must try new things and move on.
You spend so much of your lifetime at work, you should be doing something that feels worthy to you. People can find a sense of pride in whatever they do if they are passionate about their mission. If you no longer feel this and see no point in advancing, your motivation is running out.
Maybe you feel like your industry is not relevant anymore, and you want to move on to the careers of the future. Maybe you want to make a difference in an area that is closer to your values. Maybe you want to feel the rush of learning new things again. The pride in the work you do comes from how well it aligns with your life’s purpose. Reaching that balance is the key to career happiness.
When you reach a point where your career doesn’t offer new challenges, it’s time to move on. Predictability at work can kill your motivation and stunt your growth process as a professional and as a person.
In a position where you’ve learned all that is possible, you have two options: you either leave in search of new challenges, or you bring them in yourself. Tech advancements surface every day. You could try to bring new tech tools into your job if you want to take on the project. Whatever you decide, you should aim to get out of your comfort zone. It’s where the magic happens.
A very straightforward method to know if you should move on to a different career is to make a balance of upsides and downsides. Make an honest list of the positive and negative aspects of your career. Include everything, from practical things (money, time investment, long-term advancement) to abstracts (motivation, fulfillment, happiness).
Look at your list. It’s a reflection of what you think about your career. Is it full of negatives? Then you need a change, your job is not hitting the mark. Use this list to assess what matters to you in work terms, and apply that knowledge to your search for alternatives.
Besides skills, interest, money, and other practical stuff, there’s one thing that will determine how motivated you’ll be at work, especially in the long run: how your career relates to your values.
We all have a set of values that we carry with us. There are the things that we give importance to, that guide our decisions and structure our lives. Of course, this means very different things for each person, but what is important is that your career aligns with those values you hold. If you have never stopped to consider this, you should identify yours. It has been proved that people who have this kind of knowledge about themselves generally do better in life.
If you have bumped into a new career path that you’re interested in, pursue it. Fear of change is no excuse to stay stagnant in your current position. If a new opportunity presents itself, ask yourself sincerely if you want it. If the answer is yes, embrace it with both arms. Job security is a myth, anything could happen at any minute, so don’t let that convince you of staying where you’re not happy.
Thinking of changing careers will put you on a journey towards self-discovery that you should profit from. You will only find ultimate success in pursuing things that fulfill you, so make the right decisions. Change is inevitable, but not only a thing that happens to you. You can spark it yourself.